Closing a Home Sale Without a Realtor
Whatever your reason, you’re interested in selling your home, or a home you’ve inherited or acquired without a realtor. Many people are able to successfully negotiate a sale on a home without one, but first you need to be aware of what a realtor does:
Realtors go through four steps of the home selling process:
- List your house for you on MLS
- Advertise your home using fliers, one or more websites, and advertisements
- Conduct showings of your house and/or host one or more open house events
- Help you through the process of negotiations and assist in the closing
To provide this service, realtors charge on average between 4% and 7% of what you get for your home. In Colorado Springs, the housing market is going well—so your house may not have to be listed for very long to sell. Or it could take months. Depending on your reasons for selling and your timeline, these fees may not work for you.
Putting Your Home up for Sale for Free
If hiring a realtor is not for you, you will need to go through these steps to successfully sell your home for no cost out of pocket. Doing your research is very important to the selling your home, and to sell it for free you will need to do the research yourself.
- Fix Maintenance and Cosmetic Issues
You already know that buyers won’t want to commit to a house with obvious maintenance problems. The impression that potential buyers get of your house needs to be positive. Clear the yard of debris, make sure your paint job isn’t peeling, chipped or dirty, and fix broken lights, outlets, handles, minor plumbing issues, etc.
- Price Your Home to Sell
While you’re taking care of maintenance issues, you need to be research your price point. There are many great online tools that allow you to browse homes for sale in your neighborhood, like Zillow.com and trulia.com. Make sure to look at homes that are currently listed AND homes that have recently sold to get an idea of what is selling and for what price.
It can be hard to objectively value your home, especially if you have lived there for a long time. Your sentiment may lead you to overvalue your property—which ultimately costs you time and effort without connecting with interested buyers.
- Get a Flat Fee Listing on the MLS
The MLS is the most comprehensive listing service for real estate for sale. It’s primarily accessed through realtors, but in some areas buyers can directly search the listings. You can go here(insert link) or do a search for “Flat Fee MLS” to find listing services. Expect this to cost a couple hundred dollars.
- Market Your House
In addition to your MLS listing, you will need to advertise that your home is for sale. This can mean putting up ‘for sale’ signs in your yard, advertising on FSBO (for sale by owner) websites and printing out information flyers. Some services for advertising your home are not free, so factor these costs in.
- Prepare Your Home
To get the best reception from potential buyers, you will need to prepare your house to be shown. You will need to clean your home from top to bottom (you can hire a regular or one-time maid service for this). A grungy home will turn off most home buyers. You also need to clear out as much clutter and personal keepsakes as possible. Buyers don’t want to see how YOU have made the house your own, they want to be able to easily picture how THEY would make the house theirs. The final result is a home that is kept extremely clean and clear of clutter and personal items.
- Show Your Home
This step can take a weekend or months. Without a realtor, you will have to make the time to meet with any buyers and give the sales pitch. You need to know what features to highlight, and what features could potentially turn off buyers. Your house will need to be kept extremely clean and you will need to accommodate home showings into your family’s schedule.
Instead of, or in combination with individual showings, you can host one or more open house events. Plan to have pets and family members out of the house, and have refreshments and flyers on hand to make potential buyers feel welcome.
When you have an offer come in, that’s when the negotiations process starts. A seller has the option to accept, or revise a contract with a counter offer back to the buyer. Usually, this process requires some back and forth before a contract is signed by both parties. Once you accept a buyer’s offer, they have the right to have your home inspected for any problems—which can cause more negotiating based on the result of the inspection. If you aren’t familiar with the standard real estate contract, please review it with an attorney before entering negotiations with possible buyers. If you have family or friends who are lawyers or real estate agents, we strongly recommend getting advice while going through this process!
Quick Sale on Your Home for Free
If you don’t have time for the steps above, or are under pressure to sell your home quickly… we have a solution for you. We buy houses in Colorado for cash in any condition. There’s no need to spend the time and money fixing up the house to show to potential buyers. We are able to close in as quickly as 7 days with cash in your pocket!