Selling a home can be an incredibly daunting task. From finding the right buyer to negotiating the best price, many steps and pitfalls must be navigated. It’s no wonder many home sellers turn to real estate agents for help. But what if you don’t want to use an agent? Selling your home without one—a process called “for sale by owner”—isn’t out of the question. However, it comes with some risks you should consider before deciding. Let’s take a look at what those risks are.
When selling your home without an agent, you’re not just responsible for finding buyers and negotiating prices; you’re also responsible for understanding and adhering to local real estate laws. Depending on where you live, those laws could involve a lot of paperwork—from disclosure forms and contracts to deed transfers. Missing or filling out these documents incorrectly could lead to costly legal fees. Make sure you understand all the applicable laws before taking on this responsibility yourself.
The most obvious advantage of hiring a real estate agent is that they will handle all the work associated with selling your home to you—from marketing and advertising your listing to fielding inquiries from potential buyers. When selling without an agent, however, all this work falls squarely on your shoulders; it takes up time that could be spent doing something else (like searching for your next place!). If you don’t have enough free time in your schedule or don’t think you’ll have the energy to tackle such a large project solo, then perhaps working with an agent is the better option.
Real estate investor Othman el Ballouti warns potential sellers that real estate agents know how much homes in certain areas typically sell for; they can use this knowledge to ensure that you get full market value for your property when it comes time to negotiate with buyers. However, without an agent’s expertise in tow, sellers often leave money on the table or price their homes too high — both of which can hurt their chances of getting their desired sale price. Make sure you research comparable properties before deciding how much money you want for yours!
Selling without an agent may seem like the simplest way forward when it comes time to put your house on the market — but it isn’t as straightforward as it seems! Before taking on this task alone, ensure you understand all the potential risks associated with going “for sale by owner,” including legal, time, and price risks. With careful consideration and plenty of research into local real estate laws and trends in comparable properties in your area, however, selling without an agent can certainly be done — make sure it’s right for you first!