How to Sell a House Without a Realtor
Realtors usually receive a five to six percent commission on the sale price of your home, which can add a huge, unnecessary expense to your moving bill. If you're already selling your home at a loss, have little home equity, or simply want to save yourself a large sum of money, there are ways to avoid using a realtor and still sell your home at a solid price.
Expect that you'll have to pay for the services of both a real estate attorney and a building inspector in order to sell your home. Otherwise, you'll only need to budget for your marketing costs and any necessary repairs.
Pricing Your Home
The simplest way to set a price for your home is to hire an appraiser. Expect to pay approximately $400 for this service. Otherwise, you can investigate the selling price -- not the listing price -- of comparable homes in your area. You can also browse the Multiple Listing Service for similar houses in the neighborhood. CNN Money recommends that the listing price of your home should be within 10 percent of the price of other homes in the area with the same square footage.
Marketing Without a Realtor
When you're ready to sell your home, be sure to pay for an MLS listing. For a fee of several hundred dollars, websites like forsalebyowner.com, will help home owners create a new MLS listing for their home. MLS listings are available to all realtors. Buyer's agents often use the MLS to search for homes to show their clients.
In addition to buying an MLS listing, don't be afraid to use social media to sell your house. A post about your home on Facebook, a few pictures on Pinterest or even a pithy tweet can help the right person find your home. Local newspapers, Craigslist and community bulletin boards are also great ways to find possible buyers.
Keep in mind that part of the marketing process is responding to inquiries quickly. Try to return all phone calls and emails within 24 hours. Also, make sure your home is ready for a showing at any time. People looking at homes may not have enough time to schedule a showing days in advance.
Showing Your Home
Before soliciting an appraisal or listing your home, complete any necessary, inexpensive repairs and cosmetic fixes that the property requires. Make sure your house is spotless, beds are made and drawers are organized before each showing. Remove clutter. If you must paint the interior, use neutral colors to help buyers envision their own furniture in the room. Turn on the lights in each room before visitors arrive.
People looking for a house may retain the services of a buyer's agent. In these cases, you may want to let the buyer's agent show the home. Potential home buyers may feel too shy to discuss your home with you in it. Be ready to leave your house, and let the buyer's agent lock the house after the showing.
Negotiating the Final Price
Determine the lowest price you'll accept for your home before you begin negotiating. Don't overlook the hidden costs involved in selling your home. Real estate attorneys, home inspections and other closing costs may affect what price you can afford to accept. Of course, once you have an interested party, you can hire a real estate attorney to negotiate for you. Also, if the buyer intends to finance the purchase, your home's sale price cannot exceed the mortgage company's appraised price for the property.
Realtors sell convenience to home sellers. To take the place of a realtor, you must do your own pricing research and marketing. You should also expect to work with buyer's agents, hire a real estate attorney and find a home inspector if necessary. However, if you're willing to work hard to sell your home, you can save the standard six percent commission.
- Make any necessary repairs and changes to your home before you list the property.
- When pricing your home, consider using the services of an appraiser.
- Pay for an MLS listing and be prepared to use social media to your advantage.
- Don't be afraid to work with buyer's agents.
- A real estate attorney can help you negotiate your sale price and oversee the necessary paperwork.