The first option is to sell your house through a real estate agent. This way can be expensive since the agent will charge you a commission for their services – and that commission can be anywhere from 5% of the sale price or higher (often thousands of dollars).
The second option is to sell your house without a real estate agent. This way can be much cheaper, since you won’t have to pay an agent thousands of dollars in commission – that’s money that stays in your pocket.
When you make the decision that you are going to sell your home, it is completely normal to want to get every dollar that it is worth. The typical real estate commission is 5% to 6% of the purchase price paid for by the seller and split between the two agents. (ownerly.com)In order to save the 5-6% commission folks pay realtors for selling their house, and a few other reasons, some St. Louis homeowners decide that the cheapest way to sell a house is without a realtor.
This is called “For Sale By Owner”, also known as FSBO. Selling a house without a realtor in St. Louis can require lots of time, knowledge, and TONS of patience. However, if you end up selling the house for $200,000 without a realtor, you will save a whopping $12,000 in commissions! A much easier route to selling your house without paying thousands in commissions, is to sell to a Cash Buyer like Bird River Properties. We pay all closing costs, title fees, and we do not charge you the average fee of 6% of the sale price, if you would like to receive a quick, fair, and easy cash offer, go to our homepage at www.selltobird.com
If you are thinking about selling your house without a realtor in St. Louis, this step-by-step article will give all of the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision to sell your house fast!
Figure out what your house is worth.
The first step to selling your home will always be to figure out what your house is worth. When selling a house without a realtor in St. Louis, you will always want to find out what home in your neighborhood have sold for in the past 6 months. For Example, lets say you house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, and it is 1500 square feet; you will want to see what all similar homes have sold for, and if they are in better or worse condition then your house. If they are in better condition, you will want to figure out how much it will cost you to do the upgrades needed to get your house to be as valuable as the rest. Something to always remember when evaluating your house, buyers tend to feel that kitchens and bathrooms are the MOST IMPORTANT rooms in the house so focus on those first.
Decide what repairs, if any, you need to do in order to sell your house fast.
Looking back to the first step, you will always want your house to look as good if not better than the top comparable sales in your neighborhood to get it sold as fast as possible. Now remember, the kitchen and bathrooms are the most important, and unfortunately, most expensive parts of the house to update. “HomeAdvisor puts the average kitchen remodel price in the $12,567 to $34,962 range. A small kitchen remodel can cost as little as $4,000 and a lavish remodel can cost as much as $50,000+.” (www.hgtv.com) On top of that, when Bird River Properties updates needs to update a bathroom, we spend on average $12,500 per bathroom to get them up to date. If you are someone who doesn’t have the time, funds, or knowledge to repair a kitchen or bathroom, than call us today at (314) 207-5288 so we can give you a cash offer to sell your home without doing any repairs!
Decide to sell to an owner occupant or Cash Buyer like Bird River Properties.
If your house is in great shape and you think it needs no repairs, listing is yourself will be the better of these two options. However, is your house outdated or does it have issues that you think will cause it to sit on the market? If so, Bird River Properties is going to be your best option when selling your house. We will buy any house in any condition as long as it is a win for you and a win for us. It doesn’t matter if the house still has the original carpet from when it was built in 1970 (Which no owner occupant will want), or if you have cracks in the foundation causing basement leaks. If you don’t want to spend $25,000 on your kitchen, spend $10,000 to refinish and spruce up the flooring in your house, or spend $10,000-$12,000 per bathroom to get your house in tip top shape, give us a call at (314) 207-5288 or request an offer on out homepage at www.selltobird.com.
Get a home inspection.
If you want to save the 6% commission and decide to sell your house without a realtor, you ALWAYS want to get a home inspection before listing the house for sale. Why? Because when selling your house to someone planning to spend the decade or three in the house, they are going to want to know if anything is wrong with it. On average, a home inspection in St. Louis, MO costs about $450.00, and that covers the entire house. The inspector will check to make sure there are no issues with the foundation, roof, structure, air conditioner, furnace, water heater, and also make sure the property is up to code and in livable condition. At Bird River Properties, we have bought, rehabbed, and sold well over 100 properties and once thing we can say for sure, is that an inspector will almost ALWAYS find an issue… that is their job after all. When an owner-occupant buyer finds an issue in the inspection report, they will typicallyeither decide to back out of the sale or try and get you to lower the price that you have already agreed to.
Make sure your house is spotless and decluttered.
After you have determined the value of your house, decided if you will update the house or not, and gotten a home inspection, you will now want to remove all clutter and clean every single inch of your house. When we say remove clutter, we mean remove as many items out of your house as possible and put them in a storage unit or the garage. This will make the inside of the house feel more spacious and give the potential buyers the possibility to envision themselves making this place their home. Next, you will want to clean your house, and we mean every single inch, every single nook and cranny, every baseboard, everything… No matter how clean of a person you are, you will always be amazed at the dust and dirt that will build up in the corners of cabinet baseboards or behind the entertainment center. At Bird River Properties, we prefer to hire a cleaning crew to get our house ready for the next step, our cleaners can run from $350 to $750 depending on the size of the house.
Get professional listing pictures.
When trying to sell a house in St. Louis without a realtor, some people think that it might be okay to just take a few pictures of the inside and one picture of the front of their house with their smart phone and throw those on a website like www.zillow.com and people will start calling and making offers. Unfortunately.that is not how to sell a house for sale by owner in St. Louis. When Bird River Properties goes to list one of our properties, we always get professional listing pictures done by a local St. Louis photographer. The average cost of listing pictures is $550, that cost is more than worth it because the first place anyone will see your house is online, and it better look great if you want potential buyers to pick up the phone to call about your house.
Marketing your house.
The most popular website to list your hose for sale is going to be Zillow. There are a few others including Relator.com, Redfin, Trulia, ect. Those sites will be your best option when trying to sell your house without a realtor. You will also want to post your house all over your Facebook and all other social media website so your friends and neighbors can see the listing as well. A god way to sell a house fast in St. Louis is to get as many eyes on it as possible. Also, when your neighbor knows you’re selling your house, they will probably tell a select few of their friends about it so they can have their close friends right next door!
Showing the house.
When showing a house without a realtor in St. Louis, you will need to be on your game at all times. If you choose to host an open house, you will want to have a snack and beverages for the guests. Now with an open house, you will not know how many people will be showing up, it could be 3 people, or it could be 20 people. You must always be prepared to take down all of the attendee’s information and remember to follow up with all of them. An easy way to keep track of everyone that comes to your open house is to have everyone fil out a sign in sheet with their name, number, and email. When showing the house individually instead of hosting an open house, you will be able to communicate and build a better rapport with the potential buyers, this route will take a lot longer, but it may be the better option for you. By having individual showings, you will really be able to understand what each person likes and doesn’t like about your house, if your house is in great shape, you might even have some folks make an offer on the spot. Now, if you are too busy at work, or don’t feel comfortable showing your house to tons of strangers, give us a call at (314) 207-5288 and we will make you a quick, fair, and hassle free no obligation cash offer for you house!
Negotiating with buyers.
When you are selling a house without a real estate agent in St. Louis, you will always want to make sure that you are getting the best deal when selling your house. What we suggest to do, is set a price in your mind that you will not negotiate below and make sure you stick to it, that will prevent you from making your decision based on emotion instead of ration. Owner occupant buyers will always nitpick little things about the house because it might not be their “style”. For example, some people will only buy a house if it has stainless steel appliances, or white cabinets, or real hardwood floors instead of LVP or laminate. Whenever we go to sell a house that we have rehabbed, we always make sure to put top notch appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen, as well as have top of the line bathrooms. Now a days, everybody has seen one of those flipping shows on HGTV and wants their home to look exactly like the houses on the show, no matter what price they are buying a home for. The main tip we can give you about negotiating a price is this: Always stay within 10% of the original value you determined your house was worth back in step one of this article, if you are correct in evaluating your house, it should be easy to sell!
Doing the paperwork.
If you have never bought or sold a house without a realtor involved, you could be in for some real trouble. All of your employees go through two 8 hour days full of training on how to do the paperwork so we can make it as easy as possible for someone selling a house to us. You will need to find a contract to use that protects you as well as the buyer. For example, we use the Special Sales Contract for the State of Missouri. This contract is 6 pages long and if you have never seen one before it can look very intimidating. You will need to determine the closing date, where you are closing, who your title agent will be, what the inspection contingencies will be and how many business days your buyer will have to complete all necessary inspections. Overall, when there are no experienced real estate professionals involved in the sale of a house, it can get messy.
Make sure the buyer can actually qualify for a loan.
When people are using a buyers agent, that agent will always make sure the buyer is pre-qualified for a loan before they start viewing houses and making offer so they do not waste everyone’s that is involved in the transaction. Without being experienced in selling houses, you might forget to make sure every single person you show the house to is able to follow through with their purchase. The worst feeling is when you get a call from someone you thought was buying your house and they tell you they do not qualify to get enough financing to close on your house and they have to back out of the contract. Always make sure before signing any contracts that your potential buyer has a pre-approval letter within the last 30 days that says a bank will give them enough money to buy your house. Another thing to think about is what kind of loan is your buyer getting? It is conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, or are they paying cash?
- Cash: As the saying goes, cash is king. When someone makes a cash offer on your house, no bank can deny them of spending their own money unlike when they are getting a loan. Bird River Properties only uses cash to purchase properties.
- Conventional Loans: Buyers using conventional loans are normally the easiest to work with. The lender does not require multiple appraisals, this buyer will also need to put 20% down so the bank is more comfortable lending that customer since they will not have to finance 97% of the purchase.
- VA Loans: Buyers using VA loans are just about as easy as conventional loans. These loans are only for active or former military and the are provided by the government.
- USDA Loans: These types of loans are for properties that are in rural areas, if you are in the suburbs or city, these will not apply to you. However, if you are in a rural area, we have experienced that these loans always get delayed and take FOREVER to get to the closing table.
- FHA Loans: FHA loans are for potential buyers who will be buying their first home. Normally, selling to a first time buyer without an agent can be a very difficult process, they typically do not know the ins and outs of ownership and will want their house near perfect condition. Also, FHA loans require two different appraisals and multiple inspections. Expect 90 days from contract to close with FHA loans.
Choosing a title company.
Some title companies will not work with sellers who are selling their house for sale by owner. Title companies that are very busy all of the time feel that they don’t have the time to walk people through selling a house and just want to deal with agents or companies like Bird River Properties who purchase over 10 houses every single month. In our opinion, the best title company in St. Louis in Investors Title, the have multiple locations across the area and are very transparent and easy to work with. Once the sales contract is sent to the title company, you will need to give them written permission to speak with your lender to get the exact payoff amount, they will also need to check with all services providers, contractors that have done work in the last year, and any other parties involved on the deed of your house to make sure the title is clean and there are no unexpected liens on the house that would prevent the sale. Title work will typically take about 20-25 business days, but at Bird River Properties we expedite all title work so we are able to close in as little as 12 days from singing the contract. If you are looking to sell you house fast to a cash buyer with no inspection contingencies, give us a call at (314) 207-5288 and see how we could help you!
Now that we know how to sell your house without a realtor in St. Louis, lets compare it to using an agent!
Pros and Cons of Selling Without a Real Estate Agent
- You will keep more money from the sale in your pocket. When selling your house without a realtor in St. Louis, you will not have to pay the normal 5%-6% commission that the agent will charge. For example, if you sell your house for $350,000, that will save you $17,500 – $21,000!
- You have more control of the sale. When selling your house by owner, no one can steer you in a direction you do not want to go in, now this can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It means that only you can dictate the listing price, if you should make any updates to your house, who you show it to and when you show it, and finally, who you decide to actually sell your house too. If you are the type of person who like to have complete control, FSBO may be your best option.
- No one will give as much effort for you as you. When you are the only person responsible for the sale of your house, you can stay 100% dialed in on making sure it gets sold. You will almost ever get an agent who has zero other clients and if you do, you probably will not want to trust them with the sale of your house. Most agents will have a dozen other clients, handling multiple showings every single day, and trying to keep all of their clients happy and feel attended to at the same time. When selling your house without an agent, you will be able to dedicate as much time to it as you feel necessary.
- No one to help you put a price tag on the house. Like we spoke about in step one, you will need to figure out what your house is worth. Any good agent will know a ballpark value of your house within 5 minutes of being there, same with Cash Buyers, we look at hoses all day every day so we are able to pinpoint a value right away. However, if you are not involved in over 100 real estate transactions a year, you might not be very confident picking a price to try and sell your house for, if it is too high, your phone will not ring once you list it.
- Unable to market like agents can. As we told you, the best place to list your house without an agent is Zillow. Now the best place to get the most exposure to anyone seriously looking to buy a house is the MLS. That give every agent in the entire area access to your house at the click of a button.
- 90% of FSBO listing fail. Yes you read that correct, 90% fail and end up either selling to a Cash Buyer like Bird River Properties, or hiring an agent to try and sell their house.
Here are 3 tips about how to sell a House off the market in St. Louis without a real estate agent:
Tip 1: Clean Up The House
The more “ready-to-live-in” your house is, the higher price you might be able to get for your house. So this might involve some cleaning up or even fix-up. If there are renovations that you’ve started, you might want to hire a contractor to finish them. Maybe the roof needs to be reshingled. Perhaps you should paint your house.
Tip 2: Tell Everyone!
Next, tell everyone you know that you’re selling your house. Post about it on Facebook. Find a local “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) website or newspaper and post there. Put up flyers at the grocery store. In other words: Just tell everyone you can… and ask them to tell everyone they can.
Tip 3: Be Prepared To Show Your House
People will want to come through your house to look at it and decide whether or not to buy. Be prepared to show your house – morning, noon, or night. It can be quite time-consuming but just keep remembering all that money you’ll save!
Frequently ask Question
Can you actually sell your house without a realtor?
Yes, but it takes a lot of hard work and you must work at it a few hours each day.
What documents do I need to sell my house without an agent?
The only document that you will need on your own is a purchase contract, once that is signed a title company will give you the rest of the documents to fill out.
How do you sell a house without an agent?
Great question! Read our step-by-step process at the top of the page!
What is the best way to sell a house privately?
Either sell it to a Cash Buyer like Bird River Properties or list it For Sale by the Owner.
What should you fix when selling a house?
That depends, you want to make your house look like the others in your neighborhood for the amount you want to sell yours for.
What does a real estate agent actually do?
A real estate agent holds your hand throughout the entire process of selling your house, from telling you what they think it will sell for, to helping you through the mountain of paperwork the title company will have you sill out.
Alright, everyone, I hope you have learned everything you need to know about how to sell your house without a realtor in St. Louis! Now if you think your house is not as updated or nice as the others in your neighborhood, do not let that worry you! Bird River Properties will make you an all-cash, no-obligation offer and close whenever you want us to! Call us at (314) 207-5288 or request an offer on our homepage at www.selltobird.com