David Trouville. Oct 2020.
So, you’d like to sell your house and you’re not overly keen on paying an enormous 6% realtors commission. Welcome to the club! Thousands of for sale by owner (fsbo) properties are listed by home owners everyday. Selling a house on your own will require time, effort, and a little industry knowledge, but the results could be spectacular. If you’d like to try your luck and get your house sold ASAP to the highest bidder, follow the steps below to learn how to sell a house without a realtor and let us know your results in the comments.
- Set a realistic price for your property from the start. Setting a realistic price for your house from day 1 can help you avoid the dreaded “house price drop” notifications which screams DISTRESSED SELLER to potential buyers. Regular price drops are a sure fire way to have every bargain hunter within 300 miles of you ringing your phone off the hook looking for a below market deal. You don’t need to hire an appraiser, all you need to do is find 6 comparable houses nearby your subject property that have sold recently. Try to stick with houses that have been sold within the past 3 months, have a similar square footage to your house, are in a similar condition, have a similar year of build, and are on a similar sized lot to yours.
- Clean-up your house, take some great photos, and write an awesome description before posting online. This speaks for itself. You are convincing a potential buyer to buy a product. You now have your salesman hat on so act like a salesman. Know your house, the market, current trends, and be ready to answer any tough questions from potential buyers. If your house seems enticing to a small family or a newly married couple, make sure you know the local school system, public transport, and even friendly neighbors who can be critical to some home owners.
- Get your house listing out amongst the masses. Get a sign up in the front yard, list the property on Zillow or Realtor as an FSBO, put it on Craigslist, market it to investors through Bigger Pockets, and in the listing, make sure you offer local realtors a buyers commission to bring in more interest. Buyers commission can be negotiated from the industry standard of 6% down to a figure more within your budget.
- Have a great Escrow Agent and Title Company to partner with. Ring local closing companies and let them know your plans. They are in the business of transferring property from party A to party B with minimum hassles and trouble. They’ll be more than happy to help you out in order to get your business.
- Make sure you complete an honest sellers disclosure. Some states laws demand a house seller provide a sellers disclosure to a potential buyer.
- Get a purchase agreement from an attorney. This one sounds expensive but it needn’t be. You can find a generic purchase agreement online which an attorney can edit and review. All attorneys are not the same when it comes to particular skillsets, but most experienced attorneys can give you a price before taking on the job. If you decide to post your house on a website like FSBO.com they also provide a paid service where a realtor can look over aspects of your house & paperwork fairly cheaply.
- Confirm whether a buyer can afford the house. There isn’t much point in spending hours negotiating with a prospective buyer only to discover they do not have the funds or pre-approval required to close. Tire kickers and real estate enthusiasts can take up an awful lot of your time. There’s no need to demand evidence of funds at first point of contact, subtly is the key here. A couple of quick exploratory questions in regular conversation will suffice initially.
- Prepare for problems but don’t let them derail your sale. Most houses are sold through a realtor. This is because most reputable realtors have experienced common house selling problems and have immediate solutions on hand. This is now your job so when an issue arises, find a solution before going off the edge. Keep in mind that for every problem in the real estate industry, there is nearly always a solution.
- Be patient! Some sales, especially for boutique type houses or rural properties, take time to sell. When valuing your house (tip 1), take note of how long each comparable property was listed for until it sold. This will give you a rough estimate of how long you should expect your property to sit on the market for.
- Hold an open house and show your home. We are putting our salesman hats on again here. Be polite, talkative, informative, and lose any sense of annoyance you may feel by having people in your house. Open houses can be taxing but keep in mind that one of the people annoying you maybe ready to hand you a very large check.
- Prepare yourself, you are now the lead negotiator. Prospective buyers can, and will, throw all sorts of curveballs at you. Know your talking points, your bottom line, and be prepared to say no.
- Be ready to neglect talking points which maybe important to you. The house you are selling may have been in your family for years and hold a lot of sentimental value. To you and your family, this could be a very emotional sale but beware, emotion should play no part in your negotiations. When it comes to buying and selling houses, most of the time, money talks. The number count here and should be at the forefront of the negotiations.
- Last, but certainly not least, stay optimistic. Quite simply, if your house is priced correctly, it will sell.