Guide To: Selling Property without a Realtor

Are you selling a property? Did you know you have an option to sell without a realtor? Here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros

A realtor typically takes 6% commission of the sales price in a residential real estate transaction. That 6% is typically divided evenly between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. For example, if you are selling your property for $256,000, the commission fee will be $15,000, with each agent receiving $7,500. However, the entire commission is taken from the Seller’s profits. By far the largest advantage to selling without a realtor is the money you keep by not paying a commission.

Cons

Selling a home requires tons of paper work including legal forms and disclosures. If you choose to sell your home without a realtor, filling out these documents properly is your responsibility. If you are unfamiliar with the paperwork and requirements of the process, you run the risk of making mistakes that a realtor might spot. You will also have to spend a lot more time dealing with the transaction if you are doing all the work yourself.

In order to make sure you are filling out the paper work properly or proceeding with your sale in the correct fashion, you will need to spend a lot of time educating yourself on the process of selling your home. You will want to do some research on the climate of the current housing market, effective advertising methods, how to efficiently work with potential buyers, and be up to date. This can take time and it may be easier and more profitable to just hire a real estate agent who has the knowledge and the know how to sell a home without further education. 

According to Zillow, attracting potential and qualified buyers is the number one problem that unrepresented sellers deal with. Without a real estate agent, you will be the one who is answering phone calls from agents and buyers. Once the “for sale by owner” sign goes up, you will have people who are not serious about looking for a home checking your place out. These “thrill seekers” will waste your time and attention when you are trying to find a qualified buyer.  A real estate agent is trained to know when a buyer is legitimate and will weed out the ones who are not as serious. 

Even worse, if people know that you are selling your house without a real estate agent, they might think that you are a target and could try to rob you. In Houston, Texas, while at an open house, a woman asked to step into the kitchen to make a phone call. While she was in there, she stole prescription drugs. Occurrences like this happen more than you may think. Take precautions when you host an open house or handle private showings.

This article was written by Bob Dengler, a legal intern at the Law Offices of Jason Rabinovich