Are you thinking about selling as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) but not sure how to sell a house without a realtor? Selling on your own could save you several thousand dollars in realtor contracts letting you put that extra money in your pocket. Many people may describe it as a complicated process, but learning how to sell a house is not as difficult as they want you to believe. In fact, if you break the process down, you can sell your house with just 6 essential steps:
2. Determining a price
4. Negotiating an offer
5. Contract and paperwork
Step # 1 – Preparing The House For Sale
The first step in how to sell a house without a realtor is preparing it for sale. This step is all about doing a self-assessment of what needs to be done to make your house as attractive as possible to prospective buyers. Take a good look around your home and put yourself in your buyer's shoes. How would they feel coming into your home and seeing it for the first time. They are likely to be Wowed! By your house? Horrified? Or somewhere in between? Is your house a model of perfection with everything in its proper place, or are the walls stacked with clutter to the ceilings?
When assessing your house, the first thing you want to do is clear ALL of the clutter. Beside not being neat, clutter makes rooms appear smaller and more closed in. Clearing all the clutter will make the room appear bigger, more open, and more inviting – hits that buyers want. Clear off every horizontal surface and wipe them clean. Break out the garbage bags and throw as much away as possible, and pack up and store the rest of site in either garage, attic, or closets, or even offsite at a self-storage company. A clean and clutter-free home will be warmly received by your viewers and, you will feel much better about your space as well.
After clearing the clutter, determine if your house needs any repairs. Is anything leaking or broken that can be fixed without too much expense? And finally, consider putting a fresh coat of paint on. Fresh paint costs very little but will make a room seem cleaner and more inviting, and may add a few thousand dollars to your sale price.
Step # 2 – Determine An Asking Price
The next step in how to sell a house without a realtor is to determine an asking price for your home. Find out what other houses in your area have sold for and what else is available. Pricing a house even 5% over the fair market value will eliminate half of your potential pool of prospects. Fewer prospects mean fewer offers. Determining a price is a critical part of the selling process so do your homework. Learn how to price a house effectively so you can attract the most buyers.
Step # 3 – Advertise Your Home
The third step in how to sell a house without a realtor is to advertise, or market, your home. You want as many people as possible to know that your home is up for sale. Word-of-mouth, flyers, listing on the MLS, FSBO websites, online classifieds like Craigslist, Facebook, and twitter are a few ways to get the word out that your house is for sale. Whichever methods you decide to pursue, make it easy for your prospects to get the information they're looking for.
Step # 4 – Negotiate the Offer
The fourth step in how to sell a house without a realtor is to negotiate the terms of sale. Once your prospects have seen the house, they will want to make an offer. Even if agreed to verbally, try to get any final agreed-to offer in writing, even if just for confirmation, so that you do not get into a he-said, she-said situation. Getting offers in writing also helps you keep track of multiple offers by multiple buyers. All written offers should include both the price and terms of the offer such as when or not the buyer will pay all cash, or relying on mortgage financing, how much the buyer is looking to put down at contract signing, the date the buyer is looking To close, any items included in the sale like appliances or light fixtures, and any conditions of the sale such as passing a home inspection, termite inspection, or mortgage-approval.
Step # 5 – Getting It Under Contract
The fifth step in how to sell a house without a realtor is getting the house under contract with a Contract of Sale or a Purchase and Sale Agreement. Many states have standard contracts or purchase agreements that are available for purchase through online legal forms websites. Alternately, consider hiring an attorney to prepare a contract of sale for you. A financial binder is typically accompanied with the contract to make it a legally binding contract. Depending on your state, you may need to enlist an escrow agent, usually a title company or an attorney, to hold any deposit monies.
Step # 6 – Close the Transaction
The sixth and final step in how to sell a house without a realtor is closing the transaction. Here you will need the assistance of a title company. The title company is responsible for collecting all of the documents required to transfer property from one owner to another and recording the transfer with the local county government. If the buyer is purchasing the property with a mortgage, the mortgage company will want any and all liens paid at the time of the closing to ensure that nobody else can have a claim on the title to the property ahead of them. The title company will help collect funds from the buyer and pay all liens appropriately. Communicate frequently with the title company to make sure that any issues that come up are deal with in a timely manner.
Learning how to sell your house without a realtor is a simple matter of following the 6 essential steps outlined above. Do each one in order and you will be on your way to saving thousands of dollars in realtor contracts.
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by Lauren Gifford