Tips and tricks for selling your home without a realtor

So you want to sell your home, but you want to cut out the middle man and save thousands of dollars in realtor commissions and staging costs. You’ve seen signs and ads for houses for sale by owner and you want to try it for yourself and save a couple bucks along the way.

The home selling process is complicated, so beginners need to research long and hard about how to sell a house without a realtor before deciding what home selling route is best for you.

We’ve created a guide about things you need to consider if you’re thinking about going it alone. The ”sell house by owner” model is tempting, but you need to make sure you know what you’re getting into.

If you’re looking to learn how to sell your home without an agent, either on the retail or wholesale markets, read our guide on how to sell your house by owner.

Finding the right price

If the price is right, offers will stream in. But pricing your home is about more than location, size and condition. It’s about market conditions and knowing what price will attract competing offers and sell quickly, while still bringing in enough money for you to break even or make a profit. It’s difficult to get right and, if you don’t, you can expect your home to be on the market for a very long time.

  • Market conditions
    Pricing your home is as much art as it is science. It’s not as simple as just correctly evaluating the worth of your home—you need to price your home right to sell. This means you need to understand market conditions. Even if your home is worth $350,000, it might sell for $360,000 in good selling conditions and as low as $320,000 in poor selling conditions. And figuring out the right price to get your home off the market takes research. Lots of it.Also, one problem with trying to sell a home yourself is that you are likely to be emotionally tied to the home—this means you might overprice your home. Alternatively, you might overlook things that your average buyer—and their realtor—won’t, like that your home is outdated or needs repairs.
  • Choosing a low price
    Cultivating interest in your home can be difficult, especially in bad market conditions. And many home buyers feel that if there isn’t much interest in a home, there must be something wrong with it. This is why homes that are priced too high don’t sell as quickly, if at all. If you need to sell your home quickly, you might need to price your home lower than its estimated value. Pricing your home low ensures many people will show up at your open houses and, hopefully, submit offers.

Coordinating repairs and inspections

If you’re planning on selling your house on the retail market, you’ll need to make sure it’s ”retail ready,” which means coordinating necessary repairs and updates. You’ll need to budget for inspection fees and repair costs. It’s often a long—and expensive—process to get your home into ship-shape, especially if you’re new to the process. Your inexperience can quickly cause you to spend more money than you’re saving in commissions and staging costs.

  • Base-level repairs
    At a minimum, you’ll need to fix or replace all broken appliances, outdated carpeting, broken windows and leaky faucets before listing your home. But that’s just where the repairs begin. You’ll also need to remedy any code violations, which might include replacing the roof and HVAC systems. This can mean pricey remodels—it costs tens of thousands of dollars to remodel even one room. If you need to remodel several rooms, you’re looking at quite a high pricetag.
  • Aesthetic renovations
    Carpeted bathrooms. Loud, bold, dominating wallpaper. Tile countertops. Harvest gold appliances. While these design elements might have been trendy long, long ago, all of these things can detract from the visual appeal of your home. Renovations such as granite countertops, tile and new flooring in bathrooms and neutral walls can work wonders. Homes that photograph well sell more quickly.
  • Disclosure
    And, any major repairs—even if you did them yourself and especially if you didn’t use a permit—need to be disclosed to the potential buyer. Federal and state laws about disclosure vary across the country, but you’ll probably need to disclose every problem you’ve experienced in your home before you sell it to save yourself from legal trouble down the road. For those selling a house that needs work, that might mean the difference between a buyer purchasing the home or cutting their losses and walking away.

Competing offers and how to negotiate
When figuring out how to sell a house without an agent, you need to remember that you’ll be alone at the negotiating table. If you update your home and set the right price, offers will come. You’ll need to be prepared to be a smart negotiator when the time comes. Poor negotiating skills can cause qualified buyers to walk away from the negotiating table.

  • Countering offers
    A potential homebuyer’s first offer will likely be lower than they are willing to pay. This is fine, as negotiating is often a back-and-forth discussion. You’ll need to counter their offer, but don’t make it too high or you risk losing the potential homebuyer’s interest altogether. You want a good price on your beloved home. They want a bargain on their new home. You will get nowhere if you are unwilling to negotiate. Similar to pricing your home, there is no exact science to negotiating offers and you will likely have to do much research before giving your counter offer or any other counter offers after that.
  • Unexpected closing costs and fees
    By selling your home yourself, you are saving yourself the realtors commission. However, you are also losing the guidance and knowledge of a realtor. They know how to close your home, as well as what paperwork needs to be filled out and when. Therefore, you aren’t cutting out closing fees altogether—there are also escrow fees, inspection fees, commissions to the buyer’s agent, staging fees, transfer taxes, credits to the buyer and scores of other unexpected fees and costs.

Money – and time-saving retail market alternatives

If you’re looking to save money on realtor commissions, staging, repairs and inspections, then it’s important to remember that there are alternatives to putting houses for sale by owner on the retail market that save both money and time. Once you get into the fine print, it becomes blatantly apparent that selling your home without a realtor is hard work. And a lot of it. If your home requires a laundry list of repairs to pass inspections, then you might be losing money as opposed to just selling your house as is. Here’s how selling your home to a trusted wholesale buyer like Wren Realty works:

  1. Give us a call.
    We’ll a schedule a free 30-minute consultation. At your convenience, we’ll look at your property.
  2. Receive our offer.
    We won’t give you a hard sell. We won’t nag you. We won’t nickel-and-dime you. Just a fair, cash offer. Take it or leave it. If you walk away, then it will be at no loss to you.
  3. Close
    Usually within two weeks. Yes, two weeks. And, if you need us to close more quickly, let us know your timeline. We’ll work to meet your needs.
  4. Walk away with your cash.
    It’s that simple. No repairs, inspections or hassle.

Selling your home as is to a wholesale buyer means you can simply hand your home to a willing buyer without spending a dime or minute updating your home. They will in turn hand you a fair cash offer at closing. No marketing. No inspections. No repairs.

Bottom line: if you don’t know what you’re doing, it will cost more in fix up costs, holding costs, etc., to sell at a retail price than to simply sell as is to a trustworthy cash buyer.

At Wren Realty, we’ve bought houses as is for 30 years and we’re really good at what we do—we’ve worked with the same inside contractors for years and know how to turn a profit. More than that, though, we’re people first, house flippers second. We’ll make you a fair offer and help you past closing with logistic details you may need.

So, why don’t you start the home sale process today and give us a call?

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