Jane Eanes didn’t want to sell the Pittsburgh-area house that she and her husband Russ had custom-built just two years before, in 2009.
It was designed for easy and efficient living, right down to the geothermal system that kept heating bills to $30 a month.
But a sudden job relocation forced the couple to put their house on the market. The very first day, they received two offers – one for full price. Only selling ‘by owner’ netted the couple $22,000 more – enabling them to buy a home when they moved to Virginia.
The appeal of the house seemed obvious to Jane Eanes. Geothermal heating translated to monthly heating bills of about $30 – a selling point both to the frugal and to the green-minded. The gardens were well planned, and the house was only two years old. But local real estate agents struggled to understand what the house offered and their attempts at articulating marketing points were clumsy and misguided. “I thought, if I’m coaching them through how to market the house, why are they getting the commission?” said Jane Eanes.
As well, the couple had put so much into the home that they knew they weren’t likely to get much equity out. “The price the agents suggested, plus their commission, would have put us at a huge loss,” said Eanes.
Suddenly, selling by owner looked like the only way out. Eanes explored ForSaleByOwner.com, and quickly realized that the site’s easy-to-use web tools and step-by-step articles were all she needed to get the house showcased in front of millions of buyers.
She meticulously wrote and edited the listing description and took dozens of photos, with different lighting options, to have the very best options for the listing slideshow. She got the house on to the MLS and Realtor.com, and posted it to Craigslist, too.
As soon as the Eanes’ house went online, buyers saw it and started calling. On the first day it was on the market, a couple and their agent came by. Right on their heels was a buyer working without an agent. Though Eanes had advertised a buyer’s agent fee of 2.5%, the agent tried to force a 3% commission. The buyers had seen the house online and very much wanted it. But on the counsel of their agent, they made an offer 9% below the asking price of $232,000. And their agent wrote numerous conditions into the contract.
Meanwhile, the buyers representing themselves had seen the house on Craigslist. They came, they saw, they put in a full price offer. The Eanes actually liked the agent-represented buyers more, on a personal level. But “the agent blew the deal for them,” said Jane Eanes. She and her husband took the full-price offer, and had $22,000 more to work with when they relocated.
“Especially in a hurting job market, people need to get as much out of their home sales as possible, and ForSaleByOwner allows that,” said Jane Eanes. “You have to be willing to show the house yourself. But the tools that are there, at ForSaleByOwner.com, help you navigate the process. I had never sold a house on my own, and the buyer had never bought on their own, but with the helpof thel ender and the real estate attorney, we didn’t miss having an agent.”
Use our Pricing Guide to learn how you can do what the Eanes did and price your house right for a fast, satisfying sale.