Thinking about avoiding commission fees and selling your own home? We’re here to tell you that it’s possible!
Selling a house takes a lot of work and you’ll need to be ready if you’re up for the task to sell without a realtor. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide below to get you started.
What Do Listing Agents Do?
A listing agent is a professional who represents the seller of a home and guides you through the entire selling process. They list homes for sale on the regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS), market your home, hold open houses, negotiate with buyers, and oversee the home inspection process and closing procedures.
If your home sells, listing agents receive a commission of 5% to 6% of the price of your home (split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent).
How Do I Sell Without a Realtor?
Having a listing agent is not necessary to sell your own home. In the real estate business, this is known as FSBO or For Sale By Owner. According to the National Association of Realtors, FSBOs accounted for 7% of homes sold in the U.S. in 2017.
Here are the basic steps to sell your property without realtor help:
Step 1: Prepare Your Home
You can’t take pictures for marketing or have an open house if your home is a mess. Make sure to clean your home and remove things you don’t want potential buyers seeing.
Rent a storage space to prepare to sell your home. Try to organize your home as much as possible and put the clutter and things you don’t need into a storage unit. You can make it easier by renting a portable unit to bring to your new home.
Step 2: Price
There are a few things that can help you get an accurate market value price for your home:
- Use a site like Zillow that can give an estimated valuation of your property.
- Hire an appraiser for an accurate estimate of your property’s value.
- Compare your home to others that have sold in the neighborhood.
Step 3: List Your House on MLS
The Multiple Listing Service is a database that provides data about properties for sale. You can list your house on the MLS by paying a flat fee of a few hundred dollars.
Step 4: Market
When you market your home, emphasize its selling features. You’ll want to go into detail about specific features (dimensions, bed/bath, granite countertops, renovations, etc.).
Take photographs of your home to accompany your list of basic and valuable features. Create a website, make ads, and put up signs to show that your home is for sale.
Step 5: Open House
Advertise an open house by posting it online and with signs in your neighborhood. Make sure your home is spotless before showing it off.
Step 6: Negotiate
If someone is interested in buying, an offer will be made. You can negotiate back and forth until both parties are happy with the offer and a contract is signed.
Step 7: Make Sure Your Contract Complies With All Laws
You might want a real estate attorney to look at the contract and review all documents related to the sale. You want everything to comply with local laws.
Should I Sell My Own Home?
If you are on the fence about doing it yourself or decided you want to try to sell without a realtor, research as much as possible and be fully informed about the entire process. Information never hurts!
If you want to read more about the real estate business, check out our blog.