Tips For Selling Your Home Without An Agent

Real Estate Agents are important to a home sale, but in some instances, homeowners choose to sell without licensed seller representation. This may be you, and that is perfectly okay! If so...we want to help you through the process. Please read our tips to consider when you choose to sell your home without agent representation:

People Involved in the Home Sale Process, including

  • The buyer, seeking the best possible deal.

  • The buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer’s best interest.

  • The buyer’s attorney 

  • The seller’s attorney

  • Home inspection companies, working for the buyer, which are likely to find some problem or the other with the house. A home inspection may include a septic inspection company ( if home as a septic system) as well as pest inspection.

  • The Buyer's lender.

  • The Title/Escrow Company.

  • The appraiser, if the home’s value needs to be assessed.

It is important that you know how each of these people interact and work together for a successful sale.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Be sure you consider the following important pre-listing tasks:

  • Decluttering.

  • Painting the rooms with a fresh coat of paint.

  • Getting necessary repairs done.

  • Getting the home floors and carpets cleaned by professionals.

  • Ensuring curb appeal of the home.

  • Replacing outdated light fixtures.

Because homes for sale by owners just have one chance to impress potential buyers, neglecting these home sale preparation tips often reduces the homeowners’ chances of selling the house, or for selling faster and for the most money possible.

Screen Potential Buyers

Do you know the difference between prequalification and preapproval? A buyer should ideally be preapproved or at least prequalified. Be sure you know what that entails and how important that is when you decide to sell and take your home off the market. If the buyer fails to qualify, you could lose time and have to re-list the home again to find a stronger buyer who can actually close the deal.

Do not allow a "potential" buyer inspect the house that is not qualified. Don't forget to consider the safety of yourself, your family and your belongings when you let unqualified strangers into your home.

Answer Buyer Inquiries Without Giving Away the Store

Handling inquiries from buyers on their listings and coordinating showings for their homes are prerequisites for making a sale. Can you handle such inquiries in a timely manner and without sharing too much information that may end up hurting your negotiation power and final sales price?

Even organizing showings might become an uphill task at times. Because these days potential buyers and their agents want quick responses to their inquiries.

Do You Understand the Concept of ‘Golden Time’?

According to this concept, homeowners get the most money for their homes in the first week of putting the property on the market. The longer FSBO homes stay on the market, the less money people will be willing to offer for them.

Selling a home FSBO and then listing with an agent could cause you to lose the important “golden time” window. This will eliminate buyers who have already viewed the home and might have made a reasonable offer — but have already moved on.

Know the Contract and the Process

The contract to purchase a home involves much more than just the price offered by the buyer. Also, real estate contracts have lots of timelines and clauses and involve several common contract contingencies, such as inspections and mortgages.

Do you have a firm understanding of such contracts and do you know what you are agreeing to or how to negotiate particular parts of the contract? Be sure you have a good handle on the contract and all the documents required in the sale.

How to Keep the Deal Together During the Inspection Process

Home inspections almost always find some issues with houses even when they are relatively newer structures. In such cases, the buyer requests problems be fixed or corrected before moving forward with the transaction.

If you owned and sold many homes, you may know the items that always show up on an inspection report and the best way to negotiate repairs. If not, then you may end up fixing more than you need to and in the end, net less money when you close. Alternatively, don't let your offer fall through because of lack of repair agreements. Knowing how to read the buyer and buyer's agent will be very important for you during this inspection phase of the sale.

Pricing Your Home to Sell Fast and for the Most Money

You must know your market. Active homes for sale are not good comparables. Appraisers give the most weight to RECENT SOLD homes in your immediate area. Do you have access to your closed home comparables? Setting the price too high will hinder your chance of closing the sale fast and for the most money possible.

Marketing Your Home for Most Exposure

Homes for sale by owners are often listed on a few websites, but there are many that don’t allow homes listed by the owner only. Thus, your home may not get the best and most exposure online. Do you have professional photos, a virtual tour and access to signage and text-for-info codes on your for sale sign?

Agents can get the property comprehensive online exposure as well as exposure in the local real estate segment of the newspaper, including many other value-added marketing ideas.

Why "For Sale by Owner" Home Sales Do Not Close

Even after an offer is accepted, many things still need to be done prior to the closing. For instance:

  • Get the inspections completed within the allotted time.

  • Ensure the attorney(s) approve contracts.

  • Ensure that instrument survey is ordered.

  • Check if the buyer has obtained written mortgage commitment.

  • Find out if title work is reviewed.

  • Learn whether abstract is redated.

We hope the tips above have helped to provide you some insight and more food for thought when considering to sell your home without an agent. Keep in mind that if you choose to hire us as your agent to list, sell, negotiate and manage the process on your behalf, there is a very good chance that we can sell your home faster and for a much higher net price (even considering commissions) than you may be able to do alone.

Although we provide our tips for free, know that we are real estate professionals and welcome an opportunity to help you through the challenging process of selling your home.