How To Sell A House Without A Realtor
According to Real Trends, home sellers spent approximately $86 billion on real estate commissions last year. A 6% commission fee on a $400,000 sale would add $24,000 to the sales price, whereas a 5% fee will cost $20,000. This is where selling a house without a realtor comes into picture. According to the Zillow Group’s Consumer Housing Trends Report survey, for over 50% of sellers, getting maximum returns was the most important consideration.
» In this guide, we’ll cover:
- How to list on MLS Without a Realtor
- Pros and Cons of For Sale By Owner
- 9 Steps for FSBO sellers
- Is it hard to sell a House Without a Realtor?
- What Paperwork do I Need to Sell My House Myself
- Do I Need a Lawer to Sell my House Privately?
- Final Word
3 min Video: How to List Your Home on the MLS by Owner
How to List on MLS Without A Realtor?
In November, the national median home value including all housing types rose to $353,900, 13.9% up over the past year. More the house selling price, more the agent commission. In a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route, a home seller sells their home without the help of a realtor.
The majority of people who choose this alternative can avoid paying the 5% – 6% commission that is withheld from the home selling amount. The procedure is pretty simple and similar to the home selling process with a real estate agent.
Listing on MLS can only be done by licensed real estate agents. The realtor will just list your house on MLS with a flat fee as you will be in charge of further process. However, Flat Fee services come at a very affordable price which does not include any kind of seller representation.
As a result, most home sellers prefer to list their homes on MLS with flat fee listing services provided by Houzeo.
Pros and Cons of Selling a House Without A Realtor
|Savings on Commission||Selling a house without a realtor can result in commission savings anywhere between 3% to 6%|
|Speed to Market||FSBO websites like Houzeo will get you on the market within 24-48 hours, or faster!|
|Control Over Transaction||By interacting directly with the Buyer or Buyer Agent, you reduce intermediaries. That makes everything simpler.|
|No MLS access:||MLS access is only granted to registered brokers and agents, For Sale By Owner sellers are refrained from listing their homes on the MLS.|
✍️ Pro Tip: Houzeo offers affordable flat fee MLS packages with amazing additional benefits
|Poor Customer Service||If you don’t get help when you need it, selling a house without a realtor or For Sale By Owner can become a very expensive experiment very fast. Be sure to read reviews to know how an FSBO site’s customer service is.|
⭐ Houzeo.com is rated 4.9 stars on Google & Trustpilot.
|Knowing Help is Available||Selling a house without a realtor is simple, but if you ever need help, it’s available.|
9 Simple Steps For FSBO Home Sellers
1. Market Research
FSBO listing on MLS is the first and the basic step in your home selling journey. The next step in For Sale By Owner is to do thorough market research. Know what is the trend in the current market.
Are houses selling like hotcakes or are the listings lying unpurchased for a long period of time? Review the houses that were sold in your neighborhood recently to get an idea about what buyers are willing to pay. Strategizing and organizing everything can help you sell your home fast.
2. Set a Price
Colby Sambrotto, current Chief Revenue Officer at Home Captain and former president of USRealty.com, advises FSBO sellers to set their property’s price based on the hard data of the market and not on their emotional attachment to their house.
Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if you’ve spent most of your life in that house. But you need to keep your emotions in check and set a reasonable price while listing on MLS. If you charge too high, your property might remain unsold, if you set a price too low, you are being at a disadvantage to yourself.
Selling your home without a realtor can be a challenge when it comes to this step. Setting the right price for their house is one of the biggest problems that for sale by owners face, but don’t worry, we have just the right guide for you on how to price your home.
Introducing the Houzeo Mobile App!
- View your listing
- Review and compare offers
- Counter an offer
- NEW! Buyers can now search your property and save it in “Favorites”
3. Prettify Your House
Now you have to prepare your home to attract buyers. Deep clean the house and hide your personal belongings so that the buyers can imagine themselves in their new home.
You can also splurge a little on improving your house, like repainting the walls and the door to enhance the ambiance, buying a new welcoming doormat, and decorating the exterior with some flowers.
However, do not go overboard with your spending. Be wary of spending on improvements that may not offer a return.
💰Incredible Technology, Incredible Savings
Houzeo’s technology makes FSBO easy by giving you access to tools only agents have!
4. Hire a Professional Photographer
Selling a house without a realtor, it becomes the seller’s authority to make sure everything is streamlined and organized. Many potential buyers nowadays are searching for properties online. Investing in a professional photographer to click enticing pictures of your house can be essential in making or breaking the deal.
A professional photograph is more likely to persuade the buyer to click rather than a generic picture snapped from a mobile phone. It makes your home MLS listing look more aesthetic and appealing.
5. “For Sale” Yard Sign
Many realtors believe that buyers often drive through the neighborhood they want to buy a house in, and having a signboard in the yard can help you get noticed quickly. There are many other creative ways to market your house.
Selling a house without a realtor makes you responsible to market your property and putting up the “For Sale” sign is the first step in the process.
6. Post Your Listing
One disadvantage that comes while selling a house without a realtor is no access to MLS Listing – MLS is a database that has a comprehensive list of real estate properties that are up for sale. Only registered realtors are given access to MLS. More on this at the end of the article.
But not to worry, Houzeo – America’s #1 Flat Fee MLS service – is just what you need. Houzeo provides affordable flat fee MLS packages to the for sale by owner home sellers like yourself, these packages will not only grant you the ability to list your home on the local MLS without an agent, but also on other websites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com, and more.
Pay an upfront flat fee of a few hundred dollars to gain access to the MLS and save thousands of dollars in listing agent commissions!
7. Use a Showing Management Tool
Once your property is ready for showings, it is critical to manage showings effectively. You want to know exactly who has seen your property or expressed interest in seeing it. And you want to know exactly when they saw it.
Online showing scheduling tools provide home buyers and buyer agents a frictionless way to request and schedule showings. Cutting-edge showing technologies, like Houzeo Showings, also feature ways for buyers and buyer agents to provide feedback on your listing.
|1.||Home Sellers Can Set Their Showing Calendar||Buyers and buyer agents should only be shown times when the property is available for showing. This saves the time spent in correspondence of all parties.|
|2.||Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Request & Reschedule Showings||It’s critical that buyers and buyer agents can request showings on available times. Things do change sometimes, so they should be able to reschedule and cancel showing requests as well.|
|3.||Buyers & Buyer Agents Can Provide Feedback on the Listing||Feedback from Buyers and Buyer Agents is critical for home sellers. It allows them to assess if their property is priced too high, the back yard needs fencing, or the door lock was too difficult to open. If the property is on a major street, there’s nothing the home seller can do about it. But where the feedback is actionable, small remedies can go a long way in improving showings and attracting top dollar for your property.|
8. Negotiate Offers
You are selling a house without a realtor. The basics of what to do when you get offers is remain the same though – Accept, Decline, or Ignore the offers (not recommended). We suggest you review the offers on all their merits, and never ignore an offer. Even if it’s a low-ball offer, you should counter with what you would accept. Where you are sure you don’t want to counter or accept, just politely decline.
Countering an offer, or calling for Highest & Best offers are 2 advanced tactics in every real estate agent’s arsenal. When you sell a house by owner, you need to learn these 2 tactics.
Most companies will give you complex forms to counter an offer, or to request highest & best. Houzeo has digitized these, so you can counter or ask for highest & best with just a few clicks! That’s selling a house by owner made easy.
|#||Advanced Tactic||When to Use||How to Use|
|1.||Counter an Offer||Single or Multiple Offer Situation||Your best offer is not just the highest one. It’ll be competitive across several parameters: deposit, financing, inspection contingency, closing timeline, etc. When countering an offer, you can request any of these parameters to be updated per your preferences.|
▶️ Learn more: How to counter an offer on Houzeo.com
|2.||Request Highest & Best Offers||Multiple Offer Situation||If you have multiple offers, and a timeline by which you’d like to pick an offer, you can call for Highest & Best offer from all interested parties.|
▶️ Learn more: How to request Highest & Best offer on Houzeo.com
9. Handling Paperwork and Closure
Paperwork for selling a house without a realtor can be a daunting task for you. Also, the rules and regulations for real estate transactions are different from state to state, and thus complying with them might be quite intimidating for you. It is recommended that you hire a real estate lawyer to handle the legalities of your transaction.
On Houzeo, once you list on the MLS, all processes and changes can be made online! The agent’s specific Amendment Agreement is automatically generated, and changes go in usually within 1 business day!
Is It Hard to Sell Your Home Without a Realtor?
Now that we have discussed the detailed process of selling a house without a realtor, the “for sale by owner” process must have gotten clearer for you. There are many platforms out there that offer affordable flat-fee MLS service packages to make your for sale by owner home selling journey smoother and truly money-saving!
According to a report published in 2019, it was noted that 56% of sellers are skeptical about whether their property will be sold within the desired time frame or not, and being an independent seller doesn’t make it any easier for you.
You will have to invest a lot of time in doing the work a realtor would ordinarily do, which includes doing market research, marketing your property, showing the house to buyers, negotiating, handling the paperwork, and the final closure.
🔍 Explore More: How to Price Your Home For Sale in 6 Steps
Paperwork For Selling A House Without A Realtor
Paperwork needed for selling a house varies from state to state, so it is advised that you consult with a local real estate attorney or agent, or do a little online research on local government websites to know what documents are required as per your locality.
Handling paperwork for selling a house without a realtor can be intimidating but once you understand the process comprehensively and correctly, you can circumvent any disagreements that may arise with the buyers.
Here is a comprehensive list of all the documents needed to make the deal of your house (subject to change as per the locality):
|Original Sales Contract||Professional Appraisal||Records of home repair and maintenance||Payoff amount for your mortgage (mortgage statement)||Insurance Records|
|Receipts from any improvements||HOA documents (if applicable)||Warranties and manuals||Preliminary Title Report||Mandatory Disclosures|
|Pre-Inspection Report||Comparative Market Analysis||Listing Agreement||Seller’s Net Sheet||Purchase offer|
|Final purchase and sales agreement||Contingency removal form||Home Inspection Report||Appraisal Report||Closing Statement|
Do I Need a Lawyer to Sell My House Privately?
It was noted in a National Association of Realtors report that FSBO houses sold quicker than houses represented by realtors, statistically speaking 77% of FSBO houses got sold in less than 2 weeks from listing. But don’t let this fact mislead you, this only happened because the houses were sold to someone the seller already knew, like friends, family members, or relatives.
If you are selling a house to someone you don’t know, it is highly advised to hire a real estate lawyer. Dealing in real estate requires knowledge of federal, state as well as local laws. Hiring a real estate attorney not only protects your assets and investments but also takes care of legalities involved in the seller-buyer transactions, to avoid any unforeseen mishaps.
In the United States, as many as 21 states and the District of Columbia have made it mandatory to hire a real estate attorney, but even if you are dealing in a state which doesn’t require an attorney, it still would be recommended to invest in a lawyer.
Here is the list of the states which have made it mandatory to have a real estate attorney by your side when selling a house without a realtor or with a realtor.
|Alabama||Connecticut||Delaware||District of Columbia||Florida|
|Massachusetts||Mississippi||New Hampshire||New Jersey||New York|
|North Dakota||Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina||Virginia|
If you are living in a state which has not made it mandatory to hire an attorney, then it’s up to you whether or not you want to hire an attorney to take care of the legalities of your dealings.
Now that you have understood how selling a house without a realtor works, what paperwork is required for selling a house without a realtor, where do you need to invest your money and where can you save money, we want to tell you about a platform that makes everything even easier for you.
If you are selling a house without a realtor you can register on a platform like Houzeo. With Houzeo, you can choose your preferred agent or list your house on their platform as FSBO. They have $0 selling costs and no hidden charges at the time of closure. Other platforms might take 5-7 business days to list your property but Houzeo does it only in 1-2 days.
You can make changes to your listings anytime and they will be reflected within a day. This way you don’t just save time but also save the selling agent commission as you list your home yourself. Also, if the buyer is not through an agent then you save on the buyer’s agent’s commission too!
Houzeo also allows free cancellation anytime.
Frequently Asked Questions About For Sale By Owner Listing
What are the top 5 most important things for a For Sale By Owner?
Ensure you price your home right; 2. Get professional photos taken of your property – remember the most attended open house will be on Houzeo, Zillow, Redfin, etc!; 3. List your home on the MLS – It’s literally the most important marketing tool; 4. Offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission – You’re saving 3% Seller/Listing Agent commission on Houzeo!; 5. Put your contact details on Houzeo, and on Zillow.Read more about tips to sell your home fast as an FSBO.
What's the biggest regret for home sellers?
According to Zillow’s 2019 Survey, the biggest regret sellers have is not starting the process of preparing to sell sooner. That’s why we’ve created Houzeo – Instant listing and marketing of your home to thousands of buyers via the power of the MLS, Zillow, Redfin, Facebook, and Twitter!
Is MLS needed to sell For Sale By Owner?
Absolutely! MLS is by far the most important tool a real estate agent can provide you. The US Department of Justice says that home sellers can save $6,200 on the sale of median-priced homes by choosing innovative services like MLS-only packages offered by brokers on Houzeo. If your home is more expensive – it’s much much more than that!
Will I have full control of my FSBO listing?
Houzeo allows you to request all changes online giving you full control of your listing! Check out this clip on
How to Change Your MLS Listing Including Adding Open Houses… All Online! to learn more.
What are the steps to get my home ready for sale?
(1) Declutter and depersonalize your property.
(2) Make necessary repairs.
(3) Repaint interior walls.
(4) Organize closets and drawers.
(5) Make every surface shine
(6) Eliminate bad odors.
(7) Clean up the landscaping outside.
(8) Make the front door inviting.
How do I list my home for sale in local MLS?
First, log in to Houzeo using your e-mail, Facebook or google plus account. Click “Sell a Property” on the dashboard and fill out the address. Select a listing pan and Houzeo’s IntelliList Management System will make listing home easy and quick for you. Upload photos set a price, and sign your MLS contracts—it’s that easy, and your home will be listed on the local MLS in no time.
What are the necessary documents in closing your home?
Review these important documents in advance before the scheduled closing date. First, the HUD-1 or Closing disclosure that details the amounts you’re charged for, your loan payoffs if any, and the net proceeds you will take to the bank. Depending on how much equity you have in the property, you may need to bring a check (or send a wire) on the closing date.
What do I need to bring during closing?
Before the closing, make sure to prepare two forms of official ID. Use a valid driver’s license or passport—and a secondary as well, just in case. There will likely be a licensed notary who will need you to confirm your identification.