13 tips on how to sell your home without a real estate agent

If you’re an HGTV fan, chances are good that you’re familiar with the series “Income Property” and its host, Scott McGillivray. On the show, McGillivray helps homeowners turn portions of their houses into rental apartments that will offset their mortgages. In real life, McGillivray — who is a licensed contractor and real estate investor — has completed more than 100 real estate transactions.

When it comes to selling a home, he notes that taking the traditional route of hiring a real estate agent can be expensive. Selling a home on your own lets you keep more of the profits in your own pocket, provided that you can avoid costly missteps.

“You should keep as much money as possible when selling home,” said McGillivray. “Even an amateur is going to be surprised at how effective they can be if they follow a system.”

Here are the steps McGillivray recommends if you want to sell your home on your own.

1. Cut Out the Middleman

Real estate agents typically charge a 5 percent to 6 percent commission on a home sale — which is split in half if both the buyer and seller have agents, McGillivray said. If you sell your home on your own, you will save at least the 2.5 percent to 3 percent that the seller’s agent would have charged. If you sell your home for $350,000, you will save more than $8,000 by cutting out the middleman.

Additionally, you can save the full 5 percent to 6 percent if a buyer comes to you without representation. Without agents, you’ll save more than $16,000 on a $350,000 home sale, McGillivray said.

2. Get Your Home Listed on the MLS

“It’s tremendously important that you get on a platform that gives you exposure to buyers and agents,” McGillivray said. That platform is the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, which is the database of homes for sale in a market. Homebuyers can see properties on the MLS through websites such as Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com.

In the past, only real estate agents could have homes listed through this service. However, today’s homeowners can list their own properties on the MLS by paying a flat fee to various sites. McGillivray recommends using Owners.com, which places homes on the MLS and gives homeowners access to advisors who can help with the sales process, including the closing. The basic MLS listing package is $395 for six months.

If you don’t get your home listed on the MLS, you’ll have to rely on classified newspaper ads, online sources such as Craigslist.org or luck to find a buyer.

3. Use Professional Signage

Listing your house on the MLS is the best way to get your property noticed by potential buyers. However, you also want to market your home well. According to McGillivray, posting a skimpy “For Sale” sign with a spot to add a phone number in your yard is “a recipe for disaster.”

Instead, the real estate pro recommends having a sign professionally made. Online services such as Owners.com and ForSaleByOwner.com provide each home seller with a sturdy sign as part of the MLS listing package.

4. Get an Appraisal

McGillivray suggests hiring an appraiser to evaluate your home before putting it on the market. Doing this will help you avoid any surprises when the buyer’s lender has the house appraised to determine how much to loan. Appraisers typically charge $300 to $400, according to Realtor.com, and the price is well worth it.

5. Don’t Overprice Your Home

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is overpricing their homes. “Everybody thinks their house is worth more than it is,” McGillivray said. “Your house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.”

If you set the price too high, you won’t get enough traffic. On the other hand, listing your house at a realistic value means you will get more offers sooner, according to McGillivray. Ultimately, pricing your home accurately will help you sell for a better rate.

In addition to securing an appraisal, you can take advantage of information that’s available for free from online real estate listing sites. Check the list prices of comparable homes in your area and see how long they’ve been on the market. Then, consider whether your home offers more or fewer amenities than competing properties.

6. Look for Anchor Properties in Your Neighborhood

When someone posts a house for sale and lists it too high, the home becomes what McGillivray calls an anchor property. Sellers will assume that other properties in the neighborhood are better deals, if they’re listed for less.

Not only can an anchor property drive more traffic to your home, but it can also allow you to list your home at a higher price than it is actually worth. For example, if your neighbor puts his house up for sale at $600,000, and you know your property is worth $525,000, you can list it for more because it will still look like a deal next to your neighbor’s house.

So, look for overpriced homes in your area and then list your house for less.

7. Depersonalize Your Home

Before you open your doors to potential buyers, you need to depersonalize your home so someone can see himself or herself living there. For best results, remove those family photos and collectibles that might be dear to you but a turnoff to others.

“You don’t want a picture of you and your dog wearing a tuxedo hanging on the wall,” said McGillivray, who actually saw this image in a house that was for sale. “Strip it down and make it appeal to 90 percent of the population, 90 percent of the time.”

8. Make Minor Repairs

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to remodel your home before you sell. However, you should at least clean the space thoroughly, make small repairs, replace worn carpets and add a fresh coat of paint to walls.

You want people to walk into a house that looks well maintained. If buyers see that you can’t take care of minor details, they’re going to assume you’ve let bigger problems escape your attention, too, McGillivray said.

9. Improve Curb Appeal

McGillivray revealed that some of the best deals he’s found were properties that looked bad from the road. “People do judge a book by the cover when it comes to real estate,” he said.

By the time potential buyers reach your front door, they’ve already formed opinions about your house. For best results, spend a day — and a few hundred dollars — painting your front door, hanging new house numbers and installing updated fixtures, he said. Additionally, sellers should clean up their yards by pulling weeds and trimming shrubs.

10. Stage Your House

You can stage your house on your own to make it look more appealing by searching for tips on sites such as HGTV.com. However, if you’re in a competitive housing market or selling a high-end property, you should consider spending some money to have your home staged by experts.

Professional stagers have been trained to make houses appeal to buyers by removing clutter, depersonalizing rooms, rearranging furniture and creating a “model home” feel. You can use the savings on real estate commissions to help pay for a stager so your home sells for more, faster.

11. Disclose Problems to Potential Buyers

Most states require sellers to disclose all of the home problems they’re aware of. These issues include past problems, like plumbing leaks that resulted in mold growth.

Don’t try to hide anything, or you could face a lawsuit if an issue is detected after the home is sold.

12. Be Ready to Negotiate

A home’s list price is a suggestion, not a rule. Said McGillivray, you shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate with buyers when they make offers on your home.

Because real estate negotiations are conducted on paper, sellers don’t have to worry about confronting buyers directly. You can also negotiate on both price and terms. If you don’t want to come down much in your asking price, be flexible with your terms, such as the closing date or appliances you are willing to leave in the home for the new owner.

Owners.com and other listing services of for-sale-by-owner properties connect home sellers with licensed real estate agents who can guide them through the negotiation process.

13. Don’t Make a Misstep at Closing

When you and your buyer are ready to sign on the dotted line, a mortgage lender will typically be involved. He or she will likely provide you with an escrow officer to walk you through the final steps of your home sale.

However, McGillivray recommends taking the time to understand the legal requirements of your home sale. You might want to hire a real estate attorney or, if you used a flat-fee listing service, request assistance for your closing.

From GoBankingRates.com: HGTV expert’s top tips to sell your home — without a real estate agent

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like