A property transaction is an expensive process. It has several payments made to different parties in the form of charges, commission, interest, taxes, fees, etc. A seller aims to gain as much as s/he can from the sale of a property for reinvestment of gains in different options or to meet sudden exigencies. And to maximize his or her gains, s/he has to keep the expenses that may be incurred to a bare minimum.
Easier said than done. Some charges have to be mandatorily borne in the form of taxes and other levies. Others are hidden among miscellaneous and are unknown to the seller. The homebuyer in the transaction does not fare any better with several hidden costs mixed up in miscellaneous expenses. The first step the seller or buyer needs to take to save money on a property transaction is to be aware of the costs.
A breakup of costs needs to be sought by the seller or buyer and awareness of the taxes and charges that may be levied needs to be obtained. This article seeks to highlight different ways the sellers can use to save money on the sale of the property.
[lwptoc numerationSuffix=”dot” title=”Table of Contents” width=”full” titleFontSize=”16px” itemsFontSize=”16px” colorScheme=”light”]
Different ways a seller can save money on the sale of property
A major expense that the seller incurs on property sale is that of estate agent commission and certain charges associated with it. An estate agent, broker or realtor is a professional who facilitates the smooth progression of a transaction between a buyer and seller and charges a commission for this.
When a seller purchases the services of an agent, an agent may do the following:
- Represent the seller in a transaction where s/he may get the house appraised to assess its value.
- The agent may find prospective buyers and negotiate with the buyer to discuss favorable terms for the seller and sell the house for a price by which the seller gains.
- The agent may help the seller in preparing and maintaining documents that are important for the transaction.
- The agent may assist the seller with the closing and registration processes successfully closing the deal for the seller.
The agent’s commission is a significant source of financial outflow for the seller, but one that can be reduced to save money. If the seller wants s/he can seek to reduce agent related expenses by taking it upon himself or herself to sell the house.
- If a seller has a large personal circle and knows people who have sold houses or who are aware of the nitty-gritty of the process, the seller may seek advice or help from these known people to sell this or her house.
- A seller needs to thoroughly research the laws applicable to the sale of the property and gain information on the prevailing property rates in the market and compare the value of the house with similar placed houses in the neighborhood.
- S/he can get the property appraised and spread the word among his or her kith and kin that the house is on sale and in turn ask them to spread the word to their known people. While getting the property appraised the seller needs to gain information about the home appraisal cost structure to understand what s/he is paying for.
- The seller can list the property on property websites that charge a significantly lower fee than estate agents and which facilitate direct interaction between buyers and sellers on online platforms.
- By listing the property on online sites, the seller may get offers from interested buyers and has the choice to select who s/he wants to deal with to sell the property.
- The seller saves time and money by such direct interaction instead of searching for buyers or employing the services of agents to search for buyers.
- The seller is a joint owner of a property, such a seller may sell his or her property to the other owner, relinquishing all rights upon his or her share for monetary consideration.
- The seller has to tactically negotiate with buyers to sell his or her house at a profit. The gains on the sale of the house are required to be reinvested in lucrative investment options or to meet exigencies and thus needs to be substantial in quantum.
- Knowledge of the registration process is required for the seller because this process involves the transfer of ownership and the proprietary rights in the property from the seller to the buyer.
All the points mentioned above are what the seller needs to take upon himself or herself to sell the property without employing an agent, but the seller can also employ an agent at a concessionary rate.
- An agent’s commission rate need not remain fixed. It is negotiable. If the seller negotiates with the agent to give some concession on the commission to be paid, the agent may decide to take a cut on such commission.
- A seller can search for agents who charge less commission and employ them to sell the house on his or her behalf.
- An understanding of the commission charged by the agent can do you good. An agent may perform different services for the seller and may charge appropriately for each service that finally adds up to what the agent changes as commission. If the seller gets an idea about this cost structure, it may help greatly when negotiating with the agent to get the commission or fee reduced.
Here are some expenses that go into the sale of a house that you should be aware of:
- Foreclosure charges
- Transaction costs like stamp duty and registration fees
- Staging and repair costs
- Cleaning costs
A seller does incur costs when s/he is selling the residential property to a buyer. It is unavoidable. However, the quantum of these costs can be reduced to save money and maximize gains for the seller. The estate agent’s fees, the home appraisal, preparation of documents, and their maintenance are some of the activities upon which the seller incurs expenses. It is admittedly strenuous for the seller to take up the sole responsibility of managing the sale of the property.
For this reason, the seller can employ an agent but also attempt to negotiate with the agent to get the latter to reduce the commission charged. If the seller succeeds in this, the seller can save money on this transaction to the best of his ability. Another way is going online and paying subscription and listing charges. These charges are generally lower than the commission paid to an estate agent and allow for direct interaction with buyers online to save money and time.
The truth of the matter is a seller either has to incur expenses to maximize his or her gain or avail the benefits of convenience. The seller needs to spend to secure his or her interests in the sale of a property rather than incur substantial losses due to lack of know-how and experience. However, s/he can always reduce the quantum of expenses incurred.