How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor

In most real estate sales, real estate agents take a 5% to 6% commission on selling a home. On a $180,000 sale, 5% is $9,000 – that's $9,000 that's not going into your pocket. Selling your house by on your own can save you half or more the amount of your realtor expenses.Whether realtors are worth it depends on your personal situation.One of the advantages of having a real estate agent sell your home is that you have access to their expertise. In addition, the agent is working on your behalf so that you don’t have to do as much work when selling your home. But, you're going to have to pay for it. 

I've sold 3 of my houses over the years each without a seller's realtor for much more than $180,000 a piece. I've had to pay a buyer's realtor for bringing in buyers to see the house at times. The most I have had to pay is 2.5% in total commission. In the case of a $180,000 sale, instead of paying $9,000, I've only had to pay $4,500. When you add up the amount saves over several houses, the amount of savings is significant for anyone. 
If you decide not to use a real estate agent to sell your house, here are some things to consider.

1. Understand the market.

Research your area and understand the local market. Find out what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for. You can also ask a couple of real estate agents to come by and give you some analysis. If you are up front about your desire to sell the home on your own, some may pay you a visit. They want to leave a good impression just in case you get tired of trying to go it alone. Get a realistic idea of what you can expect for your home and try to avoid pricing it too high.

2. Advertise your home.

You can’t sell your home if no one knows it’s for sale. To spread the word, you’ll need to advertise your property.
You can do this with ads in the local classifieds, which can be quite reasonable. You can also list online with various real estate websites. These cost anywhere between $200 and $1,000, depending on the service and what is included. An online listing is a good idea, since it will make your home more searchable in databases used by real estate agents and buyers when they are looking for homes.
For the best exposure you can have your home included in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) by agreeing to pay the commission of the buyer’s agent when your house sells. This is typically about 2.5% of the sale price – which is still a lot of money but better than 6%.

3. Know the paperwork and get an attorney.

Perhaps the most difficult portion of selling your home without a real estate agent is making sure that the paperwork is in order. You can get help on this from a trusted real estate attorney.
The legal fees you’ll pay won’t be cheap but will be less than what you would pay in commission. You can do the paperwork yourself, but you need to make sure that you are in compliance with all the state and federal laws that apply. Take some time to educate yourself about these things before you begin.

4. Prepare to work hard.

Selling your home is hard work. Be prepared to show the home, negotiate, and keep it clean. You may need to stage your house or enhance its curb appeal. You also need to be ready to put in the hours necessary to educate yourself and properly advertise your home. If you are prepared, you can sell your home on your own – and save yourself the commission fee.


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