Selling a home is no walk in the park, there’s a reason people typically opt for a real estate agent. Realtors handle listings, contracts, negotiations, and pricing.
However, is the work real estate agents do really worth the large price tag their services are accompanied with? This is a question many homeowners face when preparing to sell their home. However, most people fall back on using an agent because of the laundry list of tasks they take manage.
But what if there was another way?
There are multiple ways to sell your home with no agent:
- You can sell it 100% on your own with zero help (typically, the most difficult option).
- You can use an MLS company (a low flat fee)
- You can sell it to a cash home buyer (quick, but usually a very low sales price)
However, before you decide which way to go about selling your home, let’s talk about everything you need to do to get it ready. Even if you’re not using a real estate agent, you still need to prep your home for the market. The same rules still apply to attract potential buyers.
1. Declutter the Home and/or Move Out
First, you need to depersonalize the home as much as possible. The more your presence is felt in the house, the less appealing it will feel to potential home buyers.
The best thing you could do is move out. Even if it’s inconvenient for you, it will make prepping the home for sale (as well as selling it) much easier. If you must, move your excess stuff into storage and move in with a friend or family member until your house sells and you can move into your next home.
However, we realize that moving out isn’t always an option. In this case, you’ll want to declutter and minimalize the home as much as possible. You can rent a storage unit to hold everything in the interim.
Clutter has been known to increase or cause anxiety. The cleaner, emptier, and more open your house feels, the better.
2. Make Minor Repairs and Upgrades
Now that you have a large majority (if not all) of your stuff out of the house, now’s a good time to start making repairs and updates. Depending on your budget you keep this process modest, only focusing on the essential aesthetics that will have the most impact on buyers.
At a minimum, we recommend throwing a fresh coat of paint on all the rooms. Keep the colors neutral to appeal to most buyers. However, it’s not a bad idea to add small pops of color or even an accent wall, just don’t use extreme colors.
While you’ve got the paint out, consider revamping your kitchen and bathrooms. Simply changing the color of old cupboards/cabinets or vanity in the bathroom can bring a lot of life back into it. Use your best judgment.
Next, you’ll want to make all the little repairs around the house that may be a turn-off to buyers. These are things like broken doors or windows, damaged trim or drywall, and any broken fixtures. They’re cheap fixes but will seem like a lot as buyers are walking through your home and making a mental list.
Finally, changing out doorknobs, drawer and cabinet knobs, and old light fixtures is another cheap and easy way to make things feel more modern. Again, use your best judgment when selling your home with no agent, you won’t be able to fall back on their advice.
3. Take Care of Your Curb Appeal
Next, you need to focus on the first thing buyers will see when they come to your home – your curb appeal. The exterior of your home is very important and leaves a lasting impression on the buyer’s mind, regardless of how the inside looks.
When you’re selling a home with no agent, you need to go the extra mile to beautify your home. Start with decluttering the property. Old lawn furniture, gardening tools, trash, debris, dead leaves, etc.
Then, work on cleaning up all the vegetation. Mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim trees and bushes if necessary. No vegetation should be touching the home.
You also need to make sure the driveway, sidewalks, and all other pathways are clean and clear of debris. Next, clean the exterior walls, windows, and window sills. Finish by cleaning out the gutters.
Finally, consider adding a fres coat of paint to the outside of the home. However, this is a big project, so make sure you’re committed.
4. Clean Like Crazy
Now that the dirty work and construction work is finished, you need to clean and sanitize the house. Many buyers will put a lot of weight on the cleanliness of your home, and if it’s dirty, they won’t be able to see past the mess.
Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, the areas most prone to germs and bacteria. Take time in the kitchen to clean out all of the appliances. In the bathrooms, pay extra attention to detail in cleaning out tiles, toilets, tubs, and showers.
If the home has carpets, you’ll want to hire a steam cleaner service or shampoo them yourself. It’s vital to remove stains and odors from carpets, as they are major turn-offs for buyers. All hard floors need to be scrubbed and possibly refinished (hardwood floors).
5. Hire a Home Stager
Studies have shown that staged homes sell 73% faster on the market. While it’s important to move all of your stuff out of your home before selling, an empty house feels cold and uninviting. However, your old furniture and personalized decor won’t pull in buyers as a professional stager will.
They use high-quality furniture and decor and know how to organize a room to make it feel open, yet warm.
6. Figure Out Your Asking Price
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when selling their home with no agent is settling for less than market value.
Do some market research to find out the value of your home before listing it. Pay attention to the homes in your neighborhood. Find homes of relative size, quality, and features that have sold recently to determine how high you should list your home.
Be realistic, but don’t undervalue your house and take an unnecessary hit.
7. Use an MLS Company
Selling your home completely solo can be tricky, especially when it comes to navigating through documents, contracts, and closing procedures. While some attempt this method, we recommend using a little bit more help, as only 11% of sellers actually succeed in selling their home by themselves.
That’s why we recommend using an MLS or multiple listing service companies to assist you. Our basic package comes with document and contract management, email access to a real estate agent, home showing services, and assistance with the home title and closing.
8. Take Advantage of Private Marketing
Even if you choose to use an MLS company, you should still take advantage of all the other marketing strategies out there. The more people who have a chance to see your home, the quicker it will get off the market, even when selling with no agent.
Use social media to post your home for sale amongst your followers and encourage them to share your post. You can also get on local community pages where you can list your home for free. Finally, take advantage of the newspaper, Craigslist, and other services.
9. Be Prepared to Show the Home
Now that you’re home is officially on the market with no agent, you need to be ready to show it. Some MLS companies come with a professional showing service, but be ready to show the home yourself as well.
If you’re still living in your home, it means you’ll need to constantly clean up after yourself. People won’t want to see dirty laundry, unmade beds, dirty dishes, etc.
10. Be Ready to Negotiate
Finally, when selling a home with no agent, you need to learn how to negotiate. However, this applies to more than just the asking price. For example, you can negotiate things like appliances, window treatments, closing costs, and more.
However, remember to be patient and emotionally unattached. Don’t rush a sale and agree to unfair terms just because you’re selling with no agent or want to get out of the home quickly.
Commit to a bottom line and don’t allow buyers to talk you down lower. If they have a real estate agent, they may assume you don’t know what you’re doing or how to stand up for yourself.
Need Help Selling Your Home with No Agent?
Just because you choose not to sell with no agent, it doesn’t mean you have to do this without help.
As we suggested before, our basic MLS package comes with extra help for contracts and documents, a showing service, and access to an agent through chat and email. However, if you’re looking for more help but still want to avoid traditional realtor fees, we offer an advanced option that comes with an agent.
It’s still a low-cost, flat-rate option, but with professional hands-on assistance. Contact us today to get started with either option!