For Sale By Owner

Keeping the Commission: A Guide to Selling Your Home Without the Help of an Agent

Using an estate agent to help guide you through the sale of your home is the most traditional route to take, but with the rise of online agents taking control of the process might be less complicated than one might think.

The chance to sidestep paying the traditional 6% commission to a real-estate agent has become a more attractive, more attainable option for home sellers. Due to the rise of online agents and access to websites like ForSaleByOwner.com, Zillow and RedFin, homeowners are more motivated to list their homes themselves.   

Chad Tweed and his wife have sold multiple homes using different methods over the years, but before they decide to stake a For-Sale sign in their lawn they consider a myriad of factors to prepare for their home-sale. ESTATENVY caught up with the Tweeds and they shared some of their considerations to keep in mind when sellng a home without an agent.  

Valuation of the home

Obtaining an appraisal or the estimated worth of a home is critical information to hold as one begins the For Sale By Owneror commonly known as FSBOprocess. There are multiple online outlets available to use when finding the value of your home. A few include:

  1. Zillow
  2. Trulia
  3. Redfin
  4. Realtor.com
  5. Real Estate ACP
  6. Eppraisal.com
  7. HomeGain.com
  8. Chase Mortgage Services
  9. RE/MAX
  10. ForSaleByOwner.com
  11. Advertising

Choosing your method of advertising should involve multiple outlets, for example, the Tweed family used a combination of newspaper, online services, signage, and word of mouth as a part of their sales process. Video walk arounds and professional photos are additional ways to help potential buyers get a feel for the space. Additionally, providing floor plans and including room measurements is a great tactic home-sellers can use to help prospective buyers visualize themselves, and their belongings, in a new space.

Financial Planning

Planning out your finances carefully is key to making the home selling process as stress-free as possible. Along with having your home appraised, additional authorization documents such as an energy performance certificate, property tax assessments, and a list of necessary disclosures about the property can go a long way to ensure selling your home without an agent is a positive experience. Hiring a solicitor to help with the completion of the sale and calculating personal moving costs are added suggestions that can assist the for sale by owner process.

Home Renovation

Maintenance can be a costly but necessary component of the home selling process. Even with an agent, most sellers take on small renovation projects to increase the likelihood of a fast sale. Small improvements have the potential to go a long way when it comes to attracting buyers. Upgrades can include new light fixtures in main living areas, choosing a neutral paint color and updating the trim, or small landscaping projects to give the home additional curb appeal.

Showings

Scheduling home showings can be tricky and owners looking to sell without an agent need to be prepared to accommodate home-showing requests on nights and weekends. A helpful tip to rein in inevitable scheduling conflicts is advertising an open house to encourage interested buyers to visit the home within a specific time frame.

In addition to preparing for showings, added information that can provide extra value to interested buyers can include calling attention to large improvements to high-value items such as the roof or heating/air-conditioning unit or providing estimated energy and operating costs of the home. Sharing your extensive knowledge of the neighborhood and surrounding areas with interested families can also help accelerate buyer interest.

Negotiating

As the seller, you must be prepared to negotiate on the homes price and attempt to keep your emotions in check during this process. Having a firm bottom line for what you consider an acceptable offer on your home will help with this process. Emotional attachment can be the most difficult component of selling a home without an agent, an additional option for sellers can be to hire a broker for limited services. It is a commonly unknown fact that some agents offer limited services that can help sellers with particular aspects of selling a home, like negotiations, detailed disclosures, or closing paperwork.

Closing Costs

The paperwork required for any closing is a detail that must not be overlooked. Home-sale-closing paperwork typically varies state by state and requires a seller’s full attention, the Tweed family sought counsel from a few realtors willing to speak with them prior to their closing process. Additional options for support during the final stages of the home-sale process are, hiring an agent that is willing to provide limited services and offer council surrounding the closing, or using an online operative like FSBO.com where you can pay $200 to have a professional broker review your purchase contract prior to completing the sale.