Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and is home to Alabama’s top attractions, educational facilities, and restaurants. However, job offers, divorce, foreclosure, and more can make you need to sell your home in Birmingham.
When you need to sell your home and move onto the next chapter of your life (or if you inherited property in Birmingham and want the cash for it instead), you should know that you have three ways to sell it.
Here are those three ways, including the pros and cons of each!
- Use a real estate
- Sell your house by yourself
- Sell to a cash buyer
Let’s take a look!
Sell My Home in Birmingham: Use a Real Estate Agent
Most real estate transactions go through agents. The process of having a real estate agent sell your Birmingham home is quite simple.
You first need to find an agent.
Usually, you can find top-rated ones with enough searching online. You’ll then contact the agent, and they’ll come out to take a look at your home.
Typically, agents suggest repairs and enhancements to your home to help it fetch top-dollar on the market. Some of these changes (like mowing the lawn, for example) are free.
Others can cost money.
Most real estate agents will suggest staging, which is a few hundred dollars. Therefore, expect your agent to suggest at least a few fixes before it goes on the market!
Once the home is in a condition where it will look suitable for photos, your real estate agent will take some shots and begin marketing it. You’ll have some open houses, and eventually (hopefully), you’ll receive an offer. Once you get an offer or two, you accept it, and the buyer has to obtain financing.
Assuming all goes well, your transaction will close, and you can walk away from your property!
Why Should You Use or Not Use a Real Estate Agent?
Traditional real estate agents are the most common way to sell a home, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best way.
No doubt, using a top agent will get you the best offer for your home. But, there are so many variables when it comes to real estate agents that it’s unknown if you’re unintentionally sabotaging your potential offer.
Consider that when you list your home on the market can influence the final offer.
Real estate is cyclical.
The winter months can sometimes have fewer buyers than the summer ones (although Birmingham’s best month is technically January and the worst month is February, showcasing just how important it is to know the timing to get the best price)
Also, consider that the best real estate agents can typically sell their clients’ homes for more money than the bottom ones.
But, how do you know if you’re getting the best agent? Reviews help, but they’re not conclusive.
Furthermore, real estate agents charge between 5-6% in commissions in Alabama. On a $200,000 home, that’s $10k-$12k that you’ll have to pay in fees.
On top of all of that, it takes a substantial amount of time to sell a property in Birmingham. Right now, the median days on the market is 50, but in 2019, that number stood at 70. Regardless, it takes 2-3 months to sell your home in the best case scenario!
So the most common way involves quite a bit of uncertainty, an extended timeframe (2-3 months), and a 5-6% commission.
For Sale By Owner
Seeing these drawbacks, some people elect to take matters into their hands and sell their property themselves. No rule or law says you need to pay a real estate agent to sell your property!
By selling it yourself, you save a little on commission, and you can have more control over the whole process. You can advertise as aggressively as you want, set whatever price you want, and have more control over where your home shows.
The upside to this method is obvious:
- You save the seller’s agent commission (you still have to pay the buyer’s commission, so about 2.5%-3% total instead of 5%-6%)!
The downside to this is that:
- Showing a home is often a lot more work than people think. Plus, it helps to have an independent party assess your home to provide you with objective repair and staging advice.
For sale by owner homes typically sell for less, too.
According to the NAR, FSBO homes go for $217,900 instead of the median sales price of $295,000 for agent-assisted homes.
That difference is far more than the commission! And, you still have the same timeline of about 2-3 months to sell.
Sell My Home in Birmingham: Cash Buyers
Although underutilized, cash buyers are one of the best ways to sell your home in Birmingham! A cash buyer has two distinct advantages over real estate agents and FSBO.
- Zero commissions – When you sell to a cash buyer, there are zero commissions. Since there are no real estate agents involved, you won’t pay a dime in commissions. You’ll still receive a fair offer, though, that is competitive for your market.
- Cash buyers close quickly – Most of the time, they can close in as little as 1-2 weeks. Recall that the median time to sell a Birmingham home with a real estate agent was nearly two months.
If you want to sell your Birmingham house fast (divorce, foreclosure, or you got a new job and want to move ASAP), selling to a cash buyer is the best way. You won’t have to wait months to get your home off your hands.
Unlike selling with a real estate agent, you also won’t have to make repairs. You can call out the cash buyer, and they can often make an offer on your home, no matter what the condition is!
If you want to sell your home in Birmingham, your best bet, by far, is to use a cash buyer. It might not be as popular as using a real estate agent, but you can think of it as a hidden gem. You’ll save on commissions, save on repairs, get a fair offer, and you can get cash in your hands in a matter of days, not months.
It’s the best way to sell your Birmingham home! If you’re interested in selling your home, please contact us!