Sell Your House Without An Agent And Save Thousands!
If you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s natural to want to get the most return as possible. Selling it yourself, rather than through a real estate agent, will help you save you a ton of money. Real estate agents represent an additional cost that needs to be factored into selling your home. A standard 6% commission on a $400,000 house, will cost you $24,000 at closing. This is the number reason homeowners decide to sell for sale by owner.
While saving the commission may sound very appealing, there are other aspects of selling your home that you may not have considered. Selling your home, yourself, can be difficult because of the time commitment, upfront resources, and the process of selling isn’t something people often do. But getting prepared for what’s ahead will help you net more money at closing and keep your stress to a minimum during the whole experience!
Setting a Reasonable Price for Your Home
Getting Your Home Prepared and Listed
Market Your Home
Prepare Your Disclosures
Getting To and Thru The Escrow Process
Setting A Reasonable Price For Your Home
Home selling involves a lot of aspects. The first step in this process is finding out how to properly price your home. This is a vital step that is especially important. If you price the value wrong, pricing too high, you will lose potential buyers. If the property stays on the market too long, negative opinions will start to form and then the offers you receive could be well below your asking price. If your price is too low, you are leaving money on the table. The whole reason for your selling for sale by owner. Below are a few options to help you price your house correctly:
Order an Appraisal
This is completed by a licensed appraisal and can cost between $495-$695 depending on location.
Order a Broker’s Price Opinion
A Real Estate Agent or Broker completes this. There are companies that you can order one, or if you know an agent, you may be able to ask them to do one for you. The cost of this can be $150-$250 depending on the size and location of the home. The BPO is the Broker’s opinion of what the house would sell for on the market, not full value.
Comparative Market Analysis
A Real Estate Agent or Broker also completes this. The cost is generally free if you can find an agent, which you should be able to do it for you, for free. They will want to complete as a favor for the chance at earning your business later.
Getting Your Home Prepared And Listed
While you are establishing the value and or the price you want to list your house for, there are a few things you need to consider getting your home prepared and ready to list for sale. There are Broker’s in California that will list your house on Multiple Listing Service for a fee. This will save you time versus listing it on all the other top internet sites separately, for example Zillow, Realtor.com. Here is a complete list to consider:
You can order your own home inspection, though during the escrow process, the buyer will order. This could provide information on the condition of the home, especially if it is an older home and it hasn’t always been kept up.
If there are obvious repairs, this is the time you want to get those repaired. Any repairs needed, will need to be disclosed to the potential home buyer.
A bit of internet research can help you decide if any updates are worth the expense. For example, a new updated bathroom may cost $5-$7,000 but can net you $10-$12k.
Hiring a professional stager can set you back about $1500-$2500, (depending on the size and the amount of rooms staged) but will maximize appeal among buyers. If you decide not to go this direction, decluttering is a MUST! Start going through, storing personal belongings, and rearranging furniture to showcase potential.
First impressions are everything, inside and out. Make sure the inside is cleaned top to bottom, dust those blinds, get rid of those cobwebs in the corners! Landscaping is equally important. Cut the grass, bushes and trees need to be trimmed, plant flowers.
Getting your home in tiptop shape is particularly important. First impressions are everything and you will want to be prepared. Doing a little bit of homework on repairs, improvements and inspections could save you thousands in negotiations and allow you to get top dollar for your house.
Market Your Home
Advertising for your home online is imperative to draw in buyers – and a professional photographer can help immensely by providing amazing first impressions from photos that capture exactly what the house has to offer. It’s important to have a listing that includes all the basics: price, location, age of the home, number of rooms overall, as well as bedrooms and bathrooms when advertising online.
Professional photos cost $150-$400+, based on size of the home and if you get drone photos and or 3-D virtual showings and are essential! Most buyers these days shop on the internet and decide what properties they want to see based on photos. They need to highlight all the primary areas of your home including in/outdoor amenities.
Doing it yourself marketing – if you don’t hire a Broker that will enter your listing into the Multiple Listing Service for you (for a fee), then you will have to manually enter the information on the internet sites people search. This would include Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, Craigslist, LoopNet (these sites are free) and then sites that support For Sale By Owner (.com), FSBO.com, have fees to list on their sites.
Don’t forget flyers and a For Sale sign, which can easily be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes.
Paperwork – Preparing Your Disclosures
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in selling a home, and you want to make sure you’re protected from fraudulent activity and buyers who are not qualified. Agents know their way around the ins and outs of disclosure laws better than most homeowners, so you may be able to pay a buyer’s agent (if you sell to a buyer who has one) to supply you with all the necessary disclosures. Disclosures are important, especially in California. The last thing you want is to be sued due to a lack of disclosing essential information.
Seller’s Net Sheet
You can get this from the escrow company you hire. They will help you with any of the title reports that are required, as well as any Homeowner’s Association Documents.
Residential Purchase Agreement
Also, known as the RPA, this will need to be given to escrow upon an accepted offer from a buyer. The buyer’s agent will supply the original agreement.
Preliminary Title Report
This report will show any current liens recorded against the property. Again, escrow can help you with this report.
Current Mortgage Statements
You will need the payoff amount of your mortgage and you can get this from your mortgage company, but your escrow company can also help you with this, but you will still need your mortgage information.
These are a MUST. As a seller, you are required to disclose pertinent information about the house you are selling. You need to disclose if you are in a flood or fire zone, earthquake fault, deaths or even any recent repairs or rehab. You may be able to call or visit a local Real Estate board and buy a packet of essential disclosures needed, or you may be able to ask the buyer’s agent to provide for a fee.
Getting To And Thru The Escrow Process
Getting to the point of opening escrow is one hurdle, then you must get through the other hurdle, closing escrow. When you represent yourself, you will need to do the extra work of making sure any potential buyers who are unrepresented by an agent are qualified. Yes, you will get buyers who are not qualified, calling to make an appointment to view your house. Here is a list of processes you should familiarize yourself with, otherwise, you could be taken advantage of during the process.
Ask for a Prequalification Letter from a Lender
Then call and speak to the lender to make sure the buyer is fully qualified. It is easy to go online and get a prequalification letter. If you really want to make sure the buyer is qualified, ask if they have the full lender approval. This means they have already supplied their financials to the lender, the lender has reviewed them.
The buyer has a contingency period, unless otherwise negotiated, in which the buyer will hire a professional home inspector to inspect your home. The results are given to the buyer and the buyer can decide based on those results if they would still like to ask for repairs, move forward or cancel the escrow.
If the buyer is financing, the lender will need to do an appraisal to make sure the offer value has comparable sales to confirm the offer price. If the appraisal value comes in low, the home seller and buyer will then renegotiate a price, or either the seller or the buyer can cancel escrow.
Once you open escrow, the lender is working in the background to make sure the buyer finalizes their loan so that they can buy our house. The buyer must get full loan approval prior to the loan contingency time expiring. If the buyer does not, they can ask for an extension or can cancel escrow. If escrow gets canceled, then you start the process all over again.
We Buy Houses – Cash Buyers
A good option when contemplating selling your house yourself is to sell to a ‘We Buy Houses Cash’ home buyer. There are many advantages to selling to a cash buyer.
No Commission or Hidden Fees
No Seller Closing Costs – Most Will Pay Those for You
They Buy AS-IS – No Repairs or Inspections
No Appraisal or Loan Approval Needed
No Cleaning Required – Pack What You Want and Leave the Rest
Pick Your Closing Date – 7+ Days, You Decide
Selling your home yourself to a cash buyer is an effective way to save time, hassle and avoid the headaches of trying to sell yourself in a traditional market.
While selling your house ‘For Sale By Owner’ may initially sound appealing, there is a lot of work and time involved. You can potentially save money, but there is a lot of uncertainty, nothing is guaranteed. When you sell to a ‘We Buy Houses for Cash’ company, they are structured to be a solution for someone who wants to sell quickly or sell AS-IS without doing repairs and doesn’t want all the inconvenience and fees of selling with an agent.
If you are considering selling your house in California, we want to buy your house and we are here to help you find a solution for your specific situation. Our goal is to provide the highest and best offer. If you find that our offer is not right for you, we will get you pointed in the right direction, guaranteed! We buy houses in any condition, any circumstance, and any reason, we will find a solution for you. If you need a little more information, please visit our About Us page. We are transparent with our process and our How It Works page has information on how we calculate offers.