Whether you’re upsizing, downsizing, relocating or trying to fix a bad situation, selling a house is never easy. In fact, Ryan D., a teacher in Milwaukee, WI, found out firsthand just how hard it is to sell a home by yourself.
With a family of five, Ryan was desperately trying to get out from under a housing situation that was destroying their finances. After a year of struggling to sell solo with no luck, he finally found help putting his home in front of the right buyers.
Find out exactly what Ryan did to turn the tables on his finances and sell his home in only two weeks—and how you can too!
The Burden of a Home Equity Loan
So where does Ryan’s story start? Well, a couple of years back, he got fed up with his finances. There never seemed to be enough money—despite the fact that both he and his wife had jobs and brought home income! To help them take control of their money, Ryan’s brother lent them The Total Money Makeover book. From there, they started regularly listening to The Dave Ramsey Show. After Ryan and his wife sat down to start their first budget using EveryDollar, they realized the root of their money problems—the house had to go.
“We had a home equity loan that was crushing us,” he said. “It was staring me in the face. The only way I could think about possibly getting rid of it was to sell the house.”
“We had a home equity loan that was crushing us. It was staring me in the face. The only way I could think about possibly getting rid of it was to sell the house.”
Take it from Ryan: A home equity loan is a terrible idea. It’s a loan that borrows against the portion of your home that you actually own. It’s pretty much the opposite of paying off your house. Ryan’s remaining balance on his mortgage was $45,000. But his home equity loan was at $60,000! That’s a total of $105,000 in debt on a house worth $114,000 at most!
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That’s not all. Ryan’s home was located in a declining neighborhood. Not only did it feel unsafe for his family, but the house was depreciating in value! In other words, the clock was ticking on how much he could make by selling it.
Getting Advice From the Pros
Ryan knew it wasn’t going to be easy to let go of his home. After all, his family had lived there for over 20 years, and it was the only house they’d ever known. He needed some guidance. That’s when he remembered hearing Dave mention the Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program—a network of rock-star real estate agents who follow Dave’s financial advice and have the heart of a teacher.
So, Ryan tried the ELP program, which immediately referred him to some agents in his area. When he saw that the referral profiles showed where each agent was on Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps, he knew these were like-minded agents he could trust.
Ryan connected with the agents to get some advice. But since he was already in a tough spot financially, he wasn’t sure if paying an agent commission was the smartest way to go. So, he decided to start by selling solo—also known as “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO).
The Struggle of Selling Solo
Ryan listed his home on Zillow, but he quickly found out how hard it is to sell a house. “I thought the market was so hot that all I’d have to do was put a ‘For Sale’ sign in front and I’d get somebody right away,” Ryan said. “But I didn’t understand how to price it or show it.”
“I thought the market was so hot that all I’d have to do was put a ‘For Sale’ sign in front and I’d get somebody right away. But I didn’t understand how to price it or show it.”
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On top of that, the house was in rough shape—the water heater was 40 years old, the furnace was 35 years old, and there was no central air. After two months, he only had about four or five people view his home. Most of them were house flippers who offered prices that were way too low. So, he took it off the market.
Selling the House in Two Weeks
Ryan started to doubt that he’d ever sell his home. But he knew he had to save his family from the budget-crushing home equity loan. So, he decided to team up with a professional. He reconnected with Jim G., one of the real estate agents he’d found through the ELP program.
“I was really wondering if we could sell it,” Ryan said. “But Jim was confident . . . he took us through it step by step.”
Jim knew exactly what to do. He helped Ryan stage the home for buyers. They cleared the clutter and lit up every nook and cranny with 75-watt light bulbs. Then, Jim arranged for a professional photographer to take high-quality listing photos. Once Ryan’s house looked its best, Jim listed it on a multiple listing service (MLS)—a private database managed by real estate professionals. The MLS gave Ryan a better chance of getting his home viewed by serious buyers.
Within the first two days of Ryan’s home being back on the market, six interested buyers did a walkthrough. Did you catch that? Ryan had more showings in two days selling with an agent than he had in two months selling solo! By the second week, the house was sold!
Ryan had more showings in two days selling with an agent than he had in two months selling solo! By the second week, the house was sold!
“The burden that was lifted once that home equity loan was paid off was astounding,” Ryan said. “Without Jim, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. And without [the ELP] program, I wouldn’t have found Jim.”
Get Your Home Sold With Confidence
If you’re thinking of selling your home, access your free Home Seller’s Guide. If you want to share in Ryan’s success from the get-go, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We’ll connect you with the best-performing agents in your area, so you can find an agent to help you get your house sold the smart way.
Our pros have deep connections in their communities and are excellent negotiators. It’s free to get connected. So what are you waiting for?