When you consider selling your home in San Antonio, TX, or another city, you should know that you have more than one option to receive the best value for your property. Listing your home on the MLS isn’t the only way to sell a house, and homeowners are discovering new ways to sell every day. Selling a home without a realtor is easier than you think, and there are a few ways to go about the process.
While a traditional agent offers certain conveniences like an expanded buyer network and professional resources, sometimes it’s best to avoid paying the middle man. 6 percent in commission fees is no small chunk of change, after all. In certain situations, Texas brokers and real estate agents can be very useful and earn their commission fees—but the same can’t be said for all realtors.
9 out of 10 real estate agents will carry out professional duties to the best of their abilities. Other agents take on many clients at a time, including you, and it’s easy for realtors to lose focus of their client’s best interest in sight of the almighty dollar.
Here’s everything homeowners should know about selling a home without a realtor, from first steps to closing day. We’ll cover the benefits of selling a home without a realtor, best advertising strategies, what to do once you’ve found the right buyer, and more! Plus, we’re including the top 5 red flags homeowners should watch out for when scouting potential realtors. These are your FSBO questions, answered. Keep reading to learn more about selling a home without a realtor!
What Are the Benefits of Selling a Home without a Realtor?
When you sell your home with a real estate agent, you’ll pay about 6 percent of the final sale price in commission fees. This quickly racks up to several thousands of dollars!
Working with an agent will also bind you to a listing agreement, outlining the agent’s exclusive right to sell your home. Under this contract, you owe commission no matter how the home is sold, even if you find the buyer!
There are numerous benefits to selling a home without a realtor, one of the biggest being potential savings, both on commission and out-of-pocket expenses. You won’t owe any commission fees if you sell your home without a realtor, and a direct sale between two private parties can actually save you money!
Red Flag #1: Can You Trust the Agent?
In real estate, a fiduciary relationship includes a buyer or seller, known as the principal, in a signed contract with an agent. Licensed realtors have both a legal and moral obligation to prioritize their client’s best interests before any other actions. However, since agents have access to private financial and personal information, there’s always room for interference. If a realtor discloses privileged details to leverage a deal in their favor at the negotiation table, then it’s a clear real estate agent red flag that puts your privacy at risk.
Real estate is competitive, and while we all work to earn a living, real estate agents violate their professional agreements when they fail to act ethically. Establish a trusting relationship with your realtor early on, ensuring that all details are properly communicated in a timely manner.
How Do I Start My Home Sale?
If you want to sell your home without a realtor, you’ll need to determine your own asking price first.
Sellers constantly overestimate their home’s value, so do your homework before settling on a final price. Don’t count on Zillow or other home sites for an accurate home valuation, either, as these numbers are often skewed by false data.
Research is key when determining the value of your home. Look at the final sale price of houses in your area; not the listed price, but the final sale price. You can ask a realtor to help with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for more information on comps without the commitment of a listing agreement.
If a high asking price isn’t fetching any interest, you can always lower your price later on. However, prospective buyers will still be able to see your pricing history on the MLS and sites like Trulia. Repeated, small drops can make you look like a desperate seller or indicate to buyers that something’s wrong with your home. Try setting a fair and thought-out price from the get-go, and you won’t have to deal with waning interest or price adjustments in the future.
As an alternative, you can always seek the opinion of a professional appraiser, but it could cost a few extra hundred dollars.
Red Flag #2: Is the Realtor Responsive?
Communication is the key to success, especially in real estate. If your calls or questions are going unanswered, you can be sure that managing the phone is optional for every client and professional your agent encounters. If they struggle to return a phone call, assume that interested buyers are also having their inquiries ignored.
This lack of attention and responsiveness is another real estate agent red flag. If you find yourself with an unresponsive agent, you’re better off seeking assistance elsewhere. Read this article from the Miami Herald for more tips on handling an unresponsive real estate agent.
At Texas Home Buyers Group, we keep in touch with you every step of the way! Our team is dedicated to answering even the toughest questions—that’s how we guide our clients.
Work Your Real Estate Advertising Game
Pictures speak a thousand words! Time and time again, we see real estate listings with only one or two blurry images included in the gallery. If you want to take advantage of all that online advertising has to offer, you’ll need great photos!
If your pictures don’t look professional, consult with a professional photographer. Paying for high-quality photos is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to immediately boost your home’s curb appeal.
Besides great pictures, write a property description that provides enough detail for buyers. Let people know exactly what they’re receiving, and highlight every amenity and stand-out feature your home offers. With a standout property description, it will be easier for prospective buyers to imagine living in your home.
Be mindful of Protected Classes in all independent advertising efforts.
Red Flag #3: Unprofessional Realtors
We all know it—showings are an inconvenient aspect of the home selling process. Perhaps the only thing worse than rescheduling your home life around unexpected tours is the deafening silence that follows. Days turn into weeks, and you’re still waiting for the right offer!
When you ask your realtor about the delay, are you met with a list of excuses? Does the realtor claim there’s more work to be done, even after charging you exorbitant photographer and staging fees?
Real estate can be a waiting game, but in this scenario, you’re more likely dealing with a disorganized or apathetic realtor. If an agent can’t handle essential business matters, what will occur later down the line? Showing up late to meetings, failing to follow through on marketing, or missing important deadlines can be extremely costly, and that’s why we’ve included this red flag at number 3.
Make Your Home Sale Happen!
Selling a home without a realtor means you’ll need to prepare your house for the market. Clean like you have never cleaned before, start packing away personal items, and stage to the best of your abilities. By removing some of your personality, buyers won’t feel intrusive when viewing your home.
To offer a competitive property, your home will also likely need some repairs and upgrades. For homeowners who are no stranger to the occasional DIY project, you know that there are unforeseen costs and at least a few unplanned trips to the hardware store. Hire a pro, and your renovation expenses just increased significantly more! Only take on projects you know you are capable of; this isn’t the time to practice that new wall texture tutorial you found online.
Make a list of selling points and upgrades to present for prospective buyers. If the AC was replaced last year, and the roof the year before that, be sure to let them know. Hand out a flyer or brochure with this information, as well as your contact info.
You will also want to be a “concierge” to prospective buyers. An agent can usually answer questions about the area, and you should be able to as well. Make a map with marked areas of interest, know where schools are located, and be familiar with commute times to stay one step ahead of your buyer.
Red Flag #4: Realtor Methods and Means
Many sellers hire professional agents to sell their property, only to feel abandoned by their realtor midway through the process.
Remember: real estate agents are meant to HELP your home sale, not hurt it. If you’re left handling the duties and obligations of your realtor, you’re better off selling independently and saving on commission.
Selling a home takes time, perseverance, and expertise—not to mention a generous expense account. Either the agent is in over their head, or lacks the training, technical applications, or financial means to close the deal.
You’ve Found a Home Buyer; Now What?
Once you’ve made an agreement with the right buyer, create a contract and accept only WRITTEN offers that include a deposit. Consult with an attorney and only accept the offer once it has their approval. Even without an agent, it’s best to partner with a lawyer and trusted title company when handling all legal and financial paperwork.
Red Flag #5: Misleading Agreements
It’s unfortunate, but some realtors are driven by greed and commission. Be wary of agents claiming specialization in high-end markets without the evidence to back it up, and always seek professional verification to avoid being misled like other unsuspecting clients.
Nefarious realtors may even list other agents’ properties in their ads to gain traction on social sites and attract buyers with bogus offerings. They’re also likely to embellish the number of years they’ve spent in the real estate business, exaggerating to your detriment. These realtors are only on the lookout for one thing: money.
Like hiring any professional, it’s important to vet your realtor and verify their credibility. If the realtor is not easily identifiable or presents false information, their services should be avoided.
There Are a Few More Ways to Avoid Paying High Commissions on Your Texas Home Sale
For most sales in San Antonio, TX, roughly half of the commission you pay goes toward the buyer’s broker. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
San Antonio buyers without agent representation don’t always remember to negotiate the buyer’s side commission for themselves, so don’t remind them unless you want to pay; just don’t be surprised if it comes up during negotiations.
Consider offering 2.5% to agents who bring their clients to view your property. Sure, it’s a lot of money, but if your asking price includes that commission, you can always negotiate a better deal for a purchaser without an agent. On the other hand, you’ll exclude most of the buyers in the San Antonio market if you don’t leave room for the buyer’s agent commission.
Don’t Underprice Your Property
Be aware that savvy buyers may expect a discount, too. If you’re doing the work of one agent, you stand to save that money.
According to 14 percent of American homeowners who sold FSBO, determining their own asking price was the most challenging part of the home sale process. If you don’t want to risk underpricing your home’s value, there’s still one more option for selling your home without a realtor…
Sell to Direct Cash Home Buyers
If you want to sell your home without a realtor and avoid the complications of FSBO, you’re not out of options yet. Sell your home in no time with direct cash buyers like Texas Home Buyers Group!
When you choose direct home buyers, you don’t have to pay any realtors, make any expensive repairs, or determine your own asking price. Just provide a few details about your home and receive a cash offer within 72 hours. After that, we can close in as little as 1 week!
No realtors, no financing, no stress.
Texas Home Buyers Group offers:
- All cash payments on your timeline
- Highest profits from your sale
- No hidden fees
- Zero commissions at closing