Selling a house with a Realtor isn’t cheap. Most Realtors today charge home sellers a commission of 6 percent of their home’s final sales price. Consider that for a minute: If you sell your home for $300,000, this means that you must give your Realtor $18,000.
That’s a lot of money—dollars that otherwise could have gone into your pocket.
There is a solution, though. You can sell your house by owner. If you do this, you’ll be taking part in the growing For Sale by Owner—or FSBO— market.
You might ask, “How do I sell my house without a real estate agent?” The good news is that this isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think.
The Price Is Right
Ask Realtors what’s the most important step in selling a home. They’ll tell you that setting the right price is the key. If you price your home too high, the buyers won’t come. If you price it too low, you’ll be losing precious profit.
The first step to selling your home by owner, then, is to set the right price.
And guess what? Realtors are more than happy to help you here. You can ask local Realtors to tour your home and give you their suggested listing price for it. Realtors won’t charge for this service. You can even tell these Realtors that you plan on selling your home by yourself. They won’t mind. That’s because they know that if you do need the help of a Realtor down the line, the odds are good that you’ll call them.
The Help You’ll Need
Selling a home by owner doesn’t mean you are working entirely on your own. You have to list your house on multiple Web sites if you want potential buyers to find it. This means that you’ll have to work with a listing service that will advertise your home on as many Web sites as possible. These services will also list your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the master list of homes for sale across the country. Once your home is listed on the MLS, it will show up when potential buyers search Realtor.com for home listings. Realtor.com remains the most popular way for buyers to search for home listings, so you need to be on this site.
Listing services aren’t free. You’ll need to spend anywhere from $200 to $800 or more depending on how many sites on which you want to promote your home.
Once your home is priced and listed, be choosy about who tours your home. You only want to work with buyers who have already been pre-approved for a mortgage loan by a lender. These buyers will come with a pre-approval letter that you should ask to see. This letter will state that a mortgage lender has approved these buyers for a certain amount of mortgage. This will spare you the wasted time of showing your home to buyers who can’t afford it.
Once you’ve found a buyer, you’re not done yet. Now it’s time to sign the closing documents that make your home sale official. Do not attempt this step on your own. It’s easy to make a mistake that could result in title or other problems in the future. Instead, hire a real estate attorney to oversee the closing process. This attorney will make sure that your home sale is fully legal, and that you receive the proceeds from your home sale to which you are entitled.
Once you’re ready to jump into the For Sale by Owner market, call us. We can get you started.