Sell Your House Yourself, No Realtor Required
Selling a house is no mean feat. If this is your first time at the rodeo, you probably feel like you are reaching in the dark. You’re unsure about where to start, how to go about it, or how long the entire process will take.
It’s not a good place to be.
Often, you will be advised to get a realtor. Hey, someone to handle the entire process does sound excellent, doesn’t it? Well, it probably does until you learn that you will need to hand over a percentage of the proceeds to them in commission.
What other options do you have? Fortunately, you can have what is called a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). This is where you oversee and execute the sale without involving a third party. The question again becomes can you sell your house without a realtor?
Here is a comprehensive guide to help you do just that.
Selling Your House Without a Realtor
While this process will be a bit more involving than having a realtor on board, you will get to keep all the proceeds of the sale. It can also be an eye-opening learning process.
Determine an Asking Price
When you sell your house without a realtor, your asking price should be the ideal dollar amount you would want for the property. However, expect prospective buyers to negotiate on it.
If you price too high, you risk out pricing buyers. On the other hand, if you go too low, you will be leaving money on the table.
So this is something you need to put a lot of thought into. To get started, use the internet to look at house listings and do a comparative study. Note that you can only compare prices for similar houses by neighborhood, size, and available amenities.
The other way to go about it is to get an appraiser to do the legwork for you. Not only will they look at the variables, but they will also assess the condition of the home. This gives a more accurate value.
Prepare the house for sale
When preparing to sell your house without a realtor, minimalist décor should be the goal. Top realtors advise moving as much as one-third of the items from your home and into a storage space.
And this makes sense. Buyers are not interested in your décor, items, or your sense of style. They are looking at your house to see its potential and to picture themselves in it.
Some of the things you need to do include:
- Remove pets and all their items from the home
- Declutter and give the house a thorough clean
- Remove photos, memorabilia, keepsakes, and other unused items and store them outside the home
- Carry out necessary repairs and work on your curb appeal
- Keep valuables and important documents at a separate location during walkthroughs
- Ensure your windows are open and curtains are drawn to bring in more light. Well-lit homes seem airy and larger and are a hit with home buyers
Once you schedule walkthroughs, you want buyers to see everything they can achieve in the home and indeed see themselves in it.
Invest in Advertising and Home Marketing
You have a great home; it looks great, looks and feels airy, and is in a great location. There is one problem, though: nobody knows about it.
For offers to start pouring in, you need to get the word out that there is a beautiful home on sale to the masses. The more people that learn about it, the more offers you attract.
The first thing you should do to sell your house without a realtor is take good photos or hire an excellent photographer to take strategic pics of the house. You can use these on MLS and other online advertising sites.
Similarly, have the prints used in brochures and pamphlets to hand around and pin in various places with high traffic.
You can also put up a ‘’for sale’’ sign outside your house. Once buyers start reaching out, you will need to play the realtor role. Answer questions, provide more information when needed, and exercise flexibility with showings.
Think About a Cash Sale
Most prospective home buyers plan on purchasing a home with a facility. While this does get the sale done, it does have some downsides.
The main ones are delays or cancellations, lengthy procedures, additional sale fees, and so on.
When looking for a cash buyer, you are looking for an individual or a company with the financial muscle to pay for the home without a loan. This process is shorter; there are fewer hoops to jump through, and chances of the deal falling apart midstream are significantly lower.
If this sounds ideal, research a few credible home buying companies and reach out to them for a possible deal.
While the hope is that many offers come in, don’t get too excited at this stage.
Not every one that shows interest or even offers to buy your house can actually do so.
First off, protect yourself and your homes by taking down everyone’s information looking to come to a showing. Ideally, you should have their information and ID and those of their agent as well.
Further along the process, you need to qualify buyers. Let all potential buyers know that you require copies of their mortgage pre-approval letters using a financing facility. Cash buyers, on the other hand, should provide proof of funds.
Still, it’s advisable to use escrow services to finalize the sale. This protects your interests and ensures you do not lose both your house and payment to scam artists.
Be very keen throughout the entire process and take note of anything that might seem off with the deal. Overzealous buyers, buyers with little interest in seeing the house or bargaining the price, should set off your alarm bells.
Sell your house without a Realtor at the Right Time
To make the most of the sale, try and schedule the sale to a sellers’ market. This is when there are fewer properties and many buyers in the market.
On the other hand, a buyer’s market has numerous houses listed for sale than there are buyers. Buyers then have more bargaining power as they have too many homes to pick from.
A seller’s market gives you the upper hand as you have multiple offers to choose from. Your chances of getting your asking price or something close to that is higher.
As you can see, if you are willing to put in some work, it’s possible to sell your home without using a realtor.
Still, do a lot of research at each phase, listen to your gut, get advice from trusted friends and bring a lawyer on board at the contract signing stage.