Home Selling in San Antonio>Question Details

Holly Mcclel…, Both Buyer and Seller in San Antonio, TX

I have been approached by an acquaintace about purchasing my home. How would I go about selling my home without a real estate agent?

Asked by Holly Mcclellan, San Antonio, TX Thu Dec 30, 2010

Our home is in San Antonio, Texas and we will be moving in July 2011.

Help the community by answering this question:


Jason Campbell’s answer
Ok.. let's get real... this is easy as pie, and you won't need to hire anyone to do it...

Step 1 - go to: http://www.trec.state.tx.us/formslawscontracts/forms/forms-c…
Step 2 - use this form if your home is just a regular home - 20-8
(06/30/2008) One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale)
(NOTE: After 03/01/2011, you MUST use 20-9 below, instead of this one.)
Step 3 - Use this from for the financing - 40-3
(12/10/2007) Third Party Financing Condition Addendum
(NOTE: After 03/01/2011, you MUST use 40-4 below, instead of this one.)
Step 4 - go to ANY title company you choose.. I like Amanda Tidmore at Providence title... but you can use anyone you choose.
Step 5 - have them help you to fill out the contract at the negotiated price.. BE SURE TO READ THE CONTRACT. BOTH OF YOU!!
Step 6 - If your friend has not yet qualifed for a loan... they need to go get their loan approved. I like Gina Jankowski at Prime Lending, but... again.. they can use anyone they want.

Step 7 - If your friend does a home inspection and there are any repairs... agree to those repairs in writing and use the form in step 8
Ste 8 - Only if your buyer requires you to make some repairs or needs make any other changes to the contract - 39-6 (02/13/2006) Amendment to Contract

Once all that is done... sit back, wait for the lender to do their thing... get title anything they need from you... and wait for the loan to close... You are all done!

Easy as pie.

Jason Campbell
Keller Williams - San Antonio
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 11, 2011
You would contact a lawyer and have them draw up a sales contract to purchase. Be sure to use a lawyer that does real estate. I had someone use a divorce lawyer once and it was a mess for awhile.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
You sure can do it on your own, but it will involved extra effort. Without an agent, I do think it is especially important that you have a good real estate attorney representing you to be sure the contracts are in good order and to usher the transaction through to close.

An important part of the negotiation will be agreeing on a price. This is where a third party can be helpful - yes, you can do it on your own, but be sure you gather the facts of the market. You can bet your buyer is doing his homework, so be sure to do your own.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
OH MY GOODNESS!!!! Holly, this thread is nauseating to say the least! Almost two dozen realtors answering your question by "hire a realtor". I guess everyone has their best interests in mind.

Nevermind the horror stories and all the "you shouldn't do it yourself, its dangerous" responses to your post. The REALITY is that it is perfectly legal, safe, and secure to sell your own home. You don't need a realtor, or an attorney for that matter. If you and your friend agree on a price, go to the Texas Real Estate Commission website http://(www.trec.state.tx.us), go to the Forms and Contracts, and download the 1-4 Family Residential Contract. It's easy to fill out (so easy even a realtor can do it) (I'm kidding Realtors, don't send me hate mail, :-)) initial each page and y'all sign it and take it to a title company to file (if you need a title company, take it to the same office you closed at when you bought the house). If you need help filling the contract out, the title company will help you do that too. They will review it for accuracy and let you know if you left anything out or need any other paperwork (and they have attorneys if you need it).

Your buyer's mortgage company will let the buyer know what they need, appraisals, surveys, etc., which a lot of them will order for you.

It's not dangerous, or scary, or anything like that. You're savvy enough to post questions on Trulia, I'm sure you can handle this as well. The only thing you may need a Realtor for will be comparables if you don't know what your house is worth (that's where they do got us by the cojones). DO NOT go off of Bexar County Appraisal District as was posted earlier, these values do not reflect the market and are usually off 10-20%. It takes 30 seconds for a realtor to email you these comps, so feel free to ask any of these realtors here for a CMA. Heck, shoot me the address and I'll tell you what it's worth.

Note: I am an investor, not a realtor. Which is why my answers are usually against the grain you'll see on these posts.

Selling your house without a realtor is very easy to do. Don't be scared. Use the TREC form, and lean on the Title Company for help if you need it. Congrats on the sale!

Tony Z
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Hello Holly,

It probably makes sense to use a Realtor and pay them a flat fee to handle the contracts. There are so many steps in the home buying process and so many things that can go wrong. As a consultant and a Realtor I have helped prepare contracts for buying and selling clients for flat fees when that is my only involvement.

You may also consider consulting a real estate attorney to help with the process. Don't go it along though, there is too much that could go wrong without the proper expertise and knowledge.

Good luck.

Don Groff
REALTOR | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 5, 2011
Hi Holly,
Writing, Writing, Writing. Don't do anything that is not in writing, especailly among friends and family. I would recommend hiring a Real Estate Attorney at the minimum, and under no circumstances do anything "verbally". The attorney can prepare the documents and may be able to conduct the closing as well making for a smooth transaction.

You'll want to know what your home is actually worth as well. You can do this by comparing prices in your neighborhood with the appraisal district, but be careful of online "estimates". Texas is a non disclosure state, and as such, Final Sales Prices are not public record avalable to them, so many of their estimates can be WAY off. The appraisal district is a good source if your in a regular type neighborhood with regular sales activity. This activity keeps the ditrict apprised of trends, but be careful, THEY USE LAST YEARS DATA TO CREATE THIS YEARS APPRAISALS.

REALTORS subscribe to the local MLS and have access to current data, which could save you money if by pricing it right. When i sold my first home (before I was a broker), I knew very little and was working out a deal with the neighbors renting next door. They fell through, so I went ahead and hired an agent. My agent sold my home on Day 1 for $53,000 more than I had agreed with the neighbor!! That kind of got me going in the Real Estate Business. She was inspiring to watch to say the least.... Her name was Candy Hogan in San Diego, CA.

I'm in San Antonio, Texas now, and have 6 years of real estate experience as well as over 12 years of sales experience in general. All of the homes and negotiations I've particpated in has shown me the many pitfalls to avoid and how to stay friendly through the entire transaction. It would be terrible to start out as friends and have the transaction mar that in any way for you.

Many Brokers may be willing to do this for a small fixed fee in order to gain your business on the purchase of your next home! Something to look into at least.

best of luck,

John King
Broker - Owner
Bluefax Realty, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 2, 2011

You have a lot of good answers and of course most of them point back to hiring an agent (you'll be hard pressed to find an agent who wouldn't say that). Obviously, that is the preferred method. You can do it yourself and if you go that route, I would definitely take the advice of having a real estate attorney draw up the paperwork.

The one thing I always worry about with someone selling their own home, particularly to someone they know, is liability and what happens if something goes wrong. I didt know it until I became an agent myself, but there are protections in place for consumers when using a licensed Realtor (r). We carry what's called E&O Insurance (Errors and Ommissions) that covers us in the event of lawsuits and the state of Texas maintains the Real Estate Fund which helps cover consumers in the event of lawsuits. Both relate to agent represented sales and would not cover you if you managed the sale yourself.

Whatever route you do take, I would be sure you price your home properly. Have it appraised or get an agent to run a Comparative market analysis for you. Of course the agent will do it for you in order to gain your business, so be up front with them on your position that you're looking to sell yourself.

If your friend does purchase your home, be sure they are working with a reputable lender as well. Getting the contract accepted is great, but only if that lender can get that loan all the way to closing.

And although it is legal here in the State of Texas, I would avoid any form of dual agency (intermediary), where one agent represents both parties. It's a personal choice and there of plenty of agents who practice it. I've written about it several times on my site, but to sum it up, I personally dont think it benefits anyone but the agent in a transaction.

Hope that helps!

Matt Stigliano, Realtor (r)
RE/MAX Access
(210) 646-HOME
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 31, 2010
First, I believe you need to determine the selling value of your home as your mortgage balance would seem to be very close to the Bexar Appraisal District valuation. So I can understand wanting to save costs when selling. You also indicated you will be buying another home. Maybe you can find a real estate broker who will agree to a very minimum charge to represent you in your home sale if you agree to have that realtor represent you in your next purchase.
Second, you should have received a survey to your property when you purchased it in 2007 and it is valid unless you have changed the footprint on the property. So there might be no need to get a new one.
There are a number of factors you and your friend should discuss now. Things like: when would the sale close; do you have to move out at closing or can a lease be negotiated until your new home is ready for move in; what if your house increases in value or decreases; if your friend is getting a mortgage they will require a current appraisal.
There could be other factors that I have not listed/thought of tonight.
A phone call for a discussion is free. Call a broker.
473-1136 cekk
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Very carefully. As most everybody else has said, getting the paperwork done is easy. Hire a lawyer, preferably a real estate attorney, get the title company to help with the paperwork, find a realtor who will do it for a flat rate or a small commission. You can even buy a blank contract at Office Max! I'm just not sure how binding it is. The devil is in the details. Who takes care of ordering surveys, inspections, negotiating repairs, ordering appraisals, making sure that the buyers loan is not only pre approved, but in order and proceeding toward closing in a timely manner, and by the way, are you confident of the value of your home? You sure want to make sure you sell it for a fair price. I think the hardest part of my job is not finding a buyer, but holding things together once the earnest money contract is signed. You will want to make sure that your contract has as few loop holes as possible. I guess the next advice is to pray that the buyer is sincere and doesn't change his mind, since you are not marketing and won't have a back up plan or other buyers waiting in the wings should the first contract fall through.

Good Luck, Holly! I hope it all works out for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
You will spend more money in advertising your home, signs, open houses and legal fees selling it yourself you can save all that money selling it thru a realtor and in worst case scenario your home won't be sold but if your home its not sold you didn't lose a dime because the realtor its the one that paid for everything
Web Reference: http://www.sucomuse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Hi Holly,

Everyone presents some great answers and advice. Some other things you may want to consider. Is your aquaintance being represented by anyone? If they are, you may end up paying their Realtor(r) who represents them, not you. Additionally, if they are not represented, how do you know if they qualify for a loan for your home or are they going to pay cash? If they say they are going to pay cash, how do you know they have it?

As mentioned earlier, you need to know about inspections and surveys and different disclosures that are necessary for you to tell any buyer. Are you negotiating repairs and do you know how much your home is worth compared to others in your neighborhood? What if your buyer falls through, what are you going to do? There are so many questions, and I have only presented a few of them for you to consider.

You can hire a Real Estate Attorney to help you draw up paperwork, but I would sincerely implore you to hire some type of representation for yourself so that they can explain the entire process to you. A good/GREAT :), Realtor is a true asset to you and does more than put a sign in the yard.

I certainly hope my (and any of the othesr) answers to you have been helpful and wish you the best of luck.
If you need anything, feel free to call.

Brenda Mullen
Smart Moves Realty
Realtor(r), ABR(r), e-Pro
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
If you don't plan on using an agent, do hire an attorney who specializes in real estate for all related paperwork....however consider an agent, he/she can provide you with comps, recently sold similar properties in the immediate area and negotiate a fair selling price on your behalf...consider--your house is your home, emotions are homebound---selling your house is a business transaction; in a business, a professional is able to best to protect your interests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Like most everyone has said, an attorney can do the paperwork for you but they won't also represent your best interests and walk you through all the other details that go with the transaction process.

One agent can represent both buyer and seller, but that limits what the agent can disclose to each party - so it's really better if they each have their own representation.

You might see what an real estate attorney would charge to do the paperwork for buyer and seller and then negotiate a fee slightly higher with a Realtor that will help you with the entire transaction - not just the paperwork. Better for you, your friendship and your investment.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
I personally would not sell my home without some sort of representation. I can recommend a good real estate attorney to draw up the contract but, the lawyer will not schedule the home inspections, surveyor, etc. Ask your friends for a name of a good real estate agent that will handle the transaction. Usually 1 to 2 % of the purchase price is a good number. You don't want to be stuck later with problems. I will be happy to help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Go see a board certified real estate attorney and have them help you write the contract.
It will be well worth whatever fee they will charge you.
Should be a few hunderd.
Whatever you do, DON"T fill out the forms yourself, don't download the forms, don't go to Office Max and buy a boilerplate form.
Why risk your biggest investment for a few hundred and potentially cost you thousands.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Sit down and discuss the terms and conditions (you can find a copy of Texas Real Estate Commission approved contract form on the internet or have an attorney draft a sales contract for you), complete a seller's disclosure form plus any addenda required by law. Then take the contract and earnest money, if any, to a mutually agreed upon title company.

As Tom said, you can probably hire an agent for a flat fee to assist you in the drafting and administration of the contract and it won't cost more than $300 to $500, but ultimately you're still responsible for following the terms of the contract.
Web Reference: http://www.phgbrokers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Great answer Doc...

Also, a third party can run interference for the problems that will inevitably arise. In todays volatile market, poop happens on alomost every deal. A professional, like Doc and the others below, and myself, have seen most of the problems and know how to deal with it... Plus, if it is a friend you are dealing with, those problems can ruin a friendship if not handled properly.

I know a few good lawyers who are fair, but honestly, they will only do paperwork. They won't advise regarding inspections, appraisers, surveys, mortgages, etc... I still think you should find an agent who will represent you as the client, and your buyer as the customer... and if they want representation, they can pay for their own agent... It's a big deal, and many a Seller has ended up regretting not hiring a pro... For instance - I just sold a home today that was listed with a discount broker for 9 months that had failed to sell. The Seller hired a new agent who discounted the commission - now, he has made 10 payments on a vacant property, then hired me and I sold it in 14 days, for the price I said it would sell for... Lesson? Hire the pro the first time.. you will never regret it.
Web Reference: http://CallDannyT.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Hi, Holly,

Lawyers have a saying that any Lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client. Without a competent neutral party, you risk ruining a perfectly good friendship over some detail that wasn't covered. Your friendship is worth more than that.

If you don't want to pay a REALTOR® to write up the contract and make sure that all the legalities and details are in place (many of us will do that for a flat fee or small percentage, since we don't have to stage and market the property), at least get a Board-certified Real Estate Attorney to write the contract documents and handle the closing details for you. You might also get an Appraisal from a competent appraiser so that there is no question about the property value.

There is a reason that REALTORS follow the same procedure on each transaction. You'll want your friend to get a fresh survey, because yours doesn't protect them. We encourage every Buyer to have a home inspection by a good licensed Inspector, again so that some small item doesn't ruin the friendship. In Texas, it is more than just a good idea to get Title Insurance. Even though there aren't many claims, it only takes one to ruin someone financially. When there is a lot of money involved, attitudes change abruptly.

Think of the amount of money and the depth of the friendship, and then, protect both with competent help.

Good luck,

Doc Stephens, REALTOR®
Web Reference: http://TellEllen.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Just because you don't want to use a Realtor doesn't mean you are exempt from the laws. Better get a Realtor to help you. It might keep you out of the court house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Do you know what your house is really worth in the Market? The question is, why would you not want to hire an agent that can guide you both through the process, providing you a Comparative Market Analysis and assurance to your buyer acquaintance that you have provided them all the information they need such as Inspector, seller's disclosure, homeowner's insurance, any Homeowners Assoc. info, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Get a flat fee arrangement with a realtor if it is cheaper than hiring a real estate attorney.
Don't count on the title company to represent either of you.
They don't like to get into the middle.

Tom Burris
Mortgage Banker
214-763-4629 cell/text/nights/weekends
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Since you'll be buying as well why not ask the attorney or title company you may be using for your purchase to manage the sale of your home?

Financing in 50 states
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
Of course I'm going to suggest using an agent to help you get through the contract, inspections, and title company process but one thing you might want to think about is finding an agent who will help you guys with the paperwork/process for a flat fee. I just did this for a father who was buying his son's house. To be honest with you I just charged them 1% of the sales price total and it went very smoothly. I didn't represent either party but simply ensured that all their t's were crossed and their i's were dotted. Easy breezy! Let me know if you have any further questions.
Jennifer Simko
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 30, 2010
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