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Blog November 15, 2021

Want to Sell a House Without an Agent? Here’s How

Posted in Finding a Home
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Around 6.5 million homes were sold in the US in 2020, and the number keeps rising. That makes realtors essential workers. However, their assistance doesn’t come cheap, and that’s why more and more people are choosing to sell a house without an agent. If you want to learn how to ace that process check out some tips and tricks that will make your property stand out in the sea of other listings.

Is It Possible to Sell a House Without an Agent?

Did you know that only 8% of sellers sold a residence without a realtor in 2020? And even though figuring out how to sell a house without a real estate agent won’t be easy, it is still possible, so don’t give up. Doing everything on your own means you won’t have to pay a high commission. Keep in mind that professionals earn between 3 and 6% of the house’s sale price. You’ll be saving quite a few bucks. This is especially important if you own a property in some hot real estate marketplace like NYC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Furthermore, one of the main reasons owners opt to plan the whole selling process themselves is because almost 80% of deals are closed in just two weeks (according to the National Association of Realtors report). That being said, after the deal is closed, you’ll be able to focus on your move. This means you’ll have the time to find and hire some of the best east coast movers or west coast movers (depending on where you live) and organize the rest of the relocation process.

Learning How to Sell Your House Without a Real Estate Agent Will Not Be Easy

Suppose you haven’t done this before. There will be a learning curve you have to master. However, don’t despair. You can always seek help from friends and family who have done it before. Do a little bit of research, consult with people, and soon you’ll learn how to present the property in the best way possible, how to estimate its value, and how to close the deal.

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Choose the Right Strategy for You and the Property

There are a lot of ways you can go around selling the residence. Employing different strategies will not only increase the value of the property, but it will also make the whole process faster. To make selling a breeze, you should:

  • Carefully determine the value of the residence – Most people have a budget limit, and they should know if they have what it takes to buy a property.
  • Make the home look spotless – This will attract the larger buyer pool (people moving from another state or even another country).
  • Avoid getting emotional about the process – Be realistic about the pros and cons of your property. It will make the sale easier.
big house Speed up the estate selling process by employing different strategies

Determine the Home’s Current Value ASAP

Doing the whole process on your own means you’ll have to rely on yourself for all the tasks. Start with evaluating how much the residence is worth in its current condition. Even though you probably have an asking price in mind, you should reconsider it if it is a lot higher than the actual value. Keep in mind that setting an unrealistic price will make the selling process long and difficult.

Evaluating the current value starts by checking the competitors. Go online on websites like Zillow, and scroll through the listings. Enter the current address and see other properties. This way, you’ll know what the asking prices for the residences in your vicinity are.

Furthermore, some websites offer automated calculators that show the approximate value of the property. However, those are not entirely correct, and they can be off by thousands of dollars. That’s why you should consider bank appraisals. Go through all of these steps, and you’ll easily be able to tell how much your property is worth.

Spending Some Money on Key Renovation Projects Could Significantly Increase the Property Value

Using cross-country moving services, as well as relocating to a new home, all cost a lot of money. And if your goal is to move to a bigger and better place, you have to sell a current one for a lot of money. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to increase its current value as fast as possible, such as:

  • Ensure that electricity and other utilities are correctly set up – If there is leaky gas, frequent power outages, and squeaking pipes, take care of them before showing the residence.
  • Wall sockets, switches, and other electronics should be functional – ensure all of these are in working condition and if they are not, hire a professional electrician to repair them.
  • Check the floors and walls – if you want to increase the home’s value, you cannot leave holes in the walls. Also, repaint walls because that will give off a new and shiny vibe. If there is hardwood, refinish it and give it a fresh new look.

If you want to do some of these renovations yourself, check out the video below and learn how to refinish hardwood floors.

YouTube video

Charm the Potential Owner by Staging the Home for Viewings

Even though you did a lot of things already to make the residency look appealing, there are still a few small touch-ups that can make it more charming and unique. Even though there are many reasons people move and look to buy a property, most of them have one thing in common – they like to see a property with plenty of natural light. That’s why you should open up the blinds and curtains on your windows when showcasing the property.

Another small change comes in the form of rearranging the furniture and strategically placing it around the rooms. If you don’t know what are interior design trends nowadays, consult a stager or a designer. When you decide how to arrange bulky items, move the extra furniture to the garage, or use the storage services long-distance movers offer.

Removing Unnecessary Appliances Will Declutter the Space

Marie Kondo, famous for her decluttering skills, said that “putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.” That’s why you should avoid cramming all the extra stuff in the corners, as this can easily be spotted by potential buyers. If you wish to present the residence in the best light possible, make a household inventory list and prepare yourself for a thorough decluttering.

Although, don’t pack up all the fragile items and consider putting off the process of boxing up paintings for the last minute because they will give the home a warm, livable vibe. However, try to keep the vibe neutral and get rid of things that might pop out and distract people. Decluttering will not only make your current residence look spacious, but it will also help if you are moving from a house to an apartment (since they are mostly less spacious than houses).

A pro tip that can help you amaze the potential buyers – if you want to show off creative storage ideas in the home, remember to pack books (which will show off spacious shelves) and box up shoes (which will emphasize the rack space). If you don’t want to actually throw away all of these items, put them in a storage facility your long-distance moving company offers.

Clean the Home and All the Remaining Belongings

Once you decide what not to pack and what to let cross country movers handle, it is time for the clean-up. Grab all the mops, buckets, and rugs, and get ready for wiping, dusting, and vacuuming. If you haven’t packed up the dishes, wash and dry them. Don’t let other people see fancy silverware soaking up in the sink. To learn a few kitchen cleaning tricks, check out the video below.

YouTube video

Styling the Garden Can Speed up the Sale

Yes, we know the saying goes, don’t judge the book by its covers, but sellers shouldn’t focus only on the inside when preparing the home for sale. Just put yourself in the position of a buyer – when house-hunting, would the residence with a messy yard have the same appeal as the one with trimmed grass and a stylish garden? Of course not. That’s why as a seller, you should ensure that the buyer gets the best first impression possible. Fortunately, that can be achieved pretty quickly, as you just need to trim some grass, glean the curbside and remove the trash.

Use sharp blades when mowing the lawn to avoid brown tips on the cut grass

Promote the Hell Out of Your Listing/Property

When you finish dolling up the place, the next step is promoting it. Because how will you sell it if nobody knows it is on the market? Start by taking high-quality photos of each room. The next thing is creating a summary of the residence. If you are not on Robert Frost’s poetic level, worry not – just check what others have put in their descriptions.

Go Online But Don’t Forget the Good Old Front Yard Sign

Let’s do some promotion next. Put the listing on websites such as Zillow and Realtor. However, keep in mind that listing a property on the market is not free, so set a promotion budget. Don’t worry, as paying for listings is still more affordable than hiring a realtor.

Finally, buy ads on social media platforms. They are an excellent solution for creating a bigger pool of potential buyers. Also, you can put a big For Sale sign on the front lawn. Ensure it is visible to everybody that’s passing by.

The owner should put a sign in front of the property because it's the perfect way to advertise

Learn to Negotiate Before You Arrange Viewings With Potential Buyers

Since you won’t have a middle man to barter on your behalf, prepare for some negotiating. You’ll have to talk and communicate with many interested parties. And one of the main things many agents recommend is setting the lowest bid willing to accept long before the viewings start. When you have a number in mind, select the asking price above it, and be ready to negotiate it. Most people are prepared to negotiate 5 to 10% of the asking amount.

When Figuring Out How to Sell Your House Without an Agent, the Key Is to Be Patient

Another thing sellers should be aware of is – the offers won’t start coming straight away. Don’t get disappointed. Selling a residence can be a waiting game because a potential buyer probably scouts more than a few listings at the time. Be polite, answer all the questions in a respectful manner, and the process won’t be tedious. Showing patience and professionalism will only speed up the selling process, and the property won’t stay on the market for too long.

Sellers should be patient because it goes a long way

Iron Out All the Necessary Details and Finalize the Sale

After careful consideration, you and the buyer have reached an agreement. When you both are finally ready to close the deal, do it over the phone or an email. However, the actual legal contract won’t be signed right away because it takes time for professional lawyers to draft it.

While waiting for the contract (which can take up to 50 days), iron out all the minor details and figure out who you need to notify about the move. Don’t forget to transfer utilities to a new address.

Close the Deal Once You Get an Offer That Suits You

While you are waiting for the contract, organize important documents right away. That will make the signing day faster and stress-free. Because it is a legally binding contract, you’ll need to double-check all the info before anybody signs anything. When everything is done, feel free to congratulate yourself on a job well done. All that’s left is to grab the moving essentials and head to a new destination.

When everything is signed, all that's left for you is to head to a new destination

Once You Figure Out How to Sell a House Without an Agent, It’s Time to Move

You did it! You sold a house without the help of real estate agents. However, now is not the time to celebrate (that will come a bit later). There is another urgent thing that requires your attention – moving out. Since you are probably already using long-distance moving services, including packing service, car shipping, and other assistance, there won’t be a lot of tasks left for you to handle. Think about everything you can do with the money and let the company do all the heavy lifting for you.

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