How to Sell Your House Without an Agent
Real estate can be confusing, so when it comes time to sell your house, most people advise finding a licensed real estate agent or Realtor to help you through the complicated process.
But you’re not required to use a real estate agent when selling your house. Before you sell, though, there are a few things you need to know about how to sell your house without a Realtor.
Why Sell By Owner?
There are many reasons why someone may want to sell their house by owner, and one of the most often cited is the savings. If you sell your house without an agent, you don’t have to pay a commission fee.
The flip side, however, is that you’ll end up doing more of the work yourself, including listing the home online, scheduling showings, answering buyers’ questions, and handling negotiations over the price.
If you choose to go at it alone, there are a few things to know about how to sell your house “for sale by owner.” The first thing to consider is how you’re going to market the house.
List Your Home Online
Unless you’re going to rely solely on word-of-mouth advertising, you’ll want to list your home online using the multiple listing service (MLS). The MLS is the online database agents and homebuyers use to search for homes for sale, and it will help your home reach thousands of people. You will need to pay a fee to list your home on the MLS, however, and it’s typically a few hundred dollars.
Be Ready to Negotiate
When buyers (and occasionally agents) see a home that’s for sale by owner, sometimes they see it as an opportunity to take advantage of the seller.
They may try to give you a lowball offer because they see you as an inexperienced seller who doesn’t know any better. So be prepared to do your research and determine a fair price for your home upfront, then get ready to negotiate to get the most money possible for your home.
Handle the Paperwork
Another aspect of the home selling process you’ll have to deal with yourself is all the contracts and paperwork.
Because many people don’t want to mess with the paperwork themselves, you can hire an attorney to help you with it. But, of course, hiring an attorney will cost money, and you’ll have to consider how much you’re willing to spend when selling your house yourself.
Selling your home without a real estate agent has its advantages and disadvantages—you may save some money by avoiding paying a commission, but you also have to work a lot harder to do everything yourself. And if you decide you do need an agent’s help, be sure to give your local real estate office a call.