When it comes to selling your investment properties, taking the traditional route of hiring a real estate agent (or a realtor) can be costly. Most realtors typically charge 4%-6% of the sale price as a commission, which is a lot for most real estate investors and property owners. This is why many today are asking “How do I sell my house without a realtor?”.
For Sale by Owner (or FSBO for short) is a method of selling investment properties without the use of a real estate agent. Many people think that selling their home without a realtor is as simple as advertising it and waiting for offers. However, when you decide to sell your investment property on your own, you’ll need to take on all the responsibilities that realtors assume for completing the transaction (which is a lot). This is one reason why many property owners (over 80% according to national statistics) fail to sell their home as FSBO and end up hiring a real estate agent after months of trying.
In this guide, we’ll answer the question of “How do I sell my house without a realtor?” and prepare you, as a property investor, by listing the major steps to successfully sell a house as for sale by owner.
How Do I Sell My House? Price Your House
The first step to successfully sell your investment property on your own is to price the property for sale. One reason that many property owners fail to sell is that they find it hard to find a fair market price and end up either overpricing or underpricing the investment properties. Overpricing won’t get you enough traffic. On the other hand, a realistic price means you will get more offers sooner.
There are a number of ways for a property owner to price the investment property correctly. Some take their purchase price and add their costs since purchase to arrive at a final number. However, the proper way is by conducting a real estate market analysis. This involves finding out what comparable homes in your neighborhood were recently sold for and set your selling price accordingly.
Websites like Realtor.com and Zillow.com can help you review comparable real estate listings available in your neighborhood. In addition, Mashvisor provides real estate investors with accurate home prices for any available real estate property in the US. For example, if similar homes in your neighborhood are selling for $400,000, then pricing your investment property at $450,000 will most likely prevent potential buyers from even considering it. Remember, your goal is to successfully sell your home, thus, ensure the selling price is realistic.
Click here to start analyzing and comparing investment properties based on home prices!
In addition, when you reach the fair market price, it’s advisable to consider discounting your price just enough to position your property as a bargain, thus guaranteeing a sale! For example, if your investment property would list for $450,000 with a real estate agent, then consider lowering the price to $430,000.
How Do I Sell My House? Obtain a Flat Fee Listing on the MLS
The next answer to the question “How do I sell my house without a realtor?” is to find websites that provide real estate investors with listing services and publish available homes to realtors and potential buyers. These websites typically charge a flat rate, so ensure you can obtain it.
The “Multiple Listing Service” is the best and most comprehensive list of investment properties for sale in the US. Numbers show that homes sold through the MLS are more likely to successfully sold faster (20 days faster on average).
In the past, only a real estate agent and a realtor had access to the MLS. However, today there are services that allow real estate investors to list investment properties on the MLS for a few hundred dollars.
How Do I Sell My House? Market Your House
Even a well-priced investment isn’t going to successfully sell if potential buyers don’t know it exists! This is why marketing and advertising is an important part of “How do I sell my house without a realtor?”. Property owners need to ensure the investment property is exposed to as many potential buyers as possible. If you can’t list your home on the MLS, simply putting up a “For Sale” sign is not enough.
Some marketing strategies for FSBO homes include ads in the local newspaper, creating brochures, online sources such as Craigslist, or building a website. Moreover, many FSBO websites are already available for property investors. Marketing your FBBO home will come with a price; nonetheless, this price is only a fraction of a real estate agent commission.
Another marketing strategy is to talk to groups in your community and share ads on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. as over 90% of buyers find their investment properties online. Moreover, post pictures of the investment property to further attract potential buyers.
Every investment property has some qualities that are worth emphasizing, so ensure you highlight these qualities when marketing your FSBO home. These qualities could be anything that would make someone interested in purchasing your investment property such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, school district, neighborhood, nearby restaurants, open spaces, etc.
How Do I Sell My House? Hold an Open House
When calls start coming in, property owners need to set aside time to show the home to as many potential buyers as possible. Ensure you advertise the open house as well, and that you’re available whenever a potential buyer is and keep in mind that every viewing you miss is a lost opportunity.
Potential buyers look at a home and everything associated with it. Thus, property owners will need to get the investment property ready for the market by deep-cleaning it and taking care of any maintenance issues. Moreover, make the home appealing and set a good atmosphere, have some light refreshments available, and set out brochures about the investment property that visitors can take with them when they leave.
There are a lot of homes out there that are similar to yours; therefore, when answering the question “How do I sell my house without a realtor?”, one answer will be: make potential buyers fall in love with the investment property! Do whatever you can to make visitors feel relaxed and happy during an open house, as these positive feelings actually make a difference. In fact, homes are bought more on feelings than on any financial or structural factor!
How Do I Sell My House? Negotiate
The final answer to the question “How do I sell my house without a realtor?” is to have a plan for negotiating and handling offers. Be prepared for time wasters, but when a buyer is willing and able to purchase your investment property, you need to get that deal locked down ASAP!
The most important part here is to screen your potential buyers before you proceed with serious negotiations. Ensure they are prequalified or preapproved for a loan from a reputable bank or mortgage broker.
Real estate negotiations take the form of a contract submitted to the seller. Property owners can either accept this offer or adjust the contract and submit it back to the buyer. This process goes on until both agree to the terms and sign the contract. Here, you need to ensure your contract is complete, and if you’re not familiar with contracts, have it reviewed by an attorney. In most US states, property owners can actually find a standard contract for real estate transactions.
And finally, another important part of “How do I sell my house without a realtor?” is to work with a lawyer or a title company when closing the deal, to ensure both you and the buyer have a legal representative.
How Do I Sell My House? Tips and Tricks
- It’s critical that you comply with the real estate laws in your area related to selling investment properties, such as not to discriminate against potential buyers for reasons including race, religion, and sex.
- Hire a home appraiser to evaluate your real estate property before putting it on the market.
- Depersonalize your real estate property so visitors and potential buyers can see themselves living there. For example, remove any family photos or collectibles that might be dear to you.
- You want visitors to walk into a property that looks well maintained. Thus, make minor repairs like replacing worn carpets and repainting the walls.
- When it comes to real estate, people do judge a book by its cover. By the time someone reached your front door, they’ve already formed an opinion about the property. To ensure a good first impression, spend a day painting your front door and cleaning up the yard.
- Simple staging to the property to make it look more appealing is also a good idea.
- Avoid any negative talk. Don’t focus on the home’s flaws, but don’t lie about them. The last thing you want is misrepresenting the home to a potential buyer as this could lead to getting sued.
Final Thoughts on How Do I Sell My House
“How do I sell my house without a realtor?” is a question asked by many in today’s housing market. True, when you forego a real estate agent when selling your investment property, you could end up saving thousands of dollars. However, selling a home is not for everyone. Real estate investors need to have the time and patience to successfully sell and complete the process.
This guide is a general overview of the FSBO process that should answer your question of “How do I sell my house without a realtor?”. Keep in mind that you still need to do your own research before deciding whether or not this is the best approach for you.
For more answers to questions like “How do I sell my house without a realtor?” and additional tips for a successful career as a real estate investor, visit Mashvisor!