Sell a House Without a Realtor
You can save thousands of dollars in realtor commissions if you decide to sell your house
without the help of a real estate agent. It's becoming a popular solution in the current
housing market, but you should know that it isn't an easy one.
Without a knowledgeable Realtor to guide you through the process, you'll have to hone your
knowledge of the housing market in your area, lending practices, loan availability and
requirements for a home sale. You'll need to brush up your negotiation and people skills,
and clear time in your schedule to be available to show your house. If all of that hasn't
discouraged you, read on for some tips on how to sell your house without a Realtor.
Price Your House Right From The Start
Realtors say that listing a home for sale at a price more than a few percentage points above
other recent sales in the neighborhood is one of the biggest reasons that properties don't sell.
Find out the home valuation in your area for homes similar to yours to see what the market is like. Remember
that location is a key factor in pricing. Owning the 'nicest house in the neighborhood' may feel
good as an owner, but it isn't likely to get you a much better selling price.
Invest In Repairs, Not Improvements
When you're getting your house ready to sell, concentrate on making repairs, not improvements.
Even the most valuable improvements will only reflect about 90% of your investment in an increase
in the selling price. Instead of adding a bathroom or bedroom, invest in a fresh coat of paint for
all the rooms, or replace a worn carpet. Spruce up the outside to be inviting and attractive from
the curb. The first impression that your house makes is likely to be the most lasting one.
For Sale signs are only one option for advertising your house for sale. Newspaper ads, open
nationwide MLS flat fee listing network are just some of the other options that you can use to get the
word out that you're selling your house.
It's an unfortunate but sad fact of life that there are people targeting homes for sale as easy
targets for theft and worse. Make sure that you get phone numbers and check them before agreeing
to show your house to a stranger. If at all possible, never show your house without another person
in the house with you.
Use Your Showings To Interview Buyers
Don't forget that showings aren't just for the buyers. Use the opportunity to ask questions of
prospective buyers as well. "Have you secured financing?", "When are you planning on moving?",
"What sort of terms are you hoping to get?". The answers to questions like those will help you
weed out browsers who have no intention of buying, and keep you from wasting your time.
It's very important that you be available to take calls and show your house to prospective buyers.
Once you list your house, set aside a few hours a day during which you can make appointments for
While your house is on the market, keep it in 'show' condition at all times. Beds made, dishes
cleared from sinks and counters, and scrupulously clean. You never know when someone might just
knock - and be the buyer you've been waiting for.
Know The Lending And Funding Options Available To Your Buyers
While many buyers have explored their loan options, many will not have the slightest idea how
to go about buying a house. It's to your benefit if you can steer an interested buyer toward a
mortgage lender, or offer them information on first time home buyers' programs.
Be Prepared To Negotiate
This is probably where you'll miss your Realtor the most! Realtors are trained negotiators whose
job is to get you the best possible price for your house. You'll need to step back from your
emotional involvement to be on firm negotiating ground. If you've priced your house with some
wiggle room at the top for negotiating, and set a firm bottom price in your own mind, you'll
have a negotiating range in which you're comfortable.
No Job Is Finished Till The Paperwork Is Done
Once an offer is made, you'll need to engage inspectors, arrange for escrow and contracting and
all the rest of the legalities. Stay in touch with the buyers throughout the process, and keep it
moving on schedule so that the sale doesn't fall through for lack of action.