New home-selling service can save homeowners cash

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- If you're selling a home, It can add up quickly when the time comes to pay the real estate agent. With the average commission rate of 6 percent, the cost to sell your home can take a big chunk out of your equity. But a relatively new service here in Houston is looking to change all that.

"Well this is the home I grew up in. My parents designed it and built it in 1966," Claire Zivley Baker told us.

Her parents unfortunately passed away last year, and now she's in charge of the estate.

Claire said "this is our family home and we just wanted to be in control of where it ended up."

The family decided on selling the home, but instead of using a real estate agent, Claire is trying out a different kind of "For Sale by Owner" option. Sissy Lappin is a real estate agent herself, but last year she developed

"Everything that we have created is automated. It's all drag and drop technology," Lappin said. "And where they can create their marketing tools to sell their own home literary in less time than it takes to have a cup of coffee."

Lappin's service makes it attractive for those looking to save a lot of money on realtor commissions.

"When you take your equity and you compute that 6%. for many homeowners it's 40-60 percent of their equity gone," Lappin said.

For example, let's say your house is worth $400,000 and the equity in your home is $60,000. A real estate agent charges the customary 6 percent commission so you'll end up paying the agent $24,000. That's 40 percent of your equity. However, selling your own home is not for everyone and some do benefit from the use of a realtor.

Lappin said, "Realtors do a great job. Homeowners do a great job. There's no reason that the two should compete. They can coexist and everybody can be respectful of each other."

Lappin's service offers two packages. The higher priced one comes with a professional photographer to capture images of the home, and a professional real estate writer to develop the home listing description. Once you create the marketing material, the home is advertised on many popular real estate sites.

"This pushes it out to Zillow. It pushes it out to Trulia. There is an option if they want to put it on MLS," Lappin told us.

If you are going to sell your own home, be prepared to do a lot of work. From taking calls to showing the house. You should also feel comfortable negotiating.

"I love taking people through the home and answering their questions. The house is 50 years old so what was added, what was changed, what the original house looked like," Zivley said.
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