Selling your house without an agent: a step-by-step guide

Do you really need a real estate agent these days? Yes and no. Yes, you absolutely can sell your house yourself. No, it’s not as easy as you think, but I’ll explain how to do it below, should you decide to go that route.

With the rise of sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia, the real estate industry has shifted from a need-based to a knowledge-based industry. You NO LONGER NEED to hire an agent, in fact with many agents you might be better off doing it yourself. A good real estate agent will know how to negotiate, be an expert in the community, a great marketer, and very knowledgeable regarding all standard contracts and state forms.

If you know enough to get in trouble, you will get in trouble.

These are my steps to a successful FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

1. Determine your market value. Obviously, you can familiarize yourself with what’s selling in your area by checking out Zillow and such, but pay $30 for a smartzip Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), to help properly evaluate your property. A CMA will provide you with comparable sales and active listings. You must be informed if you are negotiating with a potential buyer.

2. Pay an MLS-only type service around $300 to list your home on the MLS and offer at least 2.5% to any buyer’s agent who brings you a buyer. Use images from an experienced real estate photographer (yes, it matters) and stage your home if it’s vacant or make it presentable if you still live there (yes, that matters too).

3. List your home on Craigslist and forsalebyowner.com using postlets or vflyer to create a virtual flyer.

4. Put up a yard sign with colored fliers (you can put some black and white ones for backing) and a web address that links potential buyers to your house.

5. Run a Facebook ad campaign targeting engaged or married women between the ages of 25 and 35 in your area, and create a Google AdWords pay-per-click campaign for the keywords “[neighborhood (not city) name] houses for sale”, enter details rather than just the name of the city.

A. ex.

I. Properties in Black Gold for sale

ii. Yorba Linda High School

iii. Horse Property for sale

6. Ask a good escrow company to help you with the transaction (this will cost you on average about 1% of the purchase price). The escrow officer is the “quarterback” of the transaction. A good one will make all the difference in the world. If your buyer is represented by an agent, they may insist on using their escrow agent. If you know his escrow agent is a good one, don’t let them talk you into using yours. Here in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills, the seller usually chooses the escrow companies.

7. Price it right! If you are not getting much feedback in your first 3 weeks. This is an indication that your home is overpriced.

8. Disclose, Disclose, Disclose. The standard California Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) used by any agent (at least a competent one) will require you to have all disclosures to the buyer within 5 days of submitting your offer. The disclosures will be different depending on the property being sold. Your escrow officer can help you with this.

9. Ask the buyer to eliminate their contingencies (if they have any). Contingencies are usually removed after 17 days of the accepted offer, but again it depends on what is written in the contract. Read and understand the contract, before accepting any offer.

Selling your home without an agent is similar to setting up your corporation or trust on LegalZoom, sure it can be done and save you money up front, but you never know how much it will cost you down the road or what little mistakes can hurt. you.

Get informed and you can definitely sell your home without an agent.

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