Many homeowners decide to sell their home without a realtor. Note that this is not always the best way to go, but it can work if you have the proper knowledge. Here are some ways to sell your house without the aid of a realtor.
The number one reason buyers opt to explore housing options without a realtor is to save money. There is no longer the same necessity for a buyer to engage a realtor as there is for a seller. With no realtor, the seller should be more flexible on pricing as they don’t have to pay a realtor commission, and the buyer knows that they will able to bend more on the list price. See: Trulia – Search the Market Online
If you want to work with the seller directly, cutting out the middleman is appealing. There’s no need to relay messages, wait for callbacks or trust your interests are being accurately shared with the seller. Sometimes this could work to the parties advantage. The buyer has the opportunity to communicate thoughts/needs/offers directly to the seller.
Another circumstance that not using a realtor can work to your benefit, is that you will be able to come up with, and choose, your own advertising ideas, and stage the home the way that you want to. During negotiations you are able to see how emotionally attached the buyer has become to your property and you can leverage that knowledge with their requests.
The Downside of “going it alone.”
The choice to not use a real estate agent does have its pitfalls. There is a purpose ofr why sellers use realtors. Here are some negative aspects that can happen when you decide to forgo that realtor. Further reading: Zillow – Find a Home
After the excitement of attending open houses and browsing house ads online fades, you’ll have a professional available to answer questions about cleaning up your credit report and securing financing. Best of all, you show up for the house closing to simply read and sign the legal documents prepared by the agent for you.
If you approach a selling agent as a solo buyer, they might ask if you’d like to participate in dual representation. This appears attractive to you, because the seller’s agent will help you with paperwork and decision making. But remember: the seller’s agent will always have the seller’s best interest as a primary focus. If the house-buying process becomes frustrating, you might choose dual representation and give up the advantage of keeping your financial information to yourself during negotiation. For more reading: Search for Available Homes for Sale – Realtor.com
One factor when not using a realtor is that the buyer does not know the history of the property. If it’s a private sale, there’s even more of a chance a bad history would not be disclosed. Real estate agents often know the pros and cons of various neighborhoods and areas that may become more costly for a buyer in the long run in regards to insurance costs and maintenance issues. See: Pros and Cons of FSBO
Know that you are going to have to invest countless hours in research before making an offer. As a buyer, and especially as a seller, you will invest a much greater amount of time, and incur a much greater amount of opportunity cost, than you originally envisioned.
If you’re buying a home without a realtor in a new city or state, it’s tough to know the ins and outs of your potential new area. An agent working in that community on a daily basis can be a wealth of information. Buyers who try to do it themselves also loses an edge, as he doesn’t have the advantage of knowing about the said market area.