The short answer is yes. You CAN sell without a realtor. However, if you are thinking of selling your house by yourself, understand that the process is far from easy.
Before you decide if you want to sell your house without a realtor or real estate agent, you must understand the benefits and drawbacks of selling it by yourself.
Selling a House By Owner (FSBO)
There are no rules that require you to sell your house with an agent, though it’s the most common way of doing it. When you decide to sell without a realtor, regardless of how you do it, it’s called “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO.
Pros And Cons Of Selling Without A Real Estate Agent
- Avoid paying thousands of dollars in agent commissions. Let’s face it, this is the main reason why homeowners decide to be FSBO sellers. It’s to eliminate the 6 percent in commissions. On a $200,000 house, that comes out to $12,000.
- You control the transaction. Since you are not working with an agent, you can set your own price, market the house the way you want to, and never feel pressured by a realtor to make changes that you don’t want to make.
- In a hot market, the house may “sell itself”. When there is more demand than available houses for sale, finding interested buyers doesn’t take as much time or work. Sometimes, they find you if there is an FSBO sign in the front yard.
- It can be faster! The National Association of REALTORS reported that in 2020, 77% of houses on the market without an agent sold in under 2 weeks. The reason was the seller sold it to an acquaintance or a real estate investor.
- You may still pay agent commissions. This is something not all sellers are aware of with FBSO. Even if you don’t pay a listing agent, you may still have to pay the buyer’s agent, which is 2.5% to 3% of the final sale price.
- You are responsible for the paperwork. 10% of FSBO sellers rank this as the hardest part of selling a house. There is a lot of paperwork, and while not all states require a real estate attorney, sometimes it is worth it to ensure that everything is done right and to avoid potential problems, which adds a cost to the selling process.
- It takes up a lot of your time. There are three parts to this 1) the time to find the buyers, 2) to do the showings, and 3) the process itself. Most homeowners selling without an agent have fewer resources to market their property, which means fewer buyers are aware of it. In fact, only 6% of FSBO sellers list on the MLS, which is how most homebuyers find a property. And when there are buyers, you, as the FSBO seller, are the one doing the showings and negotiating with buyers. So when you get an offer, you have to draw up the sales contract and get the process going.
- It can take longer to sell. Less visibility means fewer prospecting buyers, and not all offers become a reality, as one of the aspects of working with an agent is to ensure that buyers are giving offers they can actually get approved for with a lender. If you want to sell fast by yourself, the safest bet is to sell to a real estate investor.
Selling your house without a realtor can save you money in commissions, but you may still have to pay the buyer’s agent fee. Selling a house by yourself can require a huge time commitment and paperwork, and in some states also require a real estate attorney. The best alternative to save money, sell fast, and avoid the extra work is to sell to a real estate investor.
The Alternative to a Realtor and FSBO: Sell to an Investor
The truth is, selling by yourself is a lot of stress because you do all of the work of a realtor while still juggling with life. Perhaps the better question then is not “Can I” but “Do I want to sell my house without a realtor?” If your answer is still “Yes,” but you don’t want to deal with the stress of FSBO, consider then selling to a real estate investor.
Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is.” They do not ask for repairs or improvements, nor do they require an inspection or appraisal. They do away with most traditional sale warranties, and because they pay with cash, there’s no lengthy mortgage approval. Investors also cover closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money!
You can enjoy a quick closing, on a date of your choice, in less than 30 days, and move into your next home right away!