While selling a home can be time-consuming and challenging, many homeowners opt to sell properties without the help of a real estate agent. This yields significant cost savings as they do not have to pay brokerage fees, often 4% to 6 % of the total home sale amount. If you are thinking about selling your house on your own, here are eight practical tips to get you started.
1. Hire a real estate attorney
One of the most significant challenges about selling a house without a realtor is handling all the paperwork. Consider hiring a real estate attorney to keep you up to speed with the legal documents and contracts you will need to close a deal. You do not want certain paperwork aspects to keep you from finalizing a sale. Some crucial documents you need to close a sale independently include:
- Home assessment
- The real estate purchase contract
- The homeowner’s insurance statement
- A preliminary title statement
- Current mortgage report
- A mandatory disclosure
- House title deed
An attorney familiar with sales by owner can also help field offers and assist you in drawing the sales contract and arranging for the closing date.
2. Price your home right
Setting the correct price before listing your home is crucial to selling your house fast and getting the most out of your sale. If you overprice, the house could stay in the market for months without getting an offer. If you price it too low, you will walk away with less money from the sale. Here are tips for setting the right asking price for your home:
- Obtain a competitive market analysis
A reputable real estate agent can perform a detailed analysis of your house compared to competitive homes in your location. They will then provide you with a reliable estimate of the value of your home. You do not have to worry about incurring any fees as most realtors offer this service for free.
- Pay for an independent home appraisal
The most effective way to estimate your home’s value is by getting an appraisal from a licensed appraiser. Appraisers consider the location, size, and condition of your home, among other factors, to give reliable estimates of the worth of your property.
- Use online home valuation websites
Websites such as Trulia and Zillow can estimate your home’s value. While the forecast may not be accurate (it can be off by hundreds of dollars), it can help determine pricing and marketing trends.
3. Prepare the house for sale
Before listing your home, you should ascertain that it is ready for sale. View your house from a buyer’s perspective to determine what you would not like about the home. This will help you make adjustments to make your home ready for viewings. The following are ways to enhance the first impression of your house:
- Take care of minor repairs: This includes fixing the loose door knobs and handles, leaking faucets, lights, and electrical switches that do not function properly, and caulking doors and windows.
- Deep clean the house: Along with your usual house cleaning, ensure that you wash appliances and windows, clean the baseboards, wipe the light fixtures, and shampoo the carpets. You could even hire professional cleaners to ensure that you do not overlook specific areas.
- Enhance curb appeal: Spruce up your home’s exterior by planting flowers, adding a fresh coat of paint to your front door, investing in a new mailbox, and maintaining the lawn
- Paint the home’s exterior and interior with neutral colors
- Depersonalize the space by storing memorabilia and family photos away
- Decluttering the basement, attic, garage, and closets
4. Market the house
Help prospective homebuyers find your listing by investing in an effective real estate marketing strategy. You could post a yard sign, host open houses, advertise your home on online websites or local newspapers, and create sales brochures and flyers. Ensure that you are consistent with your marketing strategy and that your ads are accompanied by high-quality videos and pictures.
Your descriptions should also be clear and engaging, highlighting critical features such as previous renovations, the property’s location, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and the home’s architectural features or focal points, including water features, crown molding, fireplaces, basements, and closet organizers.
5. Avoid being emotional
Letting go of a place you have made fond memories with your family can be an emotional struggle. However, a home sale is a business transaction, so you should put your emotions in check so you can be objective when negotiating with prospective buyers.
6. Be available
Once you list your house in the market, ensure that you are always available to host showings and return emails and phone calls. If potential buyers cannot get hold of you or if you keep turning away showings, they will move on to other homes in your neighborhood.
7. Find a buyer with commitment
An effective way to speed up your home selling process, especially when working without a real estate agent, is by looking for a prospective homebuyer whose lenders have already verified their loan application documents. Compared to buyers prequalified for mortgages, meaning that the lending company has just checked their credit history, homebuyers with mortgage commitment are further along in the loan application process, reducing the chances of sales falling through.
8. Sell to an investor
One of the easiest ways to sell your house without a realtor is by selling it to an investor. Investors will purchase your home for cash, eliminating the risk of a sale falling through due to a lack of lender financing or a prospective homebuyer deciding they are no longer interested in your property when handling paperwork.
Investors also buy homes as-is. This means that you will not go through the hassle of handling home improvements and repairs to make the property more attractive.
While selling your home on your own is an excellent money-saving opportunity, it requires effort and work. Implement the above strategies to make your home selling process without a realtor more manageable.