Selling a house isn’t easy.
It’s often a long and arduous process, full of waiting, negotiation, and high emotions. The challenge involved leads many homeowners to solicit the help of a realtor.
Unfortunately, though, their support comes at a cost. Realtors take a percentage of the selling price, meaning hiring one’s never cheap.
That price tag’s one reason you might want to learn how to sell your house without a realtor.
Indeed, growing numbers of sellers are taking the solo approach. Known as ‘for sale by owner’ (FSBO for short), 36% of people now attempt to sell their house in this way. Alas, according to the same source, only 11% of them succeed.
These statistics lead to two obvious conclusions:
- Selling a house without professional support is becoming increasingly popular.
- Succeeding in FSBO attempts is harder than it might seem.
Thankfully, though, it’s far from impossible. Looking to up sticks, sell your home, and move onto new horizons without a realtor in tow? We want to help you do it!
Read on to learn 10 key tips on selling your home without a realtor.
The Role of the Realtor
First thing’s first though:
What does a realtor actually do?
Knowing the answer to this will help you realize if forgoing their support is a good idea or not. As we’ve noted, selling a house solo isn’t easy- many people fail. It’s important to have a grasp of what you’re giving up.
The role of a professional listing agent is varied. They perform a wide range of key functions in the selling process. Here’s a selection of their primary responsibilities:
It’s the realtor’s job to know the state of the local housing market.
They’ll have monitored recent sales and current patterns to understand the value of your home. That, coupled with your objectives and needs, helps them ascertain the best asking price for it.
Pricing is central to the sales process. Set it too high, and you’ll price yourself out of the market. Too low, and you’ll sell sooner, but with less money in your pocket.
Next up, the realtor will inspect the house to highlight any potential problems.
Remember, they’re on your side to help you sell the home. They know what buyers want, and can make sensible recommendations on how to bring your house in line with their desires.
The realtor will pinpoint any issues that need addressing before listing the house for sale. The alternative is to list the house for less than its value, given the problems it has.
Of course, the realtor’s primary role is to put your house on the market.
They’ll create a listing for it, accompanied with professional photos of the interior and exterior. With the listing put together and added to the MLS, they’ll then market the house to potential buyers.
Interested prospective buyers will contact the realtor to arrange a house viewing.
You can sit back and relax while they organize everything for you. Viewings and open house events are taken care of with their support. That’s good news for busy homeowners who want a hands-off role in proceedings.
Negotiation and Closing
The realtor will facilitate the negotiation process as well.
Prospective buyers will make an offer in line with the asking price. The realtor will know which offers are reasonable and which aren’t. Again, which can be useful in ascertaining the best deal possible.
The closing process is also part of the realtor remit. The closing process is a technical affair that involves settlement agencies and legal matters.
Navigating the situation without professional support can be a challenge.
How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor: 10 Key tips
Still determined to take the FSBO approach? The road ahead can seem daunting, but you can do it!
Let’s turn to a selection of tips to help you sell your house successfully, without a realtor.
1. Beautify the Space
To sell your own house you need it to look its very best.
However, this process goes beyond a simple spring cleaning. You need it to looks its best for buyers.
Remember, you want to show buyers the house they could live in. That entails creating a blank canvas, void of your personal touches and tastes. Make the house a clean and uncluttered space, free from personal photos and idiosyncratic features and furnishings.
Work hard to show buyers the space and light that’s available. Larger spaces with lots of natural light will always be more valuable. Remove any mess and unnecessary items.
The same goes for your yard space too. First impressions are of vital importance to wooing prospective buyers.
People form their impressions within seconds, which means your house must impress from the outset. Everything from the lawn and letterbox to the front door and flower beds must be of the highest finish.
2. Decide Your Price
It’s up to you to set the asking price of your home.
Of course, you want to get the best price possible. However, it’s tempting to ask for more than the property’s true value. There’s the danger of pricing yourself out of the market in the process.
Never draw a price out of thin air. Instead, do your research (online and in-person) into the local market. Look around the local area for similar houses for sale- what price are they asking? This HPI calculator from the Federal Housing Finance Agency might help.
Individual circumstances often impact asking price too.
People who need to sell their house in a hurry should set the price lower to attract buyers. Anybody with more time should set the price in line with market trends and wait for the right person to come along.
3. Take Professional Quality Photos
By now, your house is looking great and you’ve settled on a fair and objective asking price.
The next step is to set about listing it for sale. To do that, you want to have some quality photos taken of the space. People are visual by nature, which means photos are key to attracting buyers’ attention.
Online and/or physical ads are augmented by quality photography. After all, a picture says a thousand words! Do your home a favor and take the best photos possible of its interior and exterior.
Failure to do this will hinder your chances of attracting prospective buyers.
4. Know Your USP(s)
The trick to creating great listings is understanding a home’s unique selling points.
In other words, you need to highlight what makes your house special. What will people love about living in it? What makes your house better than other properties people could be looking at?
Think about its location, size, features, rooms, amenities, local attractions, and so on. You might be close to schools, have easy access to the city, a swimming pool in the garden, ensuite bathrooms, and so on.
Be sure to list and photograph the key selling points on the property. Doing so will pique the attention of anyone on the lookout for a new home.
5. Take Inspiration from Other Listings
It’s time to write the listing itself.
A way with words and a knack for creating quality copy will be an advantage. Nonetheless, it’s often a good idea to look online at examples of professional house listings.
This will provides ideas and insight into the language and verbiage of the real estate industry. That newfound knowledge can then be applied to your own listing.
You could even consider copy and pasting the examples you find on the web. Find a high-quality listing of a home similar to yours and use that text as a template. Edit it according to your own specific house.
The end result should be a personalized listing that meets professional standards.
6. List on the MLS
Realtors list all houses on the MLS to help source would-be buyers.
There’s no legal obligation to do it, though, meaning FSBO sellers needn’t take the same approach. However, assuming the cost involved isn’t a total stumbling block, listing on the MLS is a sure-fire way to attract attention.
The MLS is a top marketplace for home buyers and buyers’ agents, which makes it a worthy consideration in your bid to gain exposure.
Chances are that the sign outside your house won’t cut it. You need to get the word out about your house; a flat-fee listing on the MLS is an economical way to do it.
7. ist on Private Services
Don’t stop at the MLS though.
Just like attracting business, you can never have enough exposure. The most effective marketing endeavors have extensive reach to relevant audiences.
Be sure to look into private listings on other services too. All sorts of opportunities are out there. For instance, specific FSBO sites let you do it for a price; the cheaper option is to utilize consumer-facing real estate sites.
Of course, Craigslist and social media are further options for getting the word out. You could even think about creating a website to showcase the property online.
Experiment with each and all of these approaches to find a suitable buyer.
8. Showcase the House
Sooner or later, prospective buyers will want to take a tour of your home.
This is what all your hard work has been leading up to. Getting interested people through the door is an essential step to selling the property.
When you hold these viewings is up to you. Now, realtors will often organize tours for a particular weekend, holding them all in a given time frame. Of course, you’re free to do as you please.
We recommend being as flexible as possible, though. Try and bend your schedule to meet that of would-be buyers. After all, it’s in your distinct interest to get them into your home to show it off. More eyes equals more chance of a sale.
Think about holding an open house too. Advertise the event online and in the local area, and allow people to look around. Open houses are a great way of attracting lots of potential buyers at the same time.
Here are some top tips on showing your home to would-be buyers.
9. Improve Your Negotiation Capabilities
Without a realtor, you’re in sole charge of negotiating the price of your house.
Now, you might end up negotiating with buyers’ agents who do this for a living! Getting a fair price isn’t easy when you’re new to the game. Avoid disaster by learning some basic negotiating skills ahead of time.
Set your rules for engagement too. Know the lowest price you’re willing to accept and commit to it. You’re guaranteed to get some low-ball offers; having your financial requirements set in stone, in advance, will help field them.
10. Be Patient
Being in a hurry to sell is a recipe for losing money.
It’s natural. Anybody eager to leave is more likely to accept the first offer that comes their way. It’s a buyer’s dream- they get a house at a bargain price.
If there’s no external impetus for a quick sale, then exercise patience. The state of the market doesn’t matter, sooner or later somebody will come along with a fair deal. Biding your time is better for your bank balance in the long run.
Patience comes in handy for overcoming inevitable house-sale hiccups as well. All sorts of problems can arise. The perfect buyer might drop out at the last minute, putting a seller right back at square one. Patience is key to perseverance.
Time to Wrap Up
More and more people are seeking to cut costs and sell their house without a realtor.
Unfortunately, though, the process of doing so is often easier said than done. Evidence of that fact comes from the low success rates of those who try.
Knowing how to sell your house without a realtor is crucial. Hopefully, this post has provided sufficient insight into the process to make it happen.
Want support listing your home? Contact us today to find out how we can help.