The responsibility of selling property has often been left to real estate agents. This is fairly okay since that is their area of expertise, and they are best suited for the task. However, selling your house with the help of a realtor calls for a 6% commission of the selling price, not to mention other small hidden charges. This is quite a huge amount, and under certain circumstances, one may have to consider other possible options to sell their house fast without involving a realtor.
The good thing is that there exist ways of selling your house fast without a realtor, which has been used successfully and even fetched better prices.
Here are three tested and tried ways to sell your house fast without a realtor that you may want to consider to get a buyer for that property.
1. Sell to a cash buyer.
Sometimes factors such as relocation or urgent need for money may call for an urgent house sale. But the question could be, who will buy your house that fast?
Fortunately, the United States has thousands of house-buying companies that are ready to buy your house for cash in a matter of days or at most, two weeks. Nevertheless, to ensure a smooth process without loose ends, check out this to-do list.
- Check your house’s value. To do this, you can use online appraisal tools (not completely accurate) or else hire a professional appraiser.
- Search for legit and reliable buying companies and ask for cash offers.
- Review the offers and their terms. Besides having a good price offer for your house, you also need to consider how fast they are willing to seal the deal, and whether they conduct inspections.
With the above done, you can settle with the most satisfying offer and close the deal by signing sale documents with the help of an attorney. It is also advisable to use an Escrow company for money transactions and deed transfers to ensure that everything works as agreed upon.
Advantages of selling to a cash buyer.
- Fast sale
- Simplified process
- Allows you to sell your house “as-is.”
- Reduced fees
- Fewer chances of a sale falling through.
- Sell for less.
- Attract scammers.
- Some cash buyers can bait you into an offer, then introduce hidden fees that affect the final price.
2. Sell to someone you know.
Selling a house fast without a realtor is not a walk in the park but rather a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Having a relative or a friend express interest in the property can be very relieving. First, because you have a ready customer, and second because you won’t have to go through the listing process or even have strangers stream in to view the house. You also have a high chance of making a fast sale and a good return.
While all these may seem impressive, a lot can be at stake if anything goes wrong. It is, therefore, very important to consider the pros and cons before you opt for this kind of sale.
Pros of selling your house to someone you know.
- Fast and Hassle-free – You have a ready buyer sparing you the need to list the house to find a buyer. This can translate to a fast sale.
- Saves you time and money. – No need for advertising, staging, or paying a realtor.
- They can be less demanding and overlook minor shortcomings.
- It’s easy to negotiate a favorable deal for both parties.
- Likely to sell for less. You may want to give a lower offer to your friend or family member at your own expense, thus incurring a loss.
- Strained relationship. Your relationship can be damaged if; the friend or relative fails to honor the payment agreement or if an issue arises with the house.
- Possibility of colliding with the gift tax laws.
- When selling to a person known to them, one is likely to forego the rightful process.
Process of selling your house to someone known to you.
To ensure the sale process is smooth, follow the correct procedure when dealing with someone you know, as you would with any other buyer.
- Get an appraisal for your home. Regardless of whom you are selling the house to, it is good to know the actual value of your house before you sell it. This helps determine the pricing.
- Hire a good real estate lawyer. Since you are not working with a realtor, a lawyer will help you handle the process correctly by crafting the contract, agreement, and closing the sale.
- Have a home inspection done. An inspection will identify, any issues and necessary renovations, which will help avoid future disputes. Additionally, in situations where the house sale was way below the market price, the inspection report will help justify it to the IRS.
- Possible financial options. Is your friend or family in a position to purchase the house? If not, what are the available financial derivatives for them? Are they eligible for a mortgage, or will you be for the seller financing option?
- Have a formal purchase contract. With the help of your attorney, have everything written down in the purchase agreement, which upon approval by attorneys from both sides, sign.
3. Sell by yourself
Alternatively, you can sell your house fast without a realtor, in the open market, by yourself. For sale by owner (FSBO) option gives you control of the entire process. You may even end up maximizing your profit if done right.
On the flip side, this means you have to handle the entire process yourself; from listing, marketing, closing the sale, and lots of paperwork. Fortunately, several websites display FSBO homes, and with the help of one, you can hack the market.
Advantages of FSBO
- Saves you from paying commission. Hiring a realtor means parting with a whopping 6% of the sale as a commission fee.
- Quicker sale. The survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that FSBO homes sell faster than those sold by agents.
- In control of the process. You manage the whole process and how everything unfolds. With some market knowledge, the process can be easy to handle.
- Flexible scheduling. Unlike houses sold by an agent, you are safe from impromptu house tours. You set your own time.
Disadvantages of FSBO
- Time-consuming. The entire process is long and may take a lot of your time to set the price, advertise, draft the contract, show the house to potential buyers, and negotiate a fair deal. It is not a path for the faint-hearted.
- Sell for less. Due to the lack of the necessary network and market knowledge, more often than not, FSBOs fetch less profit than houses sold by agents.
- Lack of expertise. Realtors have been in the field for a long and do not only have experience but are experts in the selling game. Being an amateur makes the process cumbersome and can even become expensive and draining.
HOUSE SELL STEPS
To sell your house fast without a realtor is possible if done right. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you with the process.
- Price your house right.
To set the correct price, do market research of your area and check the price range of similar-sized houses as yours. Zillow, an online tool, can help you with this.
In addition, bring into consideration the state of your house. Are there any recent renovations? Does your home need any major repairs? These will either lower or increase the price accordingly.
Remember that the asking price you set might go lower during negotiations. To be on the safe side, set the price with that in mind to avoid making losses.
Houses that have been sitting on the market for a long time are assumed to have issues, reason as to why most buyers avoid them. So, the sooner you get a buyer for your house, the better.
- Have the house ready for sale.
Before you hit the market running, prep the house first. You do not want to make the wrong first impression. To do so, you may need to:
Have a pre-inspection: While this is not always necessary, it may help identify areas that need repairs and help in bargaining the price.
- Repairs and improvements:
Making quick fixes such as replacing a leaking tap and a nonfunctioning bulb, fixing a broken door, adding a neutral coat of paint, and mowing the lane can be impressive enough to a potential buyer. As for major repairs, it will depend on whether they will affect the return on investment negatively or not. If they will, ensure you disclose them to the buyer.
Home staging: A thorough cleanup, decluttering, furniture rearrangement, and depersonalizing of the house will help make the home more appealing to potential buyers.
Listing; Make a compelling description of your house and create your listing in Multiple Listing Service at a flat fee of $400. Do the same with known real estate websites. Most buyers’ agents use MLS to search for houses, thus increasing the chances for a faster sale. However, with MLS you will most likely have to pay the buyer’s agent a commission of 3%.
To sell your house fast without a realtor, consider using social media as a marketing tool for your listing.
- Organize house shows.
Now, schedule all interested buyers for house shows. Have all the special features and amenities you wish to highlight during the house tours listed so that you don’t forget to mention any during the house tours. The main agenda here is to impress the potential and convert them into a buyer.
- Review offers and makes negotiations.
If you have received several offers, keenly review them and compare them. If the offer interests you, it’s time to negotiate the price. The number of offers you get will determine how the negotiations go. Don’t sell for less than you are comfortable with, but at the same time, be realistic with the price.
- Prepare the necessary paperwork and close the sale.
Now that you have already accepted an offer, open an escrow account. The escrow agent will manage your payment deposits and title deed.
The agent will also help you with the paperwork and in compiling all required documents.
The seller will most probably request an inspection, after which, you can close the sale. Your escrow agent and real estate attorney (if you have one) will help you with the process, which may take up to a month.
- Be patient.
When selling a house, one is likely to have high expectations of landing a good offer fast, failure to which can be very disappointing. But give up not, review your asking price, make relevant updates, and keep marketing.
- Manage your emotions.
It is normal to feel emotionally attached to a house you have lived in for a while, and this can make selling it difficult. If not kept at bay, emotions can blur you from seeing your home’s actual value, leading to overpricing.
- Avoid unnecessary improvements.
Many believe that only houses in perfect conditions sell fast, which is not true. While minor repairs will help spruce up your home, major repairs may require a lot of finances with no returns.
- Do not hide major problems.
Not mentioning major issues may seem like a way to escape incurring costs, but can work against you if discovered during the buyer’s inspection. Most states require the seller to make the buyer aware of any known issues their houses might have beforehand.
- Avoid selling during winter.
In conclusion, regardless of whatever option you choose to sell your house without a realtor, avoid selling during winter. Due to the cold weather, people prefer to remain indoors than go house hunting. With few buyers searching, listing your house during the winter months may mean a longer time to sell and most likely, less money in return.