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Should City Homeowners Sell Their Own Property?

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With demand so high, some sellers are realizing they do not need a seller's broker, but there are some tips sellers should consider before they sell their own homes. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.

It's certainly a seller's market, and the high demand is leading some sellers to do the selling on their own.

"In this market, because homes are moving so quickly, it's actually a good time if you were inclined to sell your home yourself to try it," says Doug Perlson, the CEO of the online brokerage firm RealDirect.com.

Some people who may not have considered it before are exploring the "For Sale By Owner" route rather than paying a broker commission to sell. As Perlson's firm helps guide FSBO sellers, NY1 has asked him what sellers should think about when considering this option.

"First, I like to consider co-op versus condo," Perlson says. "The demand for condos right now is through the roof, so if you have a condo and you price it right, it's going to sell quickly. Co-ops might take a little more time and there is an application process that some sellers don't want to undertake."

Also, consider the type of apartment. Perlson says cookie-cutter units are easier to sell because buyers can easily understand the price by looking at comparables in the building and in the line, whereas an apartment with a unique layout requires a little more sales skill and it is often harder to find a comparable price.

A seller should also look at one's home as a broker would.

"You need to ask yourself the tough questions," Perlson says. "Is your home property staged? Does it need a paint job? Are there other things you can do to increase the value like re-caulking the bathroom?"

Does the seller have the time and ability to sell? Does he or she know how to market the property and get the listing inside all the real estate search sites and broker databases?

Speaking of brokers, sellers need to realize that while they are not paying a seller's broker, if they want brokers to bring buyers, they will still need to pay the buyer's broker commission.

Finally, Perlson wants sellers to get the big picture.

"Don't skimp on photographs. We have seen too many homes skimp on photographs while doing FSBO that have turned buyers away simply because the home looks bad on the Web," says Perlson. "So for $150-$200, you can bring in a terrific, professional real estate photographer and it can make all the difference."

No matter how hard you may sell, if the home doesn't show well, you could sell yourself short.

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