When you decide to sell your house, it’s only natural that you want to make the highest profit. To avoid paying agent commissions, many home sellers opt to list the property by themselves. However, should you sell a house on your own, or is that not such a good idea?
Selling a house with a real estate agent, also known as ‘for sale by owner’ or FSBO, isn’t such an easy task and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. People typically decide to do sell a house this way to avoid agent commissions and some additional costs that come with the process. However, there are some obstacles that often make this selling method unreliable – but not impossible.
Pros and Cons of FSBO
If you decide to sell a house by owner, you can keep more of your profits once the sale is done. An average commission fee is 6% of a home sale price, which can end up being a lot. Not only that, but when you are working by yourself, you have more control over the situation, which means that there is no one around you to complicate things or mess up your schedule. This way, you won’t have a middleman and you will choose how to market your home, which buyers to consider and where you’ll list your home.
However, as you are working alone, this can make the process overwhelming. You have to do everything on your own, including sale preparation, valuing your home, advertising, talking with people and making appointments. You will also be the one responsible for negotiating with a buyer, and just one wrong step can ruin the sale. Not just that, but as FSBO takes more time, homes will usually end up selling for less – often, this will mean you won’t profit at all.
How to Sell a House on Your Own
If you have decided to sell a house without an agent, here is what you need to know about the FSBO process to make the successful sale.
Set a Realistic Price
Valuing your home appropriately and setting the right price is most important thing when you are trying to sell a house. If the price is too high, most people won’t even look at it, no matter how much they may like the property. On the other hand, if you set the price too low, buyers will think there is something seriously wrong with the property. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t blindly rely on online sources that claim to be able to estimate your house’s value for free, as they are rarely precise. The best thing would be to pay for a professional appraiser.
Prepare Your Home
When you work without an agent, you will have to prepare everything by yourself. In other words, your house needs to be in top shape if you want it to sell fast. You have to declutter it and repair everything that might be broken or outdated. You should also get a cleaning crew to make it sparkly, as this will make it more appealing. To make a better first impression, decorate home’s exterior. Buy some new flowers and fix the old fence.
Hire a Photographer and a Stager
Even though open houses can’t be held at the moment, staging your home is a must. You need good photographs, as this will be the first thing potential buyers see and they have to make a decision based solely on them. Working with a professional stager can help you get your property in order, while a photographer can make everything look more professional. This will cost, but it’ll be worth every penny in the end.
Marketing is the key to selling anything, especially if you work without a realtor. Once you have your photos and possibly even videos, you are good to go. Post your listing on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and ask people to share your post. Find other websites where you can advertise, as well. If necessary, print out flyers. Even though open homes are no longer a thing, place big sign in your yard.
Make Sure a Buyer Can Afford Your House
You can’t sell a house without a good buyer who can provide finances. Make sure that all potential buyers have a preapproval letter. If necessary, call the lender to confirm the sale – you as a seller have the right to do so, even though agents do not. Confirm how much money your buyer can afford, what loan program they are using and if they are even qualified to make a loan. If they have a conditional loan approved, make sure that all the conditions are met so the final approval can be made.
Get a Good Attorney
You are not required to have an attorney to sell a house on your own, but it is safer if you have one. Find a lawyer who specializes in real estate law. Keep in mind that a good lawyer will cost you a few thousand dollars, but this will keep you safe from various legal risks.
Understand that Complications Can Happen
Mistakes and obstacles can happen even to the experienced sellers. If you are a first time home seller, however, you can count on them occurring. Selling a house is not an easy task, and you have to be prepared for every possible scenario. Some of the issues that you might run into include problems with chain of title, non-permitted work, additional repair requests, as well as financial issues. You may even end up with your house not selling for a while – or at all.
Consider Hiring a Direct Buyer
If you want to sell a house without an agent, selling to a reliable direct buyer might be the best option you have. Sure, direct buyers will likely pay you below market value – but FSBO homes rarely sell for an optimal price anyway. Not only that, but working with a professional buyer can save you thousands in repairs, staging costs, and utility bills, as they will buy your property as-is. Also, direct buyers buy in cash, so you don’t have to worry about a loan approval and you can close the sale for as fast as 7 days!