When selling your house, you do not have to sell it through a real estate agent. You can go for another option and list the home for sale by the owner (FSBO). In 2019, 11% of house owners opted to sell their property away from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Opting to sell a house without an agent saves you money as you do not have to pay agent fees.
Reasons for Selling a Property without a Real Estate Agent
Selling your house through an agent will cost you 3%-6% of the property’s total sale in agent fees. Therefore, choosing to sell the house by yourself will save you thousands of dollars since you will not pay any agent fees.
For sale by owner, houses sell more quickly than those sold through an agent. In its 2019 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the National Association of Realtors says that most homes sold by the owners sell within two weeks. The reason is that the owners’ homes are sold to acquaintances such as neighbors, work colleagues, friends, and family.
How to Sell your House without an Agent
Here is a simple guide on selling your house on your own.
1. Prepare your House
You need to prepare your house before listing it thoroughly. The first step is to declutter the home. Decluttering helps get rid of your personality in the house; you’ll want the potential buyers to picture themselves living in the home. Remove items that depict your presence, such as family photographs, and store them in storage areas, locked closets, or off-site storage units. This is also an opportunity for you to give away or sell items that are no longer useful.
After decluttering, give the house a thorough clean, most preferably through professional home cleaning. Cleaning the house will help bring back some color on worn-out floor tiles and restore the shine on the windows, doors, and walls.
The next step is to improve the appearance of the interior. Repaint interior walls in neutral colors and rearrange the furniture to accentuate smaller spaces and fill large ones. You can also replace outdated fixtures or appliances and add impersonal items such as decorative candles and area rugs. Do not forget about the outer side of the house. Enhance curb appeal by tending to your lawn. You can apply fresh gravel and mulch on a lawn and flower bed, respectively, to enhance their appearance.
2. Set your Price after Researching the Market
Before setting the list price, run an objective analysis of the local housing market. Do not let your emotions interfere with this exercise; do not give value to your emotional attachment to the home. Review recently sold homes similar to yours to know how to price your home. Look for homes with similar lot sizes, bathroom and bedroom count, and square footage.
After obtaining the information, set a list price reflecting your time horizon and objectives. Your reason for selling the house will also determine the list price. If you are relocating to another city for work reasons, you can price at a lower cost to sell fast. However, if you have time to wait, set a higher price and wait for a suitable buyer.
3. Gather Information Necessary for the Listing
Home Data – Includes year built, lot size, parking arrangements, HVAC system configuration, bathroom and bedroom count, and finished interior square footage.
Photos – Photos of your home can positively or negatively affect your listing. The best thing to do is to hire a professional photographer to do this. Ensure that you have a photo of every room and hallway, without forgetting multiple outbuilding and exterior photos.
• Yard Signs
Every house that is being offered for sale has a yard sign at the front. Yard signs are sold in office supply stores, but you can have one customized for you.
• Brochures and Flyers
Enlist the services of a professional graphic designer in making the brochures. They have to be eye-catching to make someone want to know more about its contents. Apart from a brief description of the house, it also includes several photos of the home’s interior and exterior. Do not forget to include the property address, phone number, and email address.
• Online Advertising
You can advertise your house on popular websites that deal with property sales. Your neighborhood social media page, such as Facebook, is another place to advertise.
• Host an Open House
An open house event is where you open your house for public viewing—plan to do this during weekends when there is pleasant weather. Advertise the open house a week before holding the event, and set up signs to direct people to the property.
5. Negotiate and Close
When you sell a house without an agent, you have to do all the negotiating and closing the sale. Therefore, brush on your negotiating skills to ensure that you obtain the best terms and price. When you agree, enter into a formal contract and have the buyer deposit the money in escrow in your chosen title company. Frequently communicate with the title company to ensure that things progress as planned; title insurance, appraisal, and property inspection.
It is possible to sell house without agent, a cheaper and more accessible option for many home sellers. If you choose to sell on your own, value your property accurately and learn more about what homebuyers in your area want.