Yes, you can sell your own house without a realtor
I sold two of my own homes without a realtor and saved $13,000 in the process. In other words, I saved enough to buy groceries for my family of 5 for two years. I saved enough to take three epic Disney vacations or to send my daughter to preschool.
I’m not a realtor. I don’t have any experience in real estate. I don’t have a realtor relative in my back pocket. I googled what I didn’t know, rolled up my sleeves and did the work.
My first home sold in about two weeks.
I made the newbie mistake of overpricing it BY A LOT. I had to pull my house off the market, get it appraised by a professional who didn’t care about the love I’d put into the garden or the sweat equity my husband had spent remodeling our kitchen. Once I got the pricing piece of the puzzle correct it sold quickly and had a lot of prospective backup offers
The extra money I made on the close of the sale was more than enough to patch up my pride and the knowledge I gained from those mistakes came in handy when it was time to sell my second house. My second home was under contract after just 4 days. For a reasonable amount of effort you can save a huge amount of money by selling your own home.
Here are the most important steps to selling your own home otherwise known as For Sale By Owner or FSBO.
Determine your home’s value
This step is one of the most difficult because of the emotional ties you probably have to your home. The house may be your first home. It may be one you brought your babies home to. It might hold memories of a loved one that is not longer with you. Trust me I get it. Change is hard but overpricing your home will cost you time, loads of stress and even money.
There are two methods you can use to avoid overpricing your home.
If you are flat out broke and can’t spend another dime you can do exactly what a realtor would do for you and complete a comparative market analysis. The easiest way to do this is to visit a home sale website like realtor.com.
Search for houses that are similar to yours in square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, location, and features. You can see what similar homes in your neighborhood are listed for and you can also use the filter function to see what houses have actually sold for. Don’t skip looking at the properties that have sold in the last year because what someone is asking for a home might not be what it
I used this method to price my first home but I got it wrong. After meeting with a realtor, who wanted to paint me a pretty picture with lots of dollar signs, I got a little starry eyed and priced my home based on emotion and wishful thinking. I had read numerous articles telling me NOT to do this exact thing but I thought I was immune to the phenomenon. Kind of like how I thought I was a super relaxed first time mom. Spoiler alert: I was not.
A market analysis can easily be done in an afternoon if you have basic skills of internet searching.
It may be difficult to find a house that has sold in your neighborhood with the same amount of bedrooms, similar updates
The other way to determine your home’s value, and what I recommend, is to have your home professionally appraised.
This is what I have done with my home sales after learning the hard way. The cost can vary depending on where you live. A good estimate would be $200-$400. Having a professional appraisal on your property removes all the emotion and guess work. It lets you know the exact value of your property making pricing and negotiations a breeze.
Decide how to handle legal aspect of selling your home
It’s best to have this squared away before marketing your home. You want your prospective buyers to be confident that you are prepared to see the buying process to the end and I recomend getting professional help during this step. Yes, you could do this on your own if you have a legal background but with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line I feel like the price paid is totally worth it.
Method 1: With my first home I had a lawyer on retainer for a flat fee of $1000. For this fee the lawyer handled all paperwork and negotiations for the sale. She evaluated the offers for me and completely handled the closing paperwork. As a matter of fact I wasn’t even present for the closing. I was already three states away heading to my new life when she called me to let me know the deal was done.
Method 2: Use a flat fee real estate agency. I loved this option when I sold my second home. For the cost of $1195 the agency provided
I find my flat fee agents by doing a google search of flat fee real estate agent plus the name of the town I am selling
Stage your home and take great photos
Notice that I said take great photos not average photos, not good photos, GREAT photos.
While selling my second home I thought I could get away with taking pictures with my DSLR. I sent the photos to my flat fee agent and the listing went live. I knew I was priced right because I had done my research and had an appraisal but on the first day of listing I had zero inquiries.
I immediately called my friend who was an amature photographer with a wide angle lens. She came over and reshot the photos. The listing was reposted and I immediately got 6 showings booked. I happily paid her $150 even though she said it was on her because she created so much value for me.
Because I enjoy photography and knew I would be selling homes again in the future I invested in my own wide angle lens. It paid for itself the very first time I used it.
You can avoid becoming overwhelmed by shooting a few photos a day.
This is especially important if you have little ones dirtying up your house all day every day. You will probably have to quickly clean a room, take the shot and then let it get dirty again. You don’t have to keep your house completely clean at once until showings.
When you are taking your photos you want to make sure there is as much light as possible.
Open every curtain, turn on every light and move lamps into the rooms you are photographing. Position yourself into a corner and snap your photo to get as much of the room as possible.
List your home on the mls
If you are competing in a
My advice is to plan simple picnic dinners and pray it doesn’t rain during the first week of showings.
Take the kids to the park, the library, Target or a friends house. The more you stay out of your house the less insane you will become. When I was showing my house in San Antonio I even moved my
luck you will be under contract within a week and be on your way to closing the deal.
In a seller’s