Selling a home without an agent is completely possible, but it poses some difficult challenges that not all people are ready to face. In the 21st century it’s easier than ever to find buyers for a home, but the process can still be challenging. This article is ideal for people who want to take on the exciting task of selling a home without an agent.
1. Be aware of all available options and decide where to list the property.
In the old days, selling a home without an agent was a lot more straightforward. People might have put a sign on the front lawn, put an ad in the newspaper and waited for the phone to ring. Some people say that things were easier back then, but today there are a multitude of new options that can introduce homes to potential buyers.
One of the most popular ways to sell a home without an agent in the modern age is using a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) website. These sites allow people to list their homes on the internet for a fixed price. They usually charge a couple hundred dollars, which may seem expensive. However, it’s important to remember that the commission a real estate agent charges will probably amount to a lot more than that. Although real estate agents can charge a hefty fee for their services, many people feel the convenience is worth the extra money.
Choosing which site to list the home on is an excellent first step to selling a home without an agent. FSBO websites allow buyers to browse through photos of homes and read descriptions put up by individual sellers. They offer a close-up view of the interior of the house and give buyers the opportunity to send emails to ask questions.
When deciding to list a home on a FSBO site, it’s important to conduct proper research and choose the site with the best ratings and rates. It’s best to choose a site that has high rates of seller satisfaction. Also, it’s important to select a site with a proven track record of selling homes. Once a seller has decided which site to list the home on, it’s time to move to the next step.
2. Decide on a reasonable price by conducting research about the local real estate market.
The next step is to determine the best price to list the house at. It’s important to offer a fair price for buyers in order to keep their interest. If they see the house is far more expensive than the competition, they’ll quickly lose interest in most cases.
There are many websites that list the property values of houses in an area. In fact, FSBO sites are an excellent way to research the competition and decide on a reasonable rate. It’s important to catch the interest of buyers with an enticing price, but it’s also integral to not list the house at too low of a price and risk losing money.
After deciding on a list price, the house is one step closer to being ready to list. It’s important to keep in mind that professional real estate agents will often list homes for more than they intend on selling them for, but not too much more. This gives buyers room to make an offer and settle on a price they’re more comfortable with.
Some buyers find it troublesome to research local home prices or don’t know where to look. If this is the case, contacting a real estate agent will eliminate the need to do research and make the process much simpler.
3. Thoroughly clean and repair the home.
When preparing to sell a house, it’s imperative to clean every surface and make it presentable for buyers. People will want to see clean, well-kept photos when viewing the home on FSBO sites. They’ll want to visit a house free of strange odors or broken down appliances when they come to view it.
All the floors and walls should be thoroughly cleaned. Sellers should consider painting the walls and removing old wallpaper and rugs if necessary. Anything that doesn’t add to the house should be removed. This is also a good time to remove all the unwanted furniture and appliances, to create a feeling of neatness for potential buyers.
After the house is thoroughly scrubbed, vacuumed, swept and repaired it will be ready for the next step.
4. Take a wide variety of photos of the house to list on the internet.
Potential buyers will want to see photos of every nook and cranny of the house. They’ll want to see multiple shots of every room, as well as photos of all potential issues. It’s also a good idea to take detailed photos of the property surrounding the house. Sellers should emphasize the positive things about the house and aim to give buyers a good feeling about the property. It’s wise to take photos on a sunny day in good lighting to capture a positive mood.
It can be difficult to know what angles to take photos from, what lighting to look for, or how to make a house look good in photos overall. Sellers having difficulty in this step may find the expertise of a real estate agent helpful.
5. Consider purchasing yard signs and listing the house in the newspaper.
Although these techniques might seem old fashioned, many people still have success by listing their house in the real estate section of the newspaper. Listing the house in the paper with one good photo of the outside allows curious buyers to contact the seller with questions and potentially arrange a tour. Putting a sign in the front yard lets every person who drives by know that the house is available for sale, and word may spread quickly. For example, a mother who knows her son is looking for a new house may stop and write the phone number from the sign down and pass it on to her son.
6. List the house on a FSBO site, and consider investing in extras.
A real estate agent could advertise a house on their own website and help it reach a wide audience. Instead, sellers who choose to sell their homes without an agent often rely on FSBO sites to find potential buyers. FSBO sites are very useful but sometimes it’s necessary to invest in extras in order to successfully sell a house. For example, FSBO sites often offer their own lawn signs for an extra fee. It may seem inconvenient to pay the fee, but the lawn sign with the company’s information on it can make it easier to find potential buyers.
7. Contact a real estate attorney.
A real estate agent can be extremely helpful with details such as loan agreements, negotiating the contract to sell the house and writing a purchase agreement. Hiring a real estate agent can make the process of selling a home a lot simpler. However, real estate attorneys offer many of the same services and can be very helpful when selling a home. Sellers choosing to take matters into their own hands will find it necessary to contact a real estate attorney before finalizing the sale. It’s best to contact one early in order to be ready at a moment’s notice in case a potential buyer wants to move forward.
8. Always be available to potential buyers to show the home.
It’s imperative for sellers to cater to their buyers entirely at this stage. If they want to come see the house in the middle of the workday, denying them the opportunity could sabotage the sale. Hiring a real estate agent during this integral stage could make the process a lot less stressful. Real estate agents take on the burden of showing the house to potential buyers and prevent sellers from having to interrupt their schedules.
9. Wait for the right buyer to choose to buy the home.
Selling a home without a real estate agent can take longer because sellers are waiting for buyers to come to them. Also, real estate agents can often reach a wider audience and know what sorts of buyers to show the home to. If the right buyer doesn’t come along after 60 days, sellers should consider lowering the price.
10. Close the sale alongside a real estate attorney.
In the absence of a real estate agent, real estate attorneys can help sellers make sure they’re doing everything properly. The purchase agreement and sale agreements should be reviewed carefully before the sale goes through. The closing process can also be assisted by a title company if necessary.
Sellers who choose to sell their homes without assistance should be aware that they’re undertaking a potentially long and difficult journey. The process can be rewarding and can ultimately save a lot of money on real estate fees. However, it’s not for everyone and some people would be better off hiring a real estate agent to take care of the tedious steps of the process of selling a home.