Can a house be sold without a realtor? Yes!
Doing away with a realtor can help you save on commissions that run up to 6%. A house listed without the help of an agent is known as a “for sale by owner” (FSBO).
There are a few things you need to know before you sell your house without a realtor. You will have to show your house to potential buyers, market and negotiate your house with buyers. You may also need to address some legal and financial matters by yourself.
Here is a basic walkthrough of what you need to do.
Come up with a realistic price
Don’t exaggerate the price just because you are selling the house by yourself. Set a price supported by concrete data without consulting your emotions.
With the help of online calculators such as Zillow’s Zestimate, Realtor.com, Trulia.com, or Redfin.com, you can easily get a rough idea of what your house will fetch in the market.
You could even investigate the price tags of houses around your neighborhood that have recently sold. These are called comps (short for comparables). You also have the option of hiring an appraiser to conduct a quick evaluation on your property to determine a suitable figure. Remember though that hiring an appraiser can cost hundreds of dollars.
Advertise your property
In the past, people used to stick a “on sale” sign out on their yard, sit back and hope for great results. Nowadays, there are numerous options to facilitate the selling process.
If you want to sell your house without a realtor, you could advertise it on FSBO for only $100 for a whole year. Your property will appear on other websites such as Zillow, Redfin and Trulia at no extra cost.
Other websites include Patch and StreetEasy (for New York City residents).
To reach a larger audience, consider adding your house to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is used by most realtors. It costs around $400 yearly to use the service. However, you may need the help of friend (who is a realtor) to get this done, since realtors are the only ones who have access to the MLS, or you can use a service such as “Help U Sell”.
Describe your house in detail
When you decide to list your house without a realtor, let the advertisement include photos of both the interior and exteriors. Consider hiring professional help to ensure that the photos represent the house in the most appealing way possible. This would include hiring a professional photographer.
Your listing should cover all the basics about your house. These include the location, price, the number of rooms, bedroom and bathroom sizes, and the age of the home. If you have added features such as a water heater or new roof to improve your home, highlight them too.
Don’t despair if the first open house fails to bring in offers. Re-evaluate your asking price, marketing materials and focus on creating more awareness about your listing.
Consider hiring a broker to provide some limited services
Many people who take the “for sale by owner” approach don’t realize that agents can provide limited services to facilitate some aspects of putting a house on sale.
Through websites such as the FSBO, you can conduct a market analysis and get an agent to assess a purchase contract at a cost of $200. If you require assistance to negotiate the price and particulars of a sale, the cost could go up to $700.
If you are considering selling your home on your own, give us a call! One of our home specialists will let you know what your home is likely to sell for (free of charge with no obligation).