Steps to sell your house without a Realtor
How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor
The first and most important step in selling a house without the help of an agent or Realtor is to become as familiar as possible with the law and regulations in your state regarding real estate transactions.
The Details Are Key
There are paperwork requirements, tax ramifications, schedules, due dates and a host of other things that are essential to the sale of a home. Professionals know these things because it is part of their job, but a “for sale by owner” transaction is managed by people who may have little or no first-hand knowledge of the process. Research is absolutely crucial.
Get the Paperwork Organized
There’s a document for everything related to your house. Have them all in one place before someone asks to look at them. Not having these items together will bring any sale to a screeching halt, so this is one step you can’t overlook.
Get the House Ready and Price It
Start with the functional stuff. Do all of the fixtures work. Are the pipes intact? Any leaks, missing switches, rattling doorknobs, cracked windows, screens, closet doors, etc. that need attention? The house has to work before it can be sold. Then you should consider how it looks. A new driveway, new roof, new paint, new garage door, etc. will each likely add twice their cost in the value of the home when sold. Don’t forget the yard, trees and grass either. Landscaping is a trivial expense compared to the value it adds.
It is almost always a good idea to have an independent appraisal done and documented before you price the house. That will give you important backup to the average prices of homes in your neighborhood should negotiations get intense.
Use the Multiple Listing Service
Realtors and agents used to have a monopoly on this marketing tool. But owners can now access the same power to get homes in front of people for a small fee. Don’t miss out on this important resource. It is still the primary channel for home sales and marketing.
Get a real estate attorney. Even if it is expensive, get one anyway. Even if they don’t engage in the negotiations first-hand, get one anyway. Having a neutral third-party there to look over any potential offers is a good idea, because as an owner of the house, you are likely too emotionally connected to the transaction to clearly consider all of the details of the deal. Also be sure to take your time. Give the deal a chance to breathe. In the long run it will work out better for both buyer and seller.
This is where the rest of the paperwork comes in. This is also where you will be thankful you followed the advice to get a real estate attorney because filing the paperwork for a close on a home sale is a highly detailed and exacting process that is not tolerant of mistakes or tardiness.
Selling a home on your own is by no means an impossible process, but it is one that might be just unfamiliar enough to non-professionals to be difficult to manage and expensive in the event of an overlooked detail or mistake. Planning and research are the best preparations and being sure all the bases are covered is the best way to complete a successful deal.