Questions About Today’s Real Estate?

Ask Phyllis!


Selling By Owner


Dear Phyllis,

I look forward to your column in the CV Weekly. May I ask some advice from you?  I have to sell my house within the next year.  It was bought four years ago and I know someone who’s very interested in buying it.  I have pulled up the value on Zillow and am wondering if there is any way I could get some more comps without having to hire the Realtor® who sold it to me?  I hate to bother her if she isn’t going to get paid. Judy



Dear Judy,

Some might suggest that you contact a real estate appraiser. But I disagree. An appraiser’s purpose is to validate the value for the bank’s collateral.

I understand that you hope to save the full real estate commission. I suggest you contact a local real estate agent. If you were happy with the Realtor® who sold it to you, contact her.  Your Realtor’s® job isn’t necessarily over just because you closed escrow and she will most likely be happy to assist you.  As a Realtor® we are often asked for values and comps.

If you weren’t happy with your real estate agent, ask friends, co-workers or family members for a referral. Inform whichever agent you decide to meet that you know someone who wants to purchase your home. As you have to sell anyway, you can sign a listing agreement with that Realtor®.  In this listing note that if your buyer purchases your home no commission is owed. This party will be excluded from the listing contract.  Your Realtor® can pull comps (comparable properties that have recently sold, are in escrow, and new listings/competition) and can help you decide on a fair purchase price.

Most listings with this exclusion are for a certain period of time. For instance, in the event John Doe purchases and closes this property within 90 days, no commission is owed to ABC Realty.

In the event your buyers do purchase your home, you might opt to have your Realtor® handle the paperwork and negotiate inspection issues, if any. You and your Realtor® can decide on a fee that you both feel is fair.

Best of luck to you on your sale.