how do i sell my home without a realtor?

Asked by Chandra02, Nacogdoches, TX Fri Jan 27, 2012

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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jan 27, 2012
Trulia is a Real Estate site, run by Realtors for prospective clients:
We are not in the habit of telling people how to bypass us; we tend to think that we are valuable.

Good luck and may God bless
2 votes
Albert Elhage, Agent, Austin, TX
Fri Jan 27, 2012
Here are few reason why It is not a good idea to sell without a realtor:

Here are few reasons:

Education & Experience
You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost about the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.
2. Agents are Buffers
Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.
3. Neighborhood Knowledge
Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.
4. Price Guidance
Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.
5. Market Conditions Information
Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.
6. Professional Networking
Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.
7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality
Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork
One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today's purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers handle the disclosures, thank goodness!
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Jan 27, 2012
The Home Depot nearest you in Texas will have a large supply of those 'Home For Sale' signs.
You will need to purchase a large sharpie also to write your cell number on the sign.
That should do it.

What is incredibly important is that you understand what will happen as soon as the sign appears in your yard. Seriously, I'm not being dismissive, this movie will star you.

1. You will get calls from those newly graduated 'investors' fresh from the 'Get Rich Selling Real Estate" seminars. They will present themselves as buyers to gain a control interest. Are you able to spot them?

2. Next will come all the 'rent to own' prospects who can not afford to buy a home. If you are able, this can become an incredible profit center for you. Do you know or have interest in making this happen? If not, you need to send the packing....nearly every day.

3.The third week of your sign in the yard, you will get calls from real estate professionals and experienced investors. These folks will be able to solve your problem. You would be well advised to give the folks calling at this point a listen.

4. Now, if you posted your home for sale on Criagslist or other aggregate websites, it is very possible a U-Haul truck could appear in front of your home with a family who has sent $5,000 to the owner as a deposit and first month rent, via Western Union of course. Your For Sale was illegally converted to a 'For Rent' ad at below market rent, and caught a unsuspecting citizen. Agents must always be proactive to intercept these scams.

Many homeowners have successfully sold their home on their own. Just be cautious, patient, and know how to complete the contracts and what to expect.
Best of success in selling your Texas home.
1 vote
Abu Musa, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Dec 16, 2012
You may list your property as a for sell by owner on different sources.
0 votes
Bmbyars, Both Buyer And Seller, Illinois
Sat Jul 7, 2012
The first thing that I would recommend is do a deep clean on the house and make it "picture ready". Take a good amount of pictures and make sure to show off windows, flooring (especially hardwood), room sizes if possible, bathrooms and kitchens. Theses are the things that people are interested in buying. You can go to places such as and list your home free on their site (or upgrade for $150 to a Premium service where you get a personalized website with a custom yard sign that will direct potential buyers directly to your houses website where they can view images, price, house info and whatever else you want to put on there) it well worth the money because you will make your house stand out from the overwhelming crowd of houses. The next step is to get your house on as many websites as possible and start showing it off. Hope this helps.
0 votes
Terrance Ben…, Both Buyer And Seller, Vallejo, CA
Fri Feb 3, 2012
Look at who is anwsering this question and then make a decision if you are will to do the work. I think If you are able to to *all* the foot work and have someone review your findings then as you have read there are many options for you.
0 votes
Chris Schill…, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Feb 3, 2012

Great question! If you would like to sell your home yourself, send me an email and I'll forward to you a free DVD "Selling By Owner". It’s a professional DVD with a run time of 21 minutes that will walk you through he home staging, pricing, and preparation for selling process. It will cover some of the challenges you face such as:

Establishing the asking price
Dealing with lookers and unqualified prospects
Getting emotionally involved
Dealing with real estate agents

I look forward to speaking with you soon...
If you liked my answer, please give me the "Thumbs Up" and reward me by designating me as the "Best Answer"!


Chris Schilling, ABR, GRI, CRS, GREEN
Real Estate Broker
Turbo Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Jan 28, 2012
If you would like to sell your home without a broker, curious as to why you are asking agents the question....
0 votes
Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Sat Jan 28, 2012
Try Craigslist or or something. Just google selling your home without an agent. In the end you probably will find out that the small fee a listing agent charges would have saved you thousands in the long run.

Then there is also the chance of being scammed by someone out there. At least with an agent you would have some form of representation and a way to weed out real buyers.
Web Reference:
0 votes
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sat Jan 28, 2012
I wonder if Chandra02 understands the irony of this question.

Props to those of you who generously took you time to provide thoughtful answers.
0 votes
Lisa Reeves, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat Jan 28, 2012
If you are asking how to sell your home on a real estate website - you may want to consider using a realtor. It's the same as asking how to sue someone without an attorney on a attorney referral website. If you don't know how - taking your biggest asset and trying it out seems to be very risky. Good luck!
0 votes
Barbara Coker, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, San Antonio, TX
Fri Jan 27, 2012
Have it appraised so you'll know what to can sell it for. Have it inspected so you will know what is wrong with the house, and you'll know what to fix. Be sure to prepare your owner's disclosure. Run ads in newspapers and magazines and get some signs to put in the yard and on the corners. Hire an attorney to assist you with writing a contract. Put ads on craigslist if you want to run that risk. This will cost you a couple of grand plus your time. If I were you, I'd probably listen to what the others have recommended. I'm not a Realtor, but selling real estate can be risky for a novice. I hope it works out for you. It's safer to list. After all, if you aren't a Dr., would you be operating on your broken arm?
Good luck! Barbara Coker, NMLS# 228545
Web Reference:
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Jan 27, 2012
Buy a couple of books from Amazon (or anywhere else, for that matter) on how to do a FSBO (for sale by owner). You need to learn what's involved. It's more complicated than most people realize.

However, after reading the information, if you still want to give it a try, fine. Honestly, most would-be FSBOs eventually turn to a Realtor and list conventionally. But there are plenty of success stories of people who've sold homes themselves.

When buying the books, take a look at the publication date. I just went to Amazon and searched. Lots of good ones came up, but there were also some written in 2002 and 2005. I'm sure the books were fine then, but the market has changed a lot and so some of the advice may not be fully applicable to today's conditions.

One other thing you might want to consider is using an a la carte service. That way, you'd pick and choose the items you wanted or needed (for instance, paying for a listing on the MLS) while not using or paying for services you didn't want.

Give it a shot. Just go into the process prepared.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Terry Farnsw…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Fri Jan 27, 2012

All the points below are valid - I would point out one more, extremely important, benefit to listing your home with a licensed professional. A Realtor would be putting most likely an electronic lockbox on your home, which allows you to:

1. Show the property at any time - even when you are not home or available to be there.

2. Monitor all showing activity. The key would ONLY be accessible by licensed agents, and you'd know EXACTLY who was in your home last, and when.

If you are comfortable rushing home on a whim each and every time someone calls and wants to see your property at the drop of a dime (and they will)......and/or are comfortable putting a store-bought lockbox on your door and giving the combination out to a total stranger, granting them unrestricted access to your home - I would say go for it.

Especially in this market - a real estate professional's services are invaluable.
0 votes
Marie Souza…, Agent, Centerville, MA
Fri Jan 27, 2012
Why would you want to do that? Please note that most FSBO's end up listing with an agent & homes listed by an agent get more money in a sellers pockets then those that are not. You may want to reconsider.
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Fri Jan 27, 2012
For those who are motivated, and knowledgeable, it can be done.

There's way too much involved to spell out, here in a comment box, but I would strong recommend getting a copy of "house selling for dummies", available on Amazon, or at booksellers across the country. It spells it out rather well, and breaks it down for even a novice to understand.

Keep in mind that listing as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is not for everyone. You'll end up handling everything about the transaction, from the marketing, photos, description, to showings, phone calls and appointments, negotiation, contracts, inspection... Selling it yourself is not for the timid.

Good luck.
0 votes
James and Ke…, Agent, Bartlett, TN
Fri Jan 27, 2012
1. Do your research
2. Prepare your house
3. Price your house
4. Market your house
5. Negotiate with buyer
6. Closing the deal : Make sure you are familiar with the required closing paperwork for a home sale in your state. Hopefully, your buyer will have already shown you their written preapproval and you will sail through the closing process. But be prepared for snags or delays along the way. Add some cushion to the closing date: Schedule your move and the turnover so that it's somewhat flexible, should the mortgage approval process be delayed. Be prepared for the results of any home inspections and appraisals, and come to the closing table with everything mandated by state and federal law.

7. Use an agent that have the tools and experience to get this process done right!
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Fri Jan 27, 2012
Hi Chandra02,

First thing is to make sure you know all your local, state, and federal laws regarding selling real estate - i.e. required disclosures, all paperwork required, etc. Once you know all that, you can advertise it and hope you find a buyer.

If you do decide to hire a Realtor, they will know all this and can do all this for you.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
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