Whether you have had a bad experience working with an agent before, or you just want to save money, you might consider selling your house without using an agent. There are pros and cons to this, but if you have weighed your options and decided to sell the house yourself, here are some steps you might take:
- Determine fair market value and decide list price: Before you list your house, it’s important to understand what it’s worth. You can use online tools like Zillow or Redfin to get an estimate, or even hire an appraiser to get a more accurate value. But remember that your list price doesn’t have to be what you consider fair market value. If you are patient, you may choose to list above fair market value. If you want buyers competing for your property, you might choose to list below fair market value.
- Prepare the house for sale: You want to make sure your house is presentable and attractive to potential buyers. Start by decluttering, deep cleaning, and making any necessary repairs or updates.
- Take high-quality pictures and write a compelling description: You’ll need to create a listing for your house that showcases its best features. To prepare for the listing, take high-quality pictures of the inside and outside of your house, and write a description that highlights its features. The importance of quality pictures should not be underestimated.
- List your home on popular real estate websites: There are many websites where you can list your home for sale by owner, including Zillow, Redfin, and ForSaleByOwner.com. Include your pictures and description in the listing.
- Host open houses and showings: Once your home is listed, you’ll need to schedule open houses and showings. Make sure the house is presentable for each showing, and be prepared to answer any questions potential buyers may have. Let them know that all offers should come with a pre-approval letter or proof of funds.
- Consider your safety: While you may want as many people as possible to view your house, don’t compromise your safety. Take down names and contact information for everyone visiting, including asking for ID. Having these records ensures you only get serious buyers and helps prevent theft.
- Negotiate with potential buyers: When you receive an offer, you’ll need to negotiate with the buyer. Be prepared to counteroffer if the offer is not exactly what you were looking for.
- Hire a real estate attorney and/or title company: Once you’ve accepted an offer, you’ll need to go through the closing process. This can include providing the seller with disclosures about things that you know are wrong with the property. Some states require using a real estate attorney, even if you are doing a for sale by owner. An attorney will handle the legal paperwork and make sure the transaction goes smoothly.
- Close the sale: On the day of closing, you’ll need to sign the necessary paperwork and transfer ownership of the property to the buyer. And that’s it, you’re all done!
Of course, if neither using an agent nor doing a for sale by owner is appealing to you, consider selling directly to an investor. We’d love to talk about your options.