How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor

Selling your house is a huge decision and time in your life. Doing it right and with full understanding of the options available to you is key to making the right decision. Here we outline the ways by which you can sell your house without a realtor.

August 1, 2020

When it's time to sell your home, it's completely reasonable to consider whether you can save money on the real estate commissions by avoiding hiring a real estate listing agent.

While this is entirely possible, it can also be a lot of work and very time-consuming.

Learning how to sell your house without a realtor can help you understand what the process will require from you. This way you can make an educated decision about whether or not it's the right route.

Let's take a look at what you need to know about how to sell your home without a realtor.

How to Sell Your Home Without a Realtor

Selling your house without a realtor consists of the same steps to selling a house with a realtor, except that you'll be responsible for all of the real estate agent's responsibilities.

Set a Price For Your Home

It can be difficult to properly price your own home. You'll want to do research and find comparable homes in your area that have sold in the last few months. This will give you a sense of how much your house will be able to go for.

You'll also want to look into how quickly homes are selling. If it seems that listings are sitting on the market for a while, you might want to keep your price on the lower side of the range to be competitive for a quicker sale.

If you are finding it difficult to price your home, you might consider having a real estate agent to your house for a free consultation. They will give you feedback on your home and probably will give you a range of how much they would sell it for.

Prepare Your Home For Showings

Next, you will want to get your house ready for real estate photographs and showings. Depending on the state of your house, you might consider doing repairs so that it shows that it's best. If any of the walls inside or out look dingy, it's a good idea to get them painted.

It's important to try and depersonalize the home as much as you possibly can. This is important because buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in the house with their own belongings.

You want to make sure that the house is perfectly clean. It might be a good idea to hire a professional cleaning company anytime before an open house.

Hire a Professional Photographer

Though you are likely selling your house without a realtor to save money, consider hiring a professional photographer and videographer for your listing photos.

Many buyers look for houses online and the photos can be a major reason that potential buyers ask to see your house or pass it over.

Put a "For Sale" Sign on Your Yard

You'll want to put up a "for sale" sign in your yard. This can make it much easier for people interested in your house to find it when they are arriving for a showing. It is also a worthwhile marketing tool.

Publish Your Listing

One of the benefits of hiring a real estate agent is that they have access to the MLS. However, you can purchase access to the MLS in order to list your own home through some brokerages.

Consider Hiring Help When Necessary

The process of selling a house on your own is a big responsibility. You might find that hiring out some of the work is a good idea. There are limited packages available at some brokerages where you don't pay as much as you would normally in order to have certain tasks dealt with for you.

Negotiate the Deal

Selling a home without a realtor means that you're taking on the responsibilities they would normally handle. Negotiating the sale of your own house can be a very difficult thing to do. It's important to keep your emotions out of the interaction and not feel offended by lowball offers or comments on the quality of your home.

You might receive low offers from buyers or they might ask you to make certain repairs before the sale. Learning how to negotiate a real estate deal is something that you are going to want to do some research into before the time comes.

Handle All the Paperwork and Close on the Property

It can be incredibly intimidating to deal with all of the paperwork for a house sale without a real estate agent. The laws differ from state to state, so it's important that you understand how the laws in your location apply to this transaction. You might consider hiring a real estate attorney to deal with this aspect of the process.

What Is the Process of Selling a House For Cash?

There are other options when it comes to selling a house without a realtor besides selling for sale by owner. Selling your house for cash is another viable option that comes with a lot of benefits, such as avoiding closing costs. But what does the process of selling a house for cash look like?

What Is an All-Cash Offer?

An all-cash offer isn't exactly what it sounds like. You won't literally receive a duffel bag of cash in exchange for your home. What it does mean is that the buyer is making an offer on your home without any financing contingency. This means that whether or not the sale goes through is not dependent on the buyer successfully securing a loan from a lender.

There are different kinds of investors who buy houses, but they share several things in common. For one, they won't need to secure financing in order to pay for the property. Secondly, they typically purchase your house off-market.

What this means is that there will be far fewer contingencies in your offer and the process can be over and done with much more quickly.

Finding a Cash Buyer

In order to find a cash buyer, you have a few options.

Firstly, you can search for a buyer online. Most locations will have some investors that have an internet presence. Make sure that you ask for references and testimonials from companies you find and do your research to make sure it's not a scam.

Secondly, you can work with a wholesaler. They are essentially middlemen that match buyers with sellers and keep a small amount of the transaction for themselves. To find these types of companies, you can Google your city's name with the phrase "we buy homes for cash."

Receive Your Cash Offer and Review It

Once a cash buyer has given you an offer on your home, which they can typically get to you fairly quickly after they've seen the property, you'll want to review the offer. It can be difficult to evaluate whether or not an offer is fair, so you'll want to do some research.

To find out, you can take a look at similar properties in your area that have recently sold. A similar property would have a comparable level of finish and be roughly the same size.

From that number, you can subtract what you would pay a real estate agent and also however much it is worth to you to benefit from the much simpler transaction of a cash sale.

How much it's worth to you will depend on your specific circumstance. For someone who inherited a home and is short on cash, they might value the speed and the certainty over the sale quite a bit. An individual who wants to buy a bigger house might not value the quick cash as much and would prefer to try their chances on the open market.

When you are evaluating a cash offer, you'll want to ask a number of questions.

What is the track record of the buyer in terms of closing transactions? Are they going to deposit a sizable amount of earnest money? Is the contract that they're using standard, and if not, would they be willing to let you have a real estate lawyer review the contract?

Answering these questions can help you ensure that you are working with a reputable investor and that the contract is above board.

Prepare and Sign the Purchase Agreement Contract

If you choose to accept the offer, the next step is to prepare the purchase contract. The buyer typically prepares this, and it should include the closing date, the deposit amount, and the purchase sales price. You can have a lawyer review the contract or you can simply sign it if you're confident in it.

Check Into Unique Requirements

In general, selling a house to a buyer paying cash is typically straightforward and fast. However, sometimes there are a few things that can make the process a bit more complicated.

This is the case if your home is in an HOA, as they might require a certain time period in order to process the application of the buyer. Lien searches can also take varying amounts of time in different municipalities, so this can also slow down the process. No matter what, though, selling your house for cash will always be faster than selling to a person receiving financing, even if there are extenuating circumstances.

Close on the Sale

With a cash sale, you'll be able to close a lot faster than with a traditional sale. The average time for a conventional sale to close a purchase loan is 45 days. For cash home sales, you might be able to have a closing in two weeks or less.

What is needed to close a cash real estate deal? A closing for a cash deal will look a lot like a conventional closing except that it will be faster. They are typically held at a title company, and you'll basically be signing all the same paperwork except you won't have to deal with financing or mortgage documents.

Want to find out more about the process of selling your house for cash to a real estate investor? Check out our FAQ page!

Selling Your House For Cash: Is It Right For You?

Understanding how to sell your house without a realtor can help you make a decision in regards to how you sell your home that works best for you. If you want to avoid the cost of real estate agent fees but don't want to do all the work yourself, selling to a cash buyer can be a reasonable alternative.

Are you looking to get a cash offer on a house? If so, click here to get a free cash offer!

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