If you are thinking of selling your house yourself, you are not alone. Roughly 10% of the homes listed and sold in America are For Sale by Owner. Selling your house yourself can save you money considering you can avoid hefty Realtor commissions. In this article, we will review 5 steps on how you can sell your house yourself.
Step 1 – Marketing Your Home to Sell Your House Yourself
Marketing your home is probably one of the most important steps in getting your house sold. The most obvious way to connect with potential buyers is by listing on sites they are searching on. Lucky for you, the most popular consumer facing site, Zillow, allows consumers to list directly without having to go through the MLS. When listing on Zillow as a FSBO, you will want to make sure you include a few things to improve your listing.
If you decide to sell your house yourself, you may want to consider offering a buyer agent commission. Almost 90% of all residential real estate transactions are done using a buyer agent. This means if you decide not to offer a buyer agent commission, you could be losing up 90% of your target buyers. If you make the decision to offer a buyer agent commission, post this in the description so that agents can see they will be getting paid.
Before your listing goes live on Zillow, invest in professional photos. These can run anywhere from $100-$300 and they are well worth the investment. Photo’s have statistically been proven to increase showings and interest. When listing your home, the key is creating as much interest as possible in hopes to solicit multiple offers. Don’t risk losing a potential showing because of bad photos.
Step 2 – Getting Your Home Ready for Showings
Whether you are selling your house yourself or you have decided to hire a pro, one thing is universal. Your home should be presentable and in good order. Invest in heaving cleaning and minor repairs that can drastically improve the aesthetics of your home. Avoid any lingering odor. If you have pets, minimize areas of your home they can enter. Try to contain pet hair and odor if possible.
Touching up appliances, nicked paint, carpet stains, and other minor issues can improve your chances of receiving a strong offer. By creating a warm and welcoming home, potential buyers feel as though they can make it their own.
Step 3 – Preparing Your Paperwork to Sell Your House Yourself
If you are selling your house yourself, you will want to make sure you have all of your paperwork in order before receiving offer. When agents reach out, they will want to know things about your home. You should find a generic disclosure doc for your state and have it filled out before agents start reaching out. Having things like HOA information, lead paint disclosures, square footage disclosures, etc can help speed up the process.
Many times a buyer agent will get frustrated or annoyed because working with a for sale by owner creates more work for them. If you have these documents and information readily available, the agent will have more confidence that you will be an easier client to work with. The last thing you want to do is make the buyer agents job much harder. If a potential agent has other homes that their buyer is interested in, they may push them towards those if they think you may be difficult to work with.
Step 4 – Find a Title Company and Attorney
In all of the states that BlueMatch operates in, a licensed individual or attorney must facilitate a real estate transaction. This is no different if you decide to sell your house yourself. Most people will either reach out to a title company they find online or hire a real estate attorney. There are cost associated with both so ask questions before making your decision. Attorneys will typically charge anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 to handle the transaction paperwork. Attorneys will usually have title companies they prefer working with and default you to theirs.
Attorneys are especially important if you are working with an unrepresented buyer. They can keep both of you out of a legal mess. In many cases, you can usually split the cost with your buyer and have the attorney represent the transaction. If you are fortunate enough to find a buyer on your own without an agent, do not skimp in the legal department. All that money you saved could go up in flames with a lawsuit.
If you decide to have a title company manage the transaction, ask them for the policy cost upfront. What most people don’t know is title companies can legally charge additional fees to people selling their house themselves. It makes sense. They take on more work and liability and pass that cost onto you. We have seen these fees range anywhere from $500 to over $1,000 in addition to the policy.
You will want to hire a title company before accepting offers. Title and escrow will work with you to hold earnest money and begin the initial title search.
Step 5 – Getting Ready to Closing on Your House
Congrats! You are under contract and getting ready to close on your home. Managing timelines is key to ensuring a smooth and on-time closing. Between title and mortgage, you will have a strict timeline that you must watch carefully. Missing a deadline can be a costly mistake. Create reminders and stay on top of all deadlines. If you can knock items out early, do so if possible.
As you get closer to your closing date, you will want to make sure you have your closing location determined and have everything prepared for the property handoff. Make sure that all of your personal belongings are out of your home. You should probably have everything out before the final walk through. You will have instructions given to you by title. Make sure you follow these instructions and knock them out in a timely manner.
On the day of closing, you should be ready to spend about 30 minutes to an hour signing paperwork. Take your time and read through everything carefully. Once you and your buyer have signed, you will be given a check or wire for any additional proceeds from your home. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You have successfully sold your home yourself while saving thousands in commissions.
What Happens if You Can’t Sell Your House Yourself?
There’s a reason that more people don’t sell their home on their own. Between marketing, negotiations, and contracts, it can be a stressful, complicated process. Although realtors take a cut of the sale price, most see that as a worthwhile investment because realtors help with all the complex things.
However, nowadays, technology makes a lot of those complicated processes accessible and easy to do for the regular, non-realtor person. Combine technology with a hot housing market, one where inventory can’t keep up with demand, and that three percent cut that a realtor takes seems less and less reasonable. Finding a good balance between saving money and maximizing your home sale price is key to a successful deal.
Here’s the thing: selling your house yourself or with a realtor is stressful no matter what. Everyone stresses about different things in the process, but if one of the items high on your stress list is sale price and net profit then you might want to reconsider a realtor and sell your house yourself. Many people underestimate the amount of time they will need to spend selling their house themselves. The time adds up quickly and so does the stress. Losing a deal at the very end can be demoralizing and costly.
Sell Your House Yourself with the BlueMatch Advantage
BlueMatch uses technology and partnerships with realtors to give you the tools and expertise to sell your house yourself, all for a flat rate. Realtor fees can easily run double or triple what you’d pay selling your home with BlueMatch.
Here’s how BlueMatch works. We give you access to the same marketing options that realtors do. That includes an MLS listing, appearing on all the top real estate search engines, like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin, professional photography, and assistance with negotiations and closing.
BlueMatch works with licensed realtors who provide the exact same services that any other realtor does. This means you can use the services you want and leave the ones you don’t.
So, in a lot of ways, you’re not really selling your home by yourself. In reality, you’re working with a whole team of real estate professionals to sell your house for top dollar. Therefore, the stress relief you get with a realtor still exists with BlueMatch. The main difference is that at the end of the day you’ll walk away from your home sale with more money in your pocket versus selling with a traditional realtor.
Before you list, talk to BlueMatch and we’ll give you a free consultation. There is no binding contract, no commission, and no stress. See what a difference BlueMatch makes.