In order to sell your house without a Realtor it’s vital to have the right information so that you obtain the price you desire. At first it may seem like a challenge to sell your house by owner or in other words yourself but thousands of people do it every month. Once you understand the process it’s actually very doable.
Why sell your house “by owner”?
The single most common reason to sell your house by owner is to avoid having to pay the real estate commission. The typical real estate commission is six percent of the sales price. This is why home sellers often attempt to sell their homes without a real estate agent, so it’s simply a matter of cost.
5 important things to consider when selling a house by owner:
Step 1: Determine the fair market value of your home.
If you price the house too low you’ll walk away with less cash on the sale than you should. However, if you price it too high the house can sit for months without selling.
You can use online real estate valuation sites like Zillow.com (search using Zestimate) and Trulia. However, keep in mind that they are ONLY estimates. Other factors like the condition of the house and whether the house is updated or not can significantly influence the estimate.
Hire a licensed appraiser. This option will give you the most accurate estimate of the value of your property. You can also use the appraisal as a basis of valuation when negotiating the sales price with the buyers.
Step 2: Prepare the home for sale.
You’ll want to walk the house yourself and think of it in the eyes of a buyer. Ask yourself, “If I were going to buy this house, what wouldn’t I like about it?”. Does it have good curb appeal? Does it feel right? So overall consider the general appearance. Once you’ve made these observations then you can start making the needed repairs and small updates to the house.
Step 3: Market the home for sale.
- Get a good yard sign.
- Create sales flyers or brochures so that you can give them to people who look at your home or to those that might show interest. Include interior and exterior photos, property address and your contact info to include phone and email. Also, include property specifics: sale price, room count, description of the neighborhood & school district, etc.
- Advertise the home online: Zillow.com, HomeFinder.com, Facebook, Craigslist, etc.
- Host an open house – Best done on Saturday or Sunday because more people are off work. Advertise the open house well in advance (1 week or more). Set up signs on major roads near the home to help correctly lead people.
Step 4: Negotiate the sale
The buyer may come in with an offer that’s below your asking price. If the initial offer is not acceptable, then you’ll need to negotiate back and forth. With today’s real estate market being in favor of sellers you may also receive multiple offers. Once you agree on a price, the buyer will submit a written offer. As a reference, make sure to have some state specific real estate contracts available to review. You can easily find these by doing a web search.
The contract must include every detail of the sale, including the purchase price, closing concessions, items that will be included in the sale, the closing date, and the location of the closing. The contract should also include contingencies.
Step 5: The Closing
The closing process will be handled by a closing attorney or title agent. Most of the work will be done by the closing agent but you may need to provide certain documents. It is important that you are always available to complete any requests as soon as possible. It’s important to maintain contact with the buyers between the time of contract acceptance and the closing.
What is the biggest obstacle in selling your home yourself?
The biggest obstacle in most transactions is the buyer’s mortgage.
Most mortgage approvals have conditions that must be satisfied between the time of approval and closing. If the buyer is unable to meet even one, the loan approval can be withdrawn.
Selling a house on your own rather than with an agent can be complex. But, if you follow each detail and dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s, you can save thousands of dollars. Many have had a lot of success selling on their own, so can you!