Selling a house in Georgia is not a very difficult or tedious procedure. Georgia has been a seller’s market for the last two years as the real estate prices have increased by around 22% which means that there was a considerable hike in the real estate agents commission as well. Therefore, the best option left for homeowners is to go to FSBO. Since there has a real estate bubble type of situation created over the last couple of years, mortgage rates have increased and hence it is now a good time to sell before the buyer interest comes down due to unaffordability. 

A: Why is selling a house by an owner in Georgia a good idea?

There are two reasons why selling a house by the owner is a good idea in Georgia. First, of course, is the fact that it is affordable. On average, the seller spends around $18,000 in commissions which is a lot. Selling by owner means having a DIY approach which will lead to the seller at the maximum of a few hundred instead of thousands of dollars. 

Also, if FSBO sellers list via a Flat Fee MLS service, their properties get maximum exposure. Which of course is a sure-shot way to get buyer interest and ultimately make a successful sale. 

Another benefit of going FSBO means that you control all aspects of the sale which also means there is speed to market. 

It is very reassuring to note that selling a house by an owner in Georgia is not very difficult. For one because it is a sellers’ market and also because the documentation and permits required are pretty standard, nothing too complicated.  Even beginners can go for it if they have the necessary paperwork ready. 

B: What are the cons of going FSBO in Georgia?

It sure is lucrative to sell by owner in Georgia but there are certain flipsides to the same. Selling a house in Georgia without an MLS listing will limit the exposure and as a result, there is less buyer interest for such properties. Ultimately this can affect the sale as the house might sell for less.

It is important to note that houses listed on MLS has sold 17% faster than the ones that has not. 

Also, FSBO sellers have to do the complicated documentation themselves with little or no help from the experts. This is not ideal for first-time FSBO sellers. 

Marketing your house for sale on an individual basis could be tedious. 

FSBO sellers can overcome these challenges if they list with a Flat Fee MLS service like Houzeo. 

C: Key steps for selling a house by owner in Georgia

Here are the followings important steps to selling a house by owner Georgia. The key is not to miss any of them to make a profitable sale. 

1: Preparing your house for sale

Preparing your house for sale thoroughly before putting it up on market is crucial. Though like most other states selling houses ‘as-is’ is allowed. This practice is not encouraged unless the seller is looking for a cash buyer on an immediate basis or it is a distress sale. Homeowners selling in the ‘cash for houses’ is popular in the FSBO category. There are cash companies that buy the house if the homeowner requires cash on an immediate basis. 

Otherwise, it  advised to some basic renovations and a paint job in neutral colors to make the house more appealing.  Also recommended to increase the curb appeal by making it more attractive. Homeowners also rearrange the furniture and declutter spaces in the house to get more arresting light angles which automatically makes the property more desirable. 

Preparation also includes hiring a home inspector and getting the property checked for termites or any other structural or plumbing issues so that the sellers get a heads up on filing the necessary disclosures and permits. 

2: Making the FSBO agreement 

This is a key document that is mandatory for every homeowner who plans to sell the house without a realtor. Though a seller is authorized to submit this document by themselves, it recommended to have an expert take a look at it as a legally binding contract for both parties. 

It has the name of the seller, title details, and other property information

3: MLS listing 

Paying for a Flat Fee MLS listing service is a sure-shot way to ensure that the FSBO house gets maximum exposure. They also have a pay-per-package system that lets you pick and choose services according to your need and the market conditions at the time of the selling. 

Flat Fee MLS listing services like Houzeo ensure that the sellers get support every step of the way according to the package they select. Basic MLS listing starts with $249 and goes up to $999. They even provide a fully virtual service for a premium price of $999+

4: Marketing 

Online and offline marketing is very important to make a successful sale. Since there is no realtor to market your property, the entire responsibility falls on the owner. Creating a customized yard sign, and brochures are ways to publicize that your house is on sale. 

Since almost cent percent of people across ages go online to search for houses, it is of utmost importance that you use all the social media channels to your benefit. 

5: Sellers Disclosure Georgia 

After listing, the next crucial point in selling a house in Georgia comes when the FSBO seller prepares for the paperwork needed to complete the sale. Following has the important documents needed. 

  • Property Title
  • Deed
  • Georgia Real Estate Purchase Agreement
  • Bill of sale
  • Closing agreement 
  • Statement of closing costs
  • Property Disclosure 
  • Lead-based paint disclosure 
  • Flood zone disclosure 

The above-listed documents are compulsory in Georgia specially and sellers should take the help of experts to complete these beforehand. Also, Flat Fee MLS services have a provision where they have digitized this process. FSBO sellers should make use of this facility and then let a real estate attorney look at the paperwork to make sure all the discrepancies are ironed out to avoid further litigation. 

6: Managing showings

Managing showings and organizing open houses are very important for the sellers. While this process might sound tedious without the help of a realtor, it  skipped simply because more buyer interest means more offers which translates into a successful sale. 

Houzeo lets you manage the showings through an app that is both convenient and easily accessible.

7: Reviewing offers 

After the open house, there will  offers and FSBO sellers then have to counter offer and eventually finalize the sale after an appropriate price point is met the buyer. 

Reviewing and countering offers expertly come with experience and FSBO sellers, if stuck with this function, can always pay for this particular service to a Flat Fee MLS listing service.

8: Closing 

Sellers need to pay minute attention to all the closing documents especially the HUD-1 and State Of Closing Costs. Sellers need to  well prepared for the payment of closing costs at the end of the sale from their profits. 

9; Appraisals and Inspection

In Georgia, a home inspection by a professional inspector is done to check if there repairs or any damages to the property which has undeclared by the seller and can cause the buyer to spend further after the sale.

An appraiser does all the market research and takes a fair look at the property to make a correct estimate about the selling price quoted by the homeowner. 

Property Title is another aspect where an expert is called to verify. Transfer of title should be seamless and without any legal discrepancies. The function of a real estate attorney to check the title before the sale agreement is signed. 

D: Conclusion 

In short, adopting a DIY approach to selling a home in Georgia is doable because the process is pretty standard. FSBO sellers has encouraged to pay a Flat Fee to MLS listing companies like Houzeo and carry out the sale effectively. 

Since it is a hot sellers’ market, buyers are always in need of affordable housing. Therefore, it is prudent to list the house right away instead of waiting for the next peak season of May-June. This is because the mortgage rates has increased which may affect buyer demand in near future.

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