When you choose to sell your home, it’s only sensible to desire the highest return for your investment at closing. When you decide to list your home as a “For Sale By Owner” (referred to as FSBO), it takes dedication and hard work for the sale process to be successful.
By choosing FSBO, you can save tremendously by cutting out the conventional 6 percent commission fee for real estate agents.
It’s important to remember that despite the seller typically paying for both the home buyer and seller agents, an FSBO seller will be able to save 3% off their total by taking this route. However, they may still have to pay an additional 3 percent buyer’s agent commission.
For this and many other reasons, some courageous homeowners opt to sell their property without relying on a listing agent or Realtor.
Homeowners wondering how to sell their own home should understand that it’s a learning process. After all, selling a home isn’t something people do every day. Preparing for what’s ahead will help you get the most money at closing and keep your stress to a minimum.
Selling a House By Yourself vs With a Realtor
Before you take the plunge, sell your house without a Realtor, and go the FSBO route, consider the pros and cons of selling on your own. Here are some points to keep in mind.
Pro: Reduced real estate commission fees
Maximize your profits: Skip the commission fees! You can keep more earnings after closing by forgoing a seller’s agent. On average, this fee is 3% of the home’s sale price- a significant amount that could go into your pocket instead.
Pro: Be in control
Keep the reins in your hands and steer yourself towards success. With no intermediary between you and buyers/agents, you have complete control over which offers to consider and how best to market your home.
Con: Hard work
Selling your residence by yourself can be a daunting process. It’s a full time job.
From prepping and pricing the place to marketing it, showing it off, accepting offers, and managing paperwork – you have to do everything. That can take a lot of time. Comps must be evaluated correctly so an attractive price for buyers is set. Plus, let’s not forget the small details of negotiating.
Con: Less Money
Without a realtor’s assistance, you could miss out on a significant return if you misread the home’s market value and mess up the list price. Selling your home yourself may result in fewer profits than professional help.
Can You Legally Sell Your House By Yourself
You legally sell your house by yourself. As a home seller, you don’t legally need to hire a real estate agent if you wish to sell your home. Although it can get complicated with all the technical steps involved in such transactions, like legal paperwork, many sellers prefer enlisting an agent who will make their lives easier.
How Do You Sell a House By Yourself?
Selling your house without an agent can be challenging, but it’s worth taking on as you gain essential knowledge.
Selling a home isn’t something people often do, so it’s essential to be prepared to maximize your financial return and minimize the stress. Taking proactive steps will help you reach that goal.
If you’re hoping to sell your home yourself, look at this comprehensive guide. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to selling your house by yourself.
Set a price
Accurately pricing a property from the onset is undoubtedly the essential step in selling, regardless of whether you use an agent or attempt to do so independently.
Setting your home’s price too high may discourage potential buyers from even considering your property:
- Hiring a qualified real estate appraiser is essential to understand your home’s worth.
- Checking comparable homes is also a critical part of the home-selling process. Search for similar houses that have recently been sold in your area, and take note of their sale prices and what separates yours from them.
- Utilizing property search websites to uncover data about recently sold homes is also a reliable resource. However, avoid leaning too much on these sites’ evaluations regarding your home’s worth. These estimates can be inaccurate and fail to consider newly-sold properties in the region comparable in age, state, and size as yours is listed.
Prepare your house for the real estate market
Selling your home without the help of a real estate agent can be tedious, so you must get your residence in peak condition for listing photos and showings.
Here are some top-notch tips to get your property ready for sale.
Making a good first impression is essential, and your home’s exterior should be spotless. Keep weeds at bay and add fresh mulch to invigorate the garden beds.
Adorn the entryway or porch with vibrant flower pots, a new welcome mat, and an inviting coat of paint on the front door. These visually appealing touches will give your home a warm and welcoming look that will attract potential buyers.
By ridding yourself of all the unnecessary items, you can maximize your profits and secure the highest sale price in a minimal amount of time.
If you have the financial resources, consider investing in a professional cleaning crew to conduct an extensive cleaning.
To captivate buyers, showcasing polished photographs on the web is necessary. To optimize your home’s online marketing potential, consider enlisting the help of an experienced photographer who can provide a virtual tour service.
Market your home
Trying to sell a house on your own can take time and effort regarding advertising. After the pictures are taken, and you’ve chosen your price, share your home across Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social media pages – this way, potential buyers will spread the word quickly.
Furthermore, consider adding your home to your area’s local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Make sure to schedule an open house and one-on-one sessions with prospective buyers. Enjoy the weekend by hosting your open house on a weekend afternoon.
Field and negotiate offers
When you receive your first offer, it can be an exhilarating experience! If certain aspects of the sale seem unfavorable, don’t worry – a negotiation is always a viable option. You’ll be able to craft and submit a counteroffer to adjust the conditions proposed in the initial agreement.
To maximize your leverage in negotiations, it’s essential to understand what the opposing party desires most. Knowing what motivates them puts you one step ahead of the competition and gives you an advantageous edge.
By offering something beneficial to both parties, you can negotiate a win-win. For example, if they need the close process expedited, ask for a rent-back provision while you search for new housing – this could be incredibly appealing and result in an agreement that works for everyone involved.
Vet your buyer
Before accepting an offer, it’s essential to confirm that the buyer can purchase a house. All potential buyers should provide an up-to-date mortgage preapproval letter from their lender.
Hire an attorney
While it is optional to enlist the help of a lawyer when selling your home, investing in legal counsel can be a sensible decision. By enlisting the services of a real estate attorney, sellers can protect themselves from making costly mistakes and avoid any potential liabilities.
An attorney can be your guiding light in selling a property, assisting you in evaluating offers, drafting closing documents, providing advice on disclosures, and ensuring the entire legal process of selling runs like clockwork.
Closing a deal can be intimidating if you don’t know what to anticipate. In general, these are the steps when you close on the house:
- Sign the final purchase agreement
- Buyer deposits earnest money with a title company you select
- Home inspections
- Title report
- Sign title documents
- Transfer ownership
- Get paid
Benefits of Selling a Home By Owner
Selling a home without the help of a realtor can be arduous and potentially formidable.
As the usage of real estate websites continues to grow and information becomes more accessible online, forgoing a realtor when selling your house is now easier than ever. But this option is certainly worth considering due to its advantages.
The benefits of selling a house by owner:
- Save on real estate agent commissions
- Control the process
- Work with buyers personally
Ways to Sell Your Home By Owner
To maximize your chances of finding a buyer, create listings for your home on numerous virtual platforms. After all, over half of buyers find their homes through the internet.
Placing listings on websites such as Zillow, Trulia, or Craigslist is an excellent starting point. Additionally, posting on social media and sharing with friends can be effective, too – you never know who could help you out.
An MLS database is a powerful tool that enables real estate agents to list, market, and manage properties on behalf of clients. You can choose to pay a flat-rate fee at selected brokerages for them to create an MLS listing for your property.
Using FSBO websites is an effective way to market your home, but you’ll have to cover a cost, whether it be posting the property on the website or listing it in your local MLS.
Choosing to take the “for sale by owner” approach can be a great way to make more money, yet it is also essential that you practice wisdom in your decision-making.
By opting to go FSBO, you could save thousands in broker fees. However, costs and commissions are still associated with a sale of this kind, including the commission charged by the buyer’s agent and any expenses incurred when listing your home on a multiple listing service (MLS).
When you are considering FSBO, it is essential to evaluate the potential savings against the work of advertising and selling your home. Furthermore, there should be an honest assessment of whether or not you have sufficient skills to perform these tasks successfully.