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How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor

By - 2006

We have to start by acknowledging that the question shouldn't be how do you sell your house without a realtor, but how to do it without a real estate agent. "Realtor" is a trademarked designation for agents that are members of the National Association Of Realtors. In any case, should you try to save the commission and go it alone.

The evidence says no, at least most of the time. Houses sold by their owners tend to sell for less. Partly this is inexperience in pricing. Partly it is because buyers are also looking to save money and figure they can offer less since you aren't paying a commission. Add the lower sale's price to the money you have to spend to market your home and you may not be any further ahead for all your work.

On the other hand there are times when it may make sense to sell on your own. A hot market is an example of such a time. Since that's not likely (this is being written in 2009), let's look at another example of when you might profitably save that commission.

If you have some special offer that makes the home easy to sell and at price, you might spend very little on advertising and save most of the commission you would have paid to a realtor. For example, if you owe nothing on the house, you might finance the sale yourself, offering the buyer a low down payment and easy monthly payments. That should enable you to get a higher price even when selling it yourself.

In any case, if you decide to sell your house without a realtor (or any other real estate agent), here are some tips to help you get a faster sale at a higher price.

Clean, clean, clean. Have your home ready to show the moment you place that first ad in the newspaper or put up that sign. Walk an honest friend through to get a more objective opinion on how presentable it is (we can't see our own dirt after a while).

Have answers ready. List the questions you are most likely to hear from potential buyers and have your answers ready. Uncertainty scares people away.

Get quotes. If there is anything that the house will need soon, and you're not going to fix it, get a quote. This is all about removing uncertainty again. A buyer may be scared off by a roof fix with an unknown cost, but if they can see that it will cost $3,000 they may just take that into account in their offer.

Talk to a banker. Have some idea of what kind of loans are available, in case buyers don't. You should be ready to send them to a lender if they are interested but don't know where to go.

Talk to a closing company. It always makes a sale more likely when you make it easier for a buyer, so have a closing company in mind and know what they will charge.

Learn how to sell. We don't assume we can fix a train or program a computer without some knowledge and training in these areas, so why assume you know how to sell if you haven't read one book on the subject? Go to the library or bookstore and start studying. If you want to sell your house without a realtor you should have some of the skills that they have.

Another page to check out:

How to Sell a House - Free e-book now on the pages of this site!


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