How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor (Is it Possible?)

February 21, 2022

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Selling a house is very difficult. So, it may be hard for you to fathom selling a home without a realtor. But you can do it, and many homeowners choose this option. It is tempting to sell your house without a realtor to save money. But when making this decision, this shouldn’t be the only underlying reason for choosing to sell a home yourself. Realtors do make a large chunk of money off selling a house. Reasonably so. They have the skill and insight to put the deal together. They can also advise you on what to do to improve the marketability of your home. Most importantly, they can attempt to close it as fast as possible. Instead of finding a way to cut the middle man out of the deal, your desire to sell your home should center genuinely on your own needs. So, if you are sincere about selling your own home, here are some pointers on how to sell your house without a realtor. 

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Reasons Why You May Want to Sell Your House Without a Realtor

People may want to sell their homes to not go through the ups and downs of working with an agent. Perhaps you have recently heard that a friend was stuck in their home well beyond the 30 to 45 days it usually takes to close on a house. Since time is of the essence, you don’t want to take such a chance and lose out on a great deal for a new place that you want. But, not so fast. Many factors may have caused the slow process with your friend’s house.

Perhaps they didn’t reveal to you that they didn’t take the agent’s advice and get the fixes they needed. Nor did they clear out the house and stage it to sell as they should have. Or maybe your friend converted a part of the house and refused to change it back. Thus, this part of the house is a key selling feature that buyers look for in their area homes. Since there are so many unknowns, you shouldn’t quickly jump on the “I’ll do it myself” bandwagon. At least not right away. Instead, take time to think of a stronger motivator to sell your own home. Here are a few other reasons you may want to sell your home yourself. 

1. You get to control the sale of your home 

Some people take DIY to a whole other level. Not only are they responsible for fixing their home on their own. But they also want to sell their house on their own. This isn’t a bad idea if you do have an idea what to do, and you do need to save money on commissions that you would pay to a realtor.

2. You are your only customer

Another reason you may want to sell your own home is that you can devote your full attention to it. Working with real estate agents, you may find that they are juggling multiple properties at any given time. No realtor will be able to devote as much time to your home as you would be able to. So, selling your home yourself could be a good opportunity since you are your one and only customer.

3. Your home could sell faster

A real estate transaction is riddled with complexities. There are various parties involved. Many steps in the process. And many documents to sign. Therefore, the process could take much longer than you want. Therefore, taking matters into your hand, and selling a house directly to a buyer make much more sense. 

While there are advantages to selling a home yourself, you have to be aware of some disadvantages. Here are some things that may not be so pleasant when selling your house yourself.

Reasons Why You Wouldn’t Sell Without a Realtor

You don’t have any support 

Unless you know real estate agents, you probably won’t have any help in the selling process. Not to burst your bubble, but selling isn’t an easy job. And the good thing about working with an agent is that they at least have a point of reference. This is because they have experienced many different types of customers over the years. If this is your first and only sale in your entire life, this experience can be pretty daunting. And when you don’t have answers to questions that buyers are likely to ask, this can be equally frustrating.  

You may make a mistake in pricing your home

Your home is your castle. Therefore you place a high value on it. This is especially true if you make updates to your house. But not all changes that you make in your home have a high return on investment. Some fixes may not have any return on investment. Also, just because you believe that your house is worth $400,000 doesn’t mean that buyers will purchase at that price. They may feel that it’s only worth $350,000 despite all the upgrades you have made.

Without accurate pricing, your home could sit on the market for days or even months with little activity. A real estate agent can provide you with a more accurate price for your home using a comparative market analysis. With this tool, the market determines the price of your house based on comparable prices of others that have recently sold.  Likewise, you may work with an appraiser who may give you a realistic estimate of your home’s worth. But that value still may not be what you should sell it at. So, you could run the risk of underpricing your home and getting substantially less than what buyers would be willing to pay for it. 

You may fail to market your home correctly

There are many great tools on the market that you can use to market your property, including Realtor, Trulia, Redfin, For Sale By Owner, and more. But you compete with plenty of other properties. And if you don’t point out the marketable aspects of your home in the listing, it is possible that buyers won’t show any interest. Additionally, if the images of your home aren’t enticing, you also won’t attract interested buyers. On top of all this, real estate agents may have access to buyers that may never visit any of the home selling sites. Since they are great networkers, they may already know the perfect person for your house without having to go the traditional route. This is something you won’t have to your advantage. 

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Selling Your House As FSBO

You have heard the good and the bad of selling your house as “For Sale By Owner.” Now it’s time to look at some of the ways you could be successful if you decide to go this route. 

Price Your House To Sell

One of the most important things you will need to do if you plan to sell your home yourself is to price it correctly. Home value estimator sites, such as Zillow, Realtor, and Redfin, can help you get a general idea of how much your house is worth. While many of these sites are an excellent place to start, they may be off with values by as much as 10 percent. Therefore, it may be a good idea to pay an appraiser to value your home to get more accurate results. Unfortunately, the appraised value may not be the most precise, either. But between this and the estimates from value estimator sites, you can probably attain an accurate average.

Stage It To Sell

When it comes to selling your home, less is more. In other words, the less clutter you have in your house, the more likely you are to attract buyers. It is a good idea to make your home appeal to the buyer’s needs by getting rid of those things that could distract them, such as personalized items. Your goal is to sell your house, not to potentially reconnect with high school or college buddies who noticed images of you and your family and only want to talk to you about the past.

Buyers may become too distracted to buy when you leave too much personal stuff out during showings. Even though you may be a staunch DIYer, it may help to hire someone to help you stage your house effectively. They will encourage you to put away the excess, perhaps in off-site storage, until you close on the house. Home stagers will also encourage you to fix your curb appeal by improving your landscaping and giving the exterior a good cleaning or painting if necessary.

Take Great Photos 

After taking the time to stage your home correctly, it is a great idea to take great photos. Some phones on the market take superb images. However, it may be a good idea to solicit the help of a photographer who knows how to take real estate photos. Professional photographers will not only just take pictures. They also will know how to capture the lighting in a way that will make the images come alive and appeal to customers.

Make the Listing Mouthwatering

Do you know the tingling sensation that you feel on your tongue when anticipating a delicious meal? While homebuyers aren’t going to be eating what you’re selling, you want to evoke that same type of feeling in them when they read about your house. You want to use words that make your home stand out and irresistible compared to the competition. So, this means that you may want to use words that entice them and lure them to your property. Point out the best selling points about your house. And don’t forget to include some aspects of your neighborhood, including school districts, nearby entertainment, or any other worthwhile factors.

List With the MLS Service

According to the National Association of Realtors, a multiple listing service (MLS) is a handy tool paid for and maintained by real estate agents to share information about properties so they can help their clients buy and sell a property. Unfortunately, you won’t have access to it because you aren’t a realtor. Luckily, you can pay a flat fee to list your home so that potential clients can find you.

Have a Flexible Schedule to Show Your House

What good is it to sell your house For Sale By Owner if you’re not available to show it? If you go this route, it is a good idea to make sure that you are available to show the house when buyers want to see it. Make sure that this is a professional presentation, also. Keep in mind that you are competing with countless other very professional, well-dressed, presentable real estate agents. So, you will need to go out of your way to ensure that you are equally skilled, well-dressed, and presentable so that buyers take you seriously.

If You Don’t Hire Any Other Professionals, At Least Hire an Attorney

Selling your house by yourself will be quite an achievement that you can pat yourself on the back for and possibly scratch it off your bucket list. However, you shouldn’t so staunchly do it yourself that you don’t solicit the help of any professionals, particularly attorneys. An excellent real estate attorney can help guide you through the selling process and help you avoid making mistakes. They may even be able to help you create documents and look over them so that you won’t get scammed by potential buyers. They can also act as your counsel, helping to make sure that you are truthful as possible about essential aspects of your house. Misinterpretation of the facts can still get you into a lot of hot water and potentially get you sued.

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Be Prepared to Negotiate 

As a homeowner selling your home yourself, you may want to accept the first offer your receive. However, if you want to show off your professional skills, you should negotiate the higher price and justify this higher price. It would help if you were also prepared not to budge out of desperation. If a potential buyer offers you a lowball offer, you should prepare to back away from the offer and wait for other potential buyers.

Make Sure You Have All the Proper Documents

Just because you are selling your home yourself doesn’t mean that the paperwork will mysteriously disappear. There will still be a lot of documents that you and your potential buyer will need to sign before you can turn your house over to the buyer. If you are still not convinced that you need an attorney, the paperwork alone should persuade you. Here are some essential documents you should prepare to have ready when selling your house. 

  • Sales contract
  • Title reports
  • Loan documents
  • House deed
  • Home owner’s association agreements
  • Proof of upgrades to your house
  • Property disclosure form

This may not be an exhaustive list of all the forms you should have because each selling circumstance is different. However, these are some basics that you should have with you during the selling process. Again, a real estate attorney will help you collect the proper documents necessary for the transaction.

Selling Your House to a Home Buyers Company

If your home isn’t selling as fast as you like it to, another option is selling it to a home investor company. They may have earned a reputation over the years for helping distressed home buyers. But you will be happy to know that they also help out those having difficulty with the traditional home selling process. For instance, if you have inherited a property and you don’t want to become a landlord, nor do you have the time to try to sell it through traditional means, they can help you get cash for it. Also, if you need to sell your house fast to move to another state or simply because you need to move and don’t want to invest in fixing up your current home, they can help.

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Sarasota Home Buyers doesn’t wish to discourage you from pursuing your dream of selling your home yourself. We don’t even want to prevent you from selling through a traditional real estate agent. Our team just wants to let you know that we are here to provide you with top-quality services should you hit a snag in your home selling journey. We know that sometimes things don’t go as planned. There may be many problems with your home that may require a lot of money to fix.

If you don’t have the time to make the fixes or stage your home to sell, you can work with us. The way our process works is one of our property experts will come out and inspect your home and provide you with an offer on the spot, as-is. We can get you your cash in as little as a week if you accept our offer. To sell your house fast without a realtor in Sarasota using home buyers, contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation and quote and have your cash offer on your home in no time!

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