Sell Your House Fast Without a Realtor

Selling your home with a realtor isn’t the only option if you need a fast sale. Not every property requires a realtor and there are numerous benefits to eliminating the middle man.

Obviously, the biggest benefit is saving money. You will save dollars on both agent commissions and out of pocket expenses. And let’s not forget closing costs associated with settlement – sometimes as much as 10%.

Fact: You Will Likely Need to Upgrade Your House to Get More $$$ at Closing
To be able to sell your property fast for top dollar, you will definitely need to make some repairs and upgrades to the home. Translation: you need to spend money on contractors, supplies at Home Depot or Lowe’s, plus let’s not forget the time it will take to complete the renovation. Let’s face it, it your neighbor’s house sold for a nice sum of money because of granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, new hardwood floors and upgrading HVAC then you will need to invest in the same upgrades. No realtors and no contractors in the equation equals instant savings on big home selling expenses.

Fact: A Direct Sale Will Save You Big Time
You can expect to pay in the neighborhood of 6% of your final sale price in real estate agent commissions. Plus you will likely be locked into a legally binding contract with the agent for at least 30 days and likely more. For example, if you sell your house for $200,000, you are looking at paying $12,000 to the agent. Wouldn’t you rather keep that money in your pocket for future use?

So, how do you start the process of selling your house directly to a cash buyer?

step 1

Set your price based on similar SOLD properties in your area

Generally, a comparable property is one that has sold in the past six months to a year, is within a mile and is similar in style, square footage, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms. Be as accurate as you can when putting a value on your home. As I mentioned in a previous post, you cannot trust Zillow, Trulia, Redfin or realtor.com. Their data isn’t perfect. Knowing the price of a house that actually sold that meets the criterial I mentioned before is your best gauge. Realtors have that information handy and you DO NOT have to sign a listing agreement if you ask a realtor for a few comps in your neighborhood. Try to price the house fairly and adjust as needed. Remember, you aren’t fooling anyone since buyers have access to the same information you are using.

step 2

Be Your Own Marketing Pro

If you want to sell your own house, make sure you take great pictures and get the word out. The internet is a gold mine for motivated sellers right now. Using Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and all other social media channels make home selling easier than ever. Present your house as if you were the one looking to purchase it.

step 3

Prepare Your House for Viewing

If there are glaring repairs that need to be made, make them. It is also critical to do a deep cleaning, remove any clutter and stage your house to the best of your ability. Prepare checklists for prospective buyers that highlight the selling points and mention any upgrades. Creating a flyer that can be printed as easily as distributed electronically is important as well. Maps of schools, places of interest, parks, restaurants and other local amenities help as well.

step 4

You Have a Buyer…What’s Next?

If you aren’t using a real estate agent, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney, in your state, who can draw up the necessary sales contract. Only accept WRITTEN offers. And only use a contract fully vetted by a licensed attorney.

It’s not hard to sell your own home without a realtor, but if you want some guidance, don’t want to do it all yourself or just want an evaluation to see what your Maryland house is worth, please visit www.webuymdhomes.com or give us a call at (240) 424-0423.

Zillow Isn’t the Gospel

So…you are ready to sell your home now, huh? If you are like millions of homeowners, you are going to Zillow immediately to see what your house is worth.

Even though Zillow claims its “Zestimate” is usually within 10 percent of the selling price of the home, don’t believe everything you see on the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, Zillow is an excellent resource. I use it all the time. But it isn’t the gospel. Why? Because even though Zillow gets a substantial amount of public data, it also allows for user submitted data. And let’s face it, if you are adding information about your home, you are always looking for the best angle. If a homeowner decides to update or change the square footage, number of bedrooms or features, it will change the value. Likewise, public data isn’t always perfect either.

In short, Zillow gives you a range based on its best data.

What’s the best way to get the most accurate value for your home? Well, that’s easy. Obviously, an appraisal is the best way. But that will cost you money, usually around $500 for a thorough appraisal. The other way is to know the “comps”, or comparable prices, of similar homes sold within a certain time period. I generally look at similar homes sold in the past 6-12 months within a mile of the subject property.

The key word here is “similar”. Not every property in the neighborhood is a good comp. At least not for buyers or real estate agents.

You need to take into consideration several factors to determine if a house is actually comparable to your property, such as:

  • Square footage (actual living space – plus it needs to be within 300-400 square feet)
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Year built (a house built in 1910 is not a comp for one built in 2010)
  • Style of house (rancher, colonial, split level, etc.)

PLUS…

You need to know the condition of the property being compared.

  • Is it newly renovated?
  • Does it need major repairs?
  • Is there a lead paint issue?
  • Is the foundation sound?
  • Is there mold or termites?

All comps are not created equal. It’s that simple.

So, what’s the best advice if you are using Zillow to determine what your house in worth? Use Zillow, Trulia, Redfin or Realtor.com as a baseline, but ultimately seek out a professional opinion. If you have a Maryland house to sell for any reason, I have a simple form that you can fill out right HERE to get a no obligation offer. And if you want to see my methodology for how I assess home values and make offer, please click HERE