Selling a house on your own sounds like a tough challenge to most inexperienced home sellers. However, the reality is that if you’re well-prepared and informed about the process of selling a house by yourself you can enjoy a lot of benefits. For sale by owner in Virginia is not uncommon and more and more people are starting to explore this alternative as the way to go. The perks of selling a house at the comfort of your home are too good to miss out on and in this article, we’ll explain why.
If you’re interested in selling a house fast or selling to a cash house buyer but you don’t want to work with a realtor, you’re about to discover some useful and valuable information. We’ll explain in detail what FSBO is and look into the process of selling a house without a realtor. We’ll walk you through the whole journey and by the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to make the first steps towards selling your house on your own in Virginia.
What is a Realtor?
Before we dig into all the details, let’s see what a realtor is. Although realtors and real estate agents are used as merely the same thing, the two terms do have their own and distinct set of characteristics. A real estate agent is some who is certified and licensed to help individuals purchase, sell, and rent real estate. Their main objective is to bring together a house buyer and a house seller and are rewarded with a commission for carrying out the communication, negotiation, and full sale process. They are responsible for organizing the transactions between the two parties and communicate offers and counteroffers between the seller and buyer.
On the other hand, a realtor is a real estate professional who is part of the National Association of Realtors. NAR is the biggest American trade association. A realtor can be a residential or commercial real estate broker, a salesperson, a buyers agent, a property manager, or an appraiser. TO become a realtor, it’s required that you have a valid real estate license, engagement in the real estate business, no records of unprofessional conduct, and no pending bankruptcy files.
Selling a House Without a Realtor
Now that you know what a realtor is and what their responsibilities are, let’s explore why selling a house without a realtor may be the better option for you. Statistics show that a house For Sale by Owner or FSBO in Virginia can lead to somewhere between 2.5% and 5.7% savings. Selling a house by yourself means that you are not obliged to pay a commission to a realtor, which is where the savings come from. The commission rates in Virginia vary from 4.9% to 5.7%, depending on the company you have partnered with. Although selling a house on your own is often something that more experienced home sellers are comfortable with, don’t worry. Even if this is your first time selling a house, with enough information, you can successfully do it too. You can market to Virginia cash house buyers, choose selling a house as-is or selling a house fast. Regardless, setting a house on your own carries the following benefits.
For starters, if you’re an FSBO seller, you have full control over the selling process and all the details involved. You are in control of setting the price for your home, listing it, organizing viewings, forming a strategy to promote the property, negotiating with potential buyers, and others. At the same time, you are taking your time as you please with your property and you are not under pressure from competition. In a lot of cases, in order to increase their chances of making a sale and receiving commission, realtors will take on more clients than they can handle. You may end up feeling neglected or notice that not enough effort and work is being put into selling your home.
In addition, you will either be paying no commission or half commission. If you manage to complete the sale by selling to a cash house buyer who is also working alone rather than with a realtor, you will be free of any commission. However, if the buyer is working with an agent, you will end up paying somewhere between 2.4% and 2.8% commission.
However, as appealing as selling a house by yourself may be, there are some drawbacks that must be considered. For instance, as a solo seller, you won’t have any access to MLS or a multiple listing service. This is often used by real estate agents and realtors to discover properties for sale for clients. Without an MLS service, not as many people will be able to see your listing.
There are also some risks of pricing your property inappropriately. It’s hard to keel a clear mind when you’re pricing your own home, which is why it may be better to seek the help of an expert. Additionally, there could be some safety issues that arise when it comes to viewings. Having an expert present or leaving the viewing process to them completely means that you don’t have to feel uncomfortable showing strangers your home. An lastly, you must be prepared for a lot of additional work and effort if you want to sell your home without a realtor.
The Selling Process Without a Realtor
If you’re made up your mind that listing your property For Sale by Owner then let’s continue to the most interesting part – the process of selling a house without a realtor. By having these house selling steps explained and noted, you’ll find selling your house on your own a lot easier and less stressful. The process of an FSBO sale always starts with preparation. We’ll look into this step in more detail later on in this article. Next, you’ll need to set an adequate price for the property and receive a flat fee listing from the MLS. You’ll also have to market your property to find potential buyers. One of the steps that are advisable when it comes to selling your house by yourself is to hold an open house.
You can organize an open house by yourself without the help of an agent. Welcome friends and people from your neighborhood into the house, greet them with beverages and sweets, and present the house. Understand the unique selling points of the house and all that makes the property interesting, attractive, and special. Sometimes, this may be the number of bedrooms, the interior design, any renovations that you’ve done, the materials used in certain parts of the property, and more.
When you’ve come to the point of attracting a potential buyer, you’ll also have to be prepared to negotiate. Don’t get too excited before the deal has closed as there’s a long way to go before the sale is certain. Another essential step is to research the local laws that you must abide by and ensure you’re on the right side of the law. Lastly, make sure that you’ve chosen a good time to sell. There are certain seasons that are more beneficial for selling property. In Virginia, these are spring and summer.
One of the most essential parts of the process of selling a house without a realtor is house preparation. A lot of house sellers don’t appreciate the importance of preparing a house for viewings and have a difficult time selling the house fast. Regardless of whether we’re talking about open houses or house viewings, the idea is to present your property in its best form and show potential buyers all the added value that the house will bring to their lives. This includes allowing them to visualize their perfect home, not the home that you feel is perfect.
It’s best to declutter as much as possible, put aside all small items and belongings that just lay around the house, not really fulfilling any purpose. If possible, remove them from the house completely. You can use temporary storage space for the task as house viewers are likely to want to take a peek into all your storage space, garage area, and other parts of the house that you would normally put such items in.
Get rid of any personal photos that you’ve placed around the house and try to make it less about your and your experience in the house but about the potential buyers and what they can achieve in the property. Art or decorative items may only serve as a distraction from the main reason for the meeting – selling the house.
If possible, arrange a professional cleaning service before viewings or if you’re handling the cleaning yourself – make sure you’ve deep cleaned all parts of the property. Ensure everything looks, smells, and feels fresh, new, and welcoming. You can also play around with the lighting to create a more vibrant and lively environment. Bright lights usually do a good job. You can also take care of light repairs and fixtures, like applying a fresh coat of paint, ensuring all the lightbulbs work, or repairing cabinet doors.
One of the greatest challenges in FSBO situations is determining house value. Pricing your house for sale appropriately is of vital importance and can either make or break a deal with a potential client. The best way to go about pricing your house is to analyze the market and do your research. For house pricing, take a look at other properties in Virginia that are similar to yours by diving into platforms like Zillow and Redfin. Look for houses with a similar size, style, neighborhood, and more. Detach yourself from your emotional appreciation of the house as it will not play a factor in communicating with potential buyers. All they’ll be interested to hear are the advantages of the property, not your beautiful memories in the house.
Another very important part of the process of selling your house by yourself is marketing your house for sale. As you can imagine, considering how much time we all spend on our laptops or smartphones, you’ll be marketing your house online to reach as many potential buyers are you can. To do this successfully, let’s start from the basics. Make sure that you have decent and high-quality photos of your property that can present it in its best state to buyers. It’s advisable to have at least two or three pictures showing different parts of the property. In addition, make sure the description that you choose is able to successfully communicate to buyers all the reasons why they would want to view the house and consider buying it.
For inspiration, you can always take a look at other property listings that can give you a new direction for marketing your house for sale online. Some of the most popular places to browse and consider marketing include Zillow, Facebook, Trulia, and Redfin. They are also free to market. However, on other platforms, there may be a small cost of listing your house for sale. For instance, you’ll be asked to pay a small fee to list your property for sale in the MLS.
Selling your house without a realtor is definitely a mission that could easily be accomplished with some effort and a bit of hard work. It may be a long process but it leads to a number of benefits, one of the most important ones being cutting down costs or making more money from the sale. You could explore the alternative of working with a company like Avante Home Buyers. When comparing working with Avante Home Buyers vs listing with an agent, you’ll discover that there are a lot of advantages to looking forward to like a quicker sale process, faster property preparation times, and a sale after one or two viewings as opposed to 20 with a realtor. We hope that you’ll find this information useful and it will help you be better prepared for selling your home by yourself.