Do you really need a Realtor or real estate agent? It’s a question a lot of people ask themselves when thinking about selling the house. There are a lot of costs involved in the sale process. The average U.S. homeowner will spend around $18,342 to sell their home, per Zillow. A large percentage of that is the fee the Realtor takes for helping you sell. If you’re looking to cut costs but still sell your property, you can sell it as-is for cash to a real estate investor or you can do a For Sale By Owner transaction. If you decide to take your home to the open market by yourself, here are five tips for selling a house without a Realtor.
How to Sell Your House By Owner
Determine Your House’s Value
Selling a house on your own means you’re going to have to handle a lot of different aspects of the process, so the fewer headaches you can create upfront, the better. So it’s absolutely vital that you price the house correctly when you list it. If you start with a price that’s too high, you’re going to end up sitting on the market for way longer than you’d hoped. If you price too low, you’ll end up with less profit than you could have made.
There are a few different ways to do this. First, you can use online sites that contain local real estate values to guide you. Use their price estimates to get in the right range and then see how similar homes in your neighborhood have sold for recently. You’ll get a good sense of actual value vs. perceived value.
You could also reach out to a Realtor or real estate agent to get a competitive market analysis. They will likely do this for free but know that they are doing it with the hope of listing your home, so expect to get a sales pitch as well.
If you can afford to, hire a licensed appraiser to give you a fairly accurate estimate of your property’s value. An appraiser’s report is also helpful when it’s time to negotiate. It will probably cost between $300 and $500. Also, keep in mind that the buyer’s mortgage company will want their own appraisal, so a second one will be necessary.
Get Your House Sale-Ready
You might be ready to sell your house but is your house ready to be sold? Is this home in prime condition for someone else to look at it and decide they want to live here? Have you put your best foot forward in presentation and aspirational appearance to ensure that buyers will start making you offers?
Every problem inside and around your house is going to be magnified in the sales process, so it’s important to get on it now. The more work you do at this stage, the less likely you’ll have to drop the price later on or handle repairs yourself in order to please the buyer through concessions.
In the house, make any and all repairs you can yourself. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, sticky window, or electric outlet that isn’t working. If you can do it yourself, do it. You might be okay dealing with a broken dishwasher or garage door opener that doesn’t always work, but you don’t want to give buyers any reasons to consider another house where everything works fine.
Don’t Forget About Curb Appeal
This is also a really good time to consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the house and toning down any loud colors with something more neutral. Don’t skimp on the decluttering and don’t just throw everything in a closet and hope for the best. Get in the attic, basement, and garage and give them all a good clean.
You also want curb appeal to be as enticing as it can be. Consider power-washing the exterior, improving the landscaping, mowing the lawn, painting fences, and anything else that will make potential buyers who drive past the property want to stop and look around.
Market Your Home Well
Curb appeal and online listings are all well and good, but you’re probably going to need more than that to sell your house without a Realtor. They would normally handle this aspect of the process but since you’re selling on your own, it’s up to you to make sure your house is marketed well.
Make sure you’re investing in yard signs and placing them in areas where they are highly visible from cars and pedestrians walking by. Consider creating brochures that you can place inside the house as well as out in the community. Advertise the house online via popular real estate sites and places like Craigslist and Facebook. And, of course, start scheduling your own open house.
All of these things that a lot of planning and preparation. They’ll also cost money, depending on how much you want to invest in marketing and advertising efforts.
Negotiation & Closing
Once you’re able to get some potential buyers interested in your house, negotiations can begin. A Realtor or real estate agent would normally be the intermediary for this process, but in this situation, it’s up to you.
The buyer or their agent will probably come to you at a lower price than what you are asking, so you need to be comfortable with the negotiation process. There will be a give-and-take that needs to happen on both sides to close the deal and make sure everyone is happy with the final price. You also have to be firm enough to be able to walk away if the buyer isn’t willing to meet you at your minimum price.
Once negotiations are complete, you have to make the offer to buy the house a legal transaction. The closing contract will spell out all of the details and specifics that are a part of the deal. That includes purchase price, contingencies (inspections, lender approval), buyer and seller concessions, the closing date, and the location of the closing.
Depending on where you live, there might be specific laws about where the closing needs to happen. A closing agent will be involved at this point to help handle many of these details, though you’ll be expected to be able to provide whatever information or fees are needed. And don’t forget about closing costs, which will need to be paid for before closing ends. The specific amount of closing costs will be determined by the negotiations of the sale, not to mention local laws.
Instead, Sell Your House As-Is for Cash
Selling a house without a Realtor or real estate agent can be a daunting and overwhelming process. Even if you feel comfortable handling negotiations and listing the house, there are plenty of other issues and problems that can pop up and cause you headaches.
If you’d like to sell your house without a Realtor but don’t want to deal with the marketplace, you can sell your house as-is to a real estate investor like Jamie Buys Houses. They’ll deal directly with you in a friendly and no-pressure way that makes it simple. First, they’ll come to meet you and assess your property. Then, they’ll make you a fair cash offer. If you agree, you can close in a matter of days and then you hand over the keys no matter the condition of the property. Then you get to move on with your life and don’t have to deal with selling a house on the open market.