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Posted in Finding a Home on November 16, 2021
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

The Only Guide You Need to Sell a House Without an Agent

If you’ve thought about what to do with the property you’re leaving behind and decided to sell it, there are two options. You can either hire a realtor or learn how to sell a house without an agent and get the most out of it. If you choose the latter, we’ve got you covered. Follow our guide and go from amateur to professional in no time.

In 2020, Almost 90% of property sales were made with the help of a realtor. That’s not without reason – selling real estate is a full-time job. However, if you wish for it to be yours, you need to become a selling expert. It’s entirely possible, as long as you’re willing to put some effort into it. So before diving into packing tips and consulting our ultimate moving guide, ensure to learn what it takes to have a successful home sale.

Why Do Sellers Choose “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) Instead of Hiring a Realtor?

When people plan a move to another city, experiencing relocation stress is almost a given. A big part of anxiety about moving out has its roots in the hit the move itself will inflict on their wallet. Choosing FSBO is one of the ways of saving money. Keep in mind that realtors’ commissions don’t come cheap and are usually around 6% of the sold price. According to Zillow, the typical home price in the US in 2021 is approximately $310,000. If you decide to hire a professional, their commission will be as much as $18,600! On the other hand, you can keep those thousands of dollars if you choose the DIY option.

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Determining the Right Value of Your Home Is the First Step on the FSBO Journey

Property price can’t be an arbitrary number. Just the opposite, it must be a product of careful market analysis and assessment of the home’s condition. One of the biggest mistakes you as an owner can make is over- or underpricing the real estate.

When relocating in a hurry, for example, sellers tend to list their homes for a price that is way under its value, hoping that it will speed up the process. But why would you condemn yourself to a loss from the beginning? Others, on the other hand, tend to be guided by emotions and see their properties as much more valuable than they actually are. Staying objective when you’re letting go of a part of your past is undoubtedly difficult, especially if it contains happy memories. However, keep in mind that overpricing is one of the main reasons a property sits on the market for too long.

Use Online Sources and Do Your Own Research

Websites that can provide value assessment are a good start for determining the price. Zillow, for example, has a tool called Zestimate that uses public data combined with information provided by users to determine the value of a property. It’s an excellent place to get an idea about how much you should expect to gain from selling. Consider the help you can get from these kinds of online calculators and put checking them out on your moving to-do list.

One other way to estimate the price of your property is to assess the houses that are for sale in your neighborhood, especially those that were successfully sold recently. Their prices were, in most cases, set by professionals who had all the knowledge to analyze the current market.

But what if you deem that professional help is necessary but still don’t want to spend that much on realtors? In that case, you should seek licensed appraisals. They will determine the value after a professional assessment of the market as well as your home’s virtues and flaws.

Decide What You Want to Achieve With the Sale

What if your property is not in good condition, and you don’t wish to bother with repairs? Or if you have a last-minute move lined up? Do your reasons to move call for selling fast? Know that finding an individual buyer is not the only option. If you don’t have time or don’t want to update the place, host showings, and wait for necessary inspections, look for property investment companies. They won’t mind the current condition because they will either tear the place down or flip it. Moreover, they will be able to provide the total amount immediately. However, there is a catch – you would likely be offered less money without the negotiation possibility. Think carefully about what the final goal is. Is it efficiency or money?

Man polishing the ceiling before long-distance moving
Fewer days spent on reapers and updating means less money and vice versa

Make Your Property Desirable to Buyers

If selling to investors is not something you’re interested in, there is much work ahead regarding preparing your home for a sale. In the middle of deciding where to live and getting the best long-distance moving services, spearing some hours to give a place a makeover is necessary. Start with all the big fixes, if you have those. Bring in a trusted inspector and see if some significant repairs concerning electricity, plumbing, and the like should be expected. Remember, if your place has a defect or safety hazard and a buyer was not informed about it before the purchase, they have a right to file a lawsuit. Property inspection is necessary for adequate disclosure.

Everything Must Seem Perfect, From the Garden to the Appliances and Furniture Layout

When you want to increase the marketability of real estate, the first step is to make it more attractive. Start outside – after all, the exterior is the part that first catches the eye of the potential buyer. Clean the walkway, paint the facade and doors, mow the grass and take care of plants. After that, you’re ready for the inside work. Deep cleaning the interior, repainting, and updating the floor are all necessary jobs before showings. Let the whole family participate in redecoration if you’re not relocating to another state alone.

Clutter is one of the things that will most certainly decrease the appeal of your place, so decluttering must be on your moving to another state checklist. Making decisions about what to get read of when moving can even be beneficial for your finances. Don’t forget that every reputable long-distance moving company forms quotes based on the inventory’s weight. So be merciless when deciding what to keep. Outdated furniture and half-working appliances are not only heavy but can negatively affect the whole look of the place. Throw them out, gift, or donate them before contacting a cross-country moving company and getting their packing services.

Sometimes you can’t be the rightful judge of things that need to be changed, whether it’s because you don’t see them as problems at all or you’re too used to them. Whatever the case, help from someone who can be more objective is necessary. There’s a simple solution – bring friends, go on a tour around the place, and take notes about things they would change.

Money Spent on a Professional Stager Will Pay Off

Staging the place so buyers can picture it as their new home is the next step. You need to use some design tricks, play with colors and think of some creative storage ideas to make it look neater and modern. Or, you can let professional stagers do what they know – show your place in the best light and guarantee bigger offers. Do you want to know how to sell a house without a real estate agent successfully? Focus on preparing for cross-country movers and exploring moving hacks and leave the conceptualization to the experts.

 A home staged for buyers before long-distance moving
Stagers have all the knowledge about current interior trends, while all sellers have is their personal taste

Excellent Advertisement Is Half the Work Done

Good buyers won’t just fall from the sky – sellers need to put effort into attracting them. When moving to a new home, ensure to advertise the old one properly. Ensure to:

  • Place a for sale sign on the lawn,
  • Post your listing on different social media platforms (the more, the merrier),
  • List on real estate search websites, such as Zillow, for example, or Redfin,
  • Use the MLS (multiple listing system) designed for your area – you’ll usually need to pay a fee to have your listing posted in an MLS database, but it’s more than worth it. Remember that it’s the primary source for agents who are looking for new offers.

When creating the ad, know that photography and the language used can do wonders in attracting potential buyers. It would be best to have examples of successful listings in front of you to see what types of advertisements attract the most potential buyers.

Learn How to Host Showings of Your Home

After listing the property, you should prepare for buyers’ interest. Take time to answer each call and schedule showings so that people can see the listing in person. If you’re relocating during coronavirus, take measures so that buyers stay and feel safe during the showings.

Try visiting open houses in the neighborhood to see how realtors behave and what they put as the primary focus. After witnessing several of those, all you have to do is copy those agents. Good showings can result in a bidding war that will ultimately provide more money than you initially thought. If you want to know more about how to host a successful showing, take some notes from the professional in the following video:

To Sell a House Without an Agent, Start Thinking Like One

The question of how to sell your house without a real estate agent implies more than staging and advertising. You also need to implement the people skills that realtors possess. As the owner, there is always a danger of reacting in tune with your emotions. Make amends with the fact that some people just won’t like your soon-to-be-old place, some will think out loud about what they would change, and some will look to negotiate. The key is to stay objective and put yourself in their shoes. While some demands can be ridiculous, others are more than reasonable. It’s up to you to determine which’s which.

Sellers also need to know how to choose the right buyer. To do so, you must learn their motivation and understand their financial possibilities. You, as an owner, can contact the buyer’s loaner and get information about the program. That is a big advantage you have over realtors who are not legally allowed to do so. Use it wisely – ensure that the buyer is serious about the purchase and can get the means to finance it.

A man selling his house to a couple before long-distance moving
With the FSBO option, choosing the best buyer will be on you

Think About Getting Legal Representation

After finding the one true match for your old home, you are just a few steps away from a successful sale. After the mandatory inspection passes, all that is left is closing the deal legally. However, there is a lot of legal paperwork concerning the transaction (not to mention that real estate laws differ from state to state). If possible, it’s always better to ask for legal help than interpret the law yourself.

Seller signing a closing contract before cross-country moving
Ensure that everything you do is legal in the eyes of the law

Start Preparing for a Move!

After you’ve learned how to sell your house without an agent and done it successfully, it’s time to start organizing the move. Learn all about how to get a job in a new city, get some top-quality house hunting tips, and start packing. And if there are some difficulties whit the question Which long-distance movers near me should I choose, know that there is only one answer – the best. If you want to move efficiently, ensure to pick only the most reputable and trustworthy company. Do your due diligence and have a great start to your new life. Good luck!

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