Americans spent approximately $86 billion on real estate commissions every year. In this market, the smartest way is to sell your home on your own without a Realtor.
» In this guide, we’ll cover:
- How to list on MLS Without a Realtor?
- What are the Pros and Cons of For Sale By Owner (FSBO)?
- What are the 9 Steps for FSBO sellers?
- How to sell a house for cash without a Realtor?
- Is it hard to sell a House Without a Realtor?
- What Paperwork do I Need to Sell My House Myself?
- Do I Need a Lawyer to Sell my House Privately?
- Final Word
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to List on MLS Without A Realtor?
As per Zillow Group’s Consumer Housing Trends Report survey, for over 50% of sellers, getting maximum returns was the most important consideration.
In November 2021, the national median home value, including all housing types, rose to $353,900, 13.9% up over the last year. This meant paying more in Realtor commissions. The statistics are expected to grow further in the coming years. An alternative is – For Sale By Owner (FSBO) where home sellers sell their property without the help of a Realtor.
The majority of people who choose this alternative can avoid paying the 5% – 6% commission.
Listing on MLS can only be done by licensed real estate agents. In a flat fee MLS model, the Realtor will just list your house on the MLS at a reasonable flat fee giving you more control over the selling process.
✍️ Pro Tip: Flat Fee MLS platforms like Houzeo can help home sellers list their property on the MLS at a low fee.
Pros and Cons of Selling your House Without A Realtor
Key Benefits of Selling A House Without A Realtor
|Savings on Commission||Selling your house without a Realtor can result in commission savings anywhere between 3% to 6%|
|Speed to Market||FSBO websites like Houzeo will get you on the market within 24-48 hours or faster!|
👉 Explore: Houzeo Review: Home Selling made easier!
|Control Over Transaction||By interacting directly with the buyer or buyer Agent, you reduce intermediaries. That makes everything simpler.|
Key Risks of Selling A House Without A Realtor
|No MLS access:||MLS access is only granted to registered brokers and agents. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers are not allowed to list their homes on the MLS.|
|Poor Customer Service||If you don’t get help when you need it, selling a house without a Realtor or For Sale By Owner can become a very expensive experiment very fast. Be sure to read reviews to know how an FSBO site’s customer service is.|
|Knowing Help is Available||Selling your home without a Realtor is simple, but help is available if you need it.|
9 Simple Steps To Sell Your Home FSBO
1. Post Your Listing
Starting with the core question – How to sell my house without a Realtor? means ideally no intervention of the real estate agent and no access to MLS listing. But, as per the experts, FSBO listing on MLS and real estate websites should be the first and the foremost step in your home selling journey. This feature is provided by multiple FSBO platforms today.
📝 Note: A local MLS is a database that has a comprehensive list of real estate properties that are up for sale in a particular area. Only registered Realtors have access to the MLS.
These packages will not only grant you the ability to list your home on the local MLS without an agent but also on other real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com, and more.
Note: The flat fee offered by such platforms is much less than the traditional listing agent commission.
2. Market Research
The next step in how to sell your house without a Realtor? is to do thorough market research and understand the trends.
Are houses selling like hotcakes or are the listings lying open in the market for a long period of time? You need to review the houses that were sold in your neighborhood recently to get an idea of what buyers are willing to pay. Strategizing and organizing everything can help you sell your home fast.
Here are some marketing methods that can be taken care of when you sell your house without a Realtor:
|Run ads||When selling your house with a Realtor, running ads on print and social media can help you attract more buyers.|
✍️ Pro Tip: Try to cover as many social media channels as possible to initiate ads for your listing.
|Share Your Listing on Social Media||Share your property listing on social media. This will include your contact info apart from the listing details. All buyer leads would directly see your contact info so that you might save on the buyer agent commission.|
✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from social sharing, you’ll save on the buyer agent commission.
Listing on the MLS, hiring a professional photographer, and using a Yard Sign are some other methods that can be useful in marketing your home. These are explained in the following sections.
3. Set a Price
Colby Sambrotto, current Chief Revenue Officer at Home Captain and former president of USRealty.com, advises FSBO sellers to set their property’s price based on the hard data of the market and not on their emotional attachment to their house.
You need to set a reasonable price while listing on the MLS. If you charge too high, your property might remain unsold, and if you set a price too low, you’ll be at a disadvantage.
When you sell your home without a Realtor, pricing it right can be challenging. Thus, it is recommended to take the help of a qualified real estate agent most of the time.
4. Prettify Your House
Preparing your home to sell without a Realtor can attract prospective buyers. Here’s what you can implement to get the most out of sale:
|Declutter & Depersonalize||Make sure you eliminate anything that may bring a feeling of personalization from your perspective i.e. you need to make the buyers imagine as if it is their home.|
|Make Repairs||If your home requires any necessary repairs, make sure it is done before you start the process of selling. This can help later when the inspection is done.|
|Repaint Neutral||You can attract a higher number of customers when you paint your home with neutral colors.|
|Improve Curb Appeal||Go for clear landscape, fresh flowers, or exquisite paintings because the first impression is everything!|
|Implement staging||Hire a professional who can help you with setting up your home, like arranging furniture to make the home look spacious and tidy.|
However, do not go overboard with your spending. Be wary of spending on improvements that may not offer a return.
5. Hire a Professional Photographer
When selling a home without a Realtor, it becomes the seller’s responsibility to make sure everything is streamlined and organized. Many potential buyers nowadays are searching for properties online. Thus, investing in a professional photographer to click enticing pictures of your house could be instrumental in making or breaking the deal.
A professional photographer has the expertise to click photographs that would not be possible for a seller. Professional photographs are more likely to persuade the buyer than a generic picture snapped from a mobile phone. It makes your home MLS listing look more aesthetic and appealing.
6. “For Sale” Yard Sign
Opting for a yard sign can be a good investment when selling your house without an estate agent. It can help in attracting buyers from the neighborhood and who are passing by.
✍️ Pro Tip: If you secure a buyer from a yard sign, chances are you’ll save on the buyer agent commission as well.
7. Use a Showing Management Tool
Once your property is ready for showings, it is critical to manage showings effectively. As there could be multiple buyers interested in your property, managing and scheduling the show slots is crucial.
Online showing scheduling tools provide home buyers and buyer agents with a frictionless way to request and schedule showings. Cutting-edge showing technologies, like Houzeo Showings, also feature ways for buyers and buyer agents to provide feedback on your listing.
|1.||Home Sellers Can Set Their Showing Calendar||Buyers and buyer agents should only be shown times when the property is available for showing. This saves the time spent in correspondence of all parties.|
|2.||Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Request & Reschedule Showings||It’s critical that buyers and buyer agents can request showings at available times. Things do change sometimes, so they should be able to reschedule and cancel showing requests as well.|
|3.||Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Provide Feedback on the Listing||Feedback from Buyers and Buyer Agents is critical for home sellers. It allows them to assess if their property is priced too high, the backyard needs fencing, or the door lock was too difficult to open. If the property is on a major street, there’s nothing the home seller can do about it. But where the feedback is actionable, small remedies can go a long way in improving showings and attracting top dollar for your property.|
8. Negotiate Offers
It is all about selling your house without an estate agent. The basics of what to do when you get offers will remain the same – Accept, Decline, or Ignore the offers (not recommended). We suggest you review the offers on all their merits, and never ignore an offer. Even if it’s a low-ball offer, you should counter with what you would accept. Where you are sure you don’t want to counter or accept, just politely decline.
Countering an offer, or calling for Highest & Best offers are 2 advanced tactics in every real estate agent’s arsenal. When you sell a house by owner, you need to learn these 2 tactics.
Most companies will give you complex forms to counter an offer, or to request the highest & best.
Houzeo has digitized these, so you can counter or ask for the highest & best with just a few clicks! That’s selling a house without a Realtor made easy.
|#||Advanced Tactic||When to Use||How to Use|
|1.||Counter an Offer||Single or Multiple Offer Situation||Your best offer is not just the highest one. It’ll be competitive across several parameters: deposit, financing, inspection contingency, closing timeline, etc. |
When countering an offer, you can request any of these parameters to be updated per your preferences.
|2.||Request Highest & Best Offers||Multiple Offer Situation||If you have multiple offers, and a timeline by which you’d like to pick an offer, you can call for Highest & Best offer from all interested parties.|
9. Handling Paperwork and Closing
Paperwork for selling a house without a Realtor can be a daunting task for you. The rules and regulations for real estate transactions are different from state to state, and thus complying with them can be quite intimidating. It is recommended that you hire a real estate attorney to handle the legalities of your transaction.
How to Sell My House For Cash Without A Realtor?
One way to sell a home without a Realtor is through cash buyers/iBuyers. The cash buyers have a quick turnaround time for closing the real estate deal. They prefer to buy houses sold AS IS, offering instant cash to the seller.
Advantages of Selling A House To Cash Buyers
|No modifications||The cash buyers buy your house AS IS and there is no need to perform any repairs if the home inspection detects them. This enables you to close the deal ASAP.|
|Home showings & Open houses||You won’t have to take the stress of home showings and open houses.|
Disadvantages of Selling A House To Cash Buyers
|Lower price||Cash buyers/iBuyers leverage the fact that you want to sell your house fast. Thus, you might seal the deal at a much lower price than the market value.|
|High fees||The cash buyers/iBuyers also have high fees (10-15% of the sale price) which is much higher than the traditional Realtor commission.|
We Buy Houses for Cash Companies Near You
Is It Hard to Sell Your Home Without a Realtor?
After the discussion on the above pointers relating to selling a property without a Realtor, the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) process would have started to make sense. There are many For Sale By Owner (FSBO) platforms out there that offer affordable Flat Fee MLS service packages to make your For Sale By Owner (FSBO) home selling experience smoother and less costly.
According to a report published in 2019, it was noted that 56% of sellers are skeptical about whether their property will be sold within the desired time frame or not, and being an independent seller doesn’t make it any easier for you.
You will have to invest a lot of time in doing the work a Realtor would ordinarily do, which includes doing market research, marketing your property, showing the house to buyers, negotiating, handling the paperwork, and the final closure.
Paperwork For Selling A House Without A Realtor
The paperwork needed to sell a house varies from state to state. Thus, it is advised that you consult a local real estate attorney or agent, or do a little online research on local government websites to know what documents are required as per your area.
Handling paperwork for selling a house without a Realtor can be intimidating but once you understand the process comprehensively, you can circumvent any challenges that may arise with the buyers.
The documents stated below provide a glimpse of what would be the overall cost of selling a house without a Realtor and how to close on a house. Most of these documents are required during the purchase deal, though these can vary across the states.
Note: You will have to take care of costs like transfer tax, inspection fee, the survey fee, attorney fee, and some other costs as part of the selling process.
List of Important Documents
|Professional Appraisal||An appraisal is a method using which the value of the property is estimated by a professional appraiser. This evaluation is crucial when a lender is involved.|
|Preliminary Title Report||A report that specifies the title history, current owner, and description of the property.|
|Pre-Inspection Report||Sellers can go for an inspection of their property even before they put it up for sale. This can help both sellers and buyers during the purchase process.|
|Home Inspection Report||A home inspection report will contain all the inspection details of the house. This may be initiated by the seller or buyer.|
|Appraisal Report||An appraisal helps to determine the optimum cost of the property. The appraisal report contains the details about the property (including photos), market price, and the process appraiser used to arrive at the said price.|
Agreements and Contracts
|Original Sales Contract||The original contract was when you bought the house. It contains the sale price and the seller’s disclosures from the previous seller.|
|Listing Agreement||A binding contract between the buyer and the seller is also the final version of the Initial Purchase Offer (IPO). The agreement includes the sale price, earnest money deposit, terms of the contract, and other elements of the sale.|
|Final purchase and sales agreement||A legally binding document that defines the terms and conditions of the sale between a seller and a buyer. In a nutshell, it is a document that defines the ownership transfer of the real estate in return for the sale price.|
Note: A purchase agreement is one of the most important documents in the real estate sale and if you are proceeding without a Realtor, make sure all the details are fed correctly in the document. Or else, you can take the help of a real estate attorney.
Repair and Maintenance
|Records of home repair and maintenance||Before selling a home, a seller may want to get some of the important repairs done. This will attract potential buyers. As a seller, if you have the repair receipts in place, it will increase the probability of selling your home.|
Similarly, records of home maintenance, especially the appliances can help buyers in expediting the selling process.
|Receipts from any improvements||Receipts of any repairs or upgrades made by the seller.|
|Seller’s Net Sheet||Contains the sum of all expenses incurred while selling a home. The document breaks down all the additional expenses that a seller has to bear.|
|Settlement Statement||This statement summarizes all the expenses involved in the transaction.|
|Payoff amount for your mortgage (mortgage statement)||It determines how much amount you are yet to pay as part of the mortgage. This is usually provided by the lender.|
|Insurance Records||Insurance of property is a broad term and covers many risks like fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, and more. These can be helpful and attract potential buyers.|
|HOA documents (if applicable)||Residents can become a part of the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) which may be helpful as a community. For example – residents may pay a maintenance charge to the association for any upgrades or management of the properties.|
A seller may have signed an agreement with HOA to follow some rules and regulations. All this information is part of the HOA documents.
|Warranties and manuals||A buyer will always be concerned about the condition of the home appliances before buying the house. Having the warranty of the devices with user manuals can greatly enhance the chances of home sales.|
|Mandatory Disclosures||Each state has some mandatory disclosures to be disclosed by the seller. These vary across states.|
|Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)||Provides an estimate of home’s market values based on sales of similar properties in the neighborhood.|
|Contingency removal form||This form is required to lift any contingency restrictions that may be blocking the purchase deal.|
Do I Need a Lawyer to Sell My House Privately?
As per the National Association of Realtors report, FSBO sales lack the numbers when compared with the process of selling houses with the help of Realtors.
If you sell your house to someone you don’t know, it is highly advised to hire a real estate lawyer. Dealing in real estate requires knowledge of federal, state, as well as local laws. Hiring a real estate attorney not only protects your assets and investments but also takes care of legalities involved in the seller-buyer transactions, to avoid any unforeseen mishaps.
In the United States, as many as 21 states have made it mandatory to hire a real estate attorney. But, even if you are dealing in a state which doesn’t require an attorney, it still would be recommended to invest in a lawyer.
Here is the list of the states which have made it mandatory to have a real estate attorney by your side when selling a house without a Realtor or with a Realtor.
|Alabama||Connecticut||Delaware||District of Columbia||Florida||Georgia||Kansas|
|Kentucky||Maine||Maryland||Massachusetts||Mississippi||New Hampshire||New Jersey|
|New York||North Dakota||Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina||Vermont||Virginia|
If you are living in a state which has not made it mandatory to hire an attorney, then it’s up to you whether or not you want to hire an attorney to take care of the legalities of your dealings.
Selling Your House Without a Realtor Near Me
To understand how selling a house without a Realtor works where you live, click on your state below:
Understanding how to sell your house without a Realtor? What paperwork is required for selling a house without a real estate agent? Where do you need to invest your money? and, Where can you save money? makes home selling so much easier.
You can opt to register with FSBO platforms like Houzeo if you are thinking of selling your own home without the help of a Realtor. With Houzeo, you can easily list your house on the platform and on the local MLS at a low flat fee. Houzeo has optimized packages such that there are no hidden costs involved. The platform has a quick listing speed and the Turnaround Time (TAT) is 1-2 business days.
Frequently Asked Questions About For Sale By Owner Listing
What are the top 5 most important things for a For Sale By Owner?
1. Ensure you price your home right
2. Get professional photos taken of your property – remember the most attended open house will be on Houzeo, Zillow, Redfin, etc.
3. List your home on the MLS – It’s literally the most important marketing tool
4. Offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission – You’re saving 3% Seller/Listing Agent commission on Houzeo
5. Put your contact details on Houzeo, and on Zillow
Read more about tips to sell your home fast as an FSBO
What's the biggest regret for home sellers?
According to Zillow’s 2019 Survey, the biggest regret sellers have is not starting the process of preparing to sell sooner. That’s why we’ve created Houzeo – Instant listing and marketing of your home to thousands of buyers via the power of the MLS, real estate websites like Zillow, and social media.
Is MLS needed to sell For Sale By Owner?
Absolutely! MLS is by far the most important tool a real estate agent can provide you. The US Department of Justice says that home sellers can save $6,200 on the sale of median-priced homes by choosing innovative services like MLS-only packages offered by brokers on Houzeo. If your home is more expensive – it’s much much more than that!
Will I have full control of my FSBO listing?
Houzeo allows you to request all changes online giving you full control of your listing! Check out this clip on How to Change Your MLS Listing Including Adding Open House - All Online! to learn more.
What are the steps to get my home ready for sale?
(1) Declutter and depersonalize your property.
(2) Make necessary repairs.
(3) Repaint interior walls.
(4) Organize closets and drawers.
(5) Make every surface shine
(6) Eliminate bad odors.
(7) Clean up the landscaping outside.
(8) Make the front door inviting.
How do I list my home for sale in local MLS?
First, log in to Houzeo using your e-mail, Facebook or google plus account. Click “Sell a Property” on the dashboard and fill out the address. Select a listing pan and Houzeo’s IntelliList Management System will make listing home easy and quick for you. Upload photos set a price, and sign your MLS contracts—it’s that easy, and your home will be listed on the local MLS in no time.
What are the necessary documents in closing your home?
Review these important documents in advance before the scheduled closing date. First, the HUD-1 or Closing disclosure details the amounts you’re charged for, your loan payoffs if any, and the net proceeds you will take to the bank. Depending on how much equity you have in the property, you may need to bring a check (or send a wire) on the closing date.
What do I need to bring during closing?
Before the closing, make sure to prepare two forms of official ID. Use a valid driver’s license or passport—and a secondary as well, just in case. There will likely be a licensed notary who will need you to confirm your identification.
How to sell my house without a realtor?
Selling a house without a Realtor requires time and effort. You need to take care of a few things to sell your house without a Realtor. 1) Do market research, 2) Set a competitive price, 3) Upgrade house, 4) Hire a professional photographer, 5) Install a yard sign, 6) List on MLS, 7) Use Showing management tool, 8) Negotiate offers, and 9) Handle paperwork.
Can you sell your house without a realtor?
Yes, you can sell your house without a Realtor. You just have to put in decent time and effort to process and complete the deal. Selling a house on your own requires a lot of research and documentation which might be difficult to execute alone. You can either go with a real estate agent or make use of FSBO platforms like Houzeo.
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