What Happens When You Sell Your House Without A Real Estate Agent?

What Happens When You Sell Your House Without A Real Estate Agent?

Some people are nomads and decide to take on the herculean task of selling their house or property without a real estate agent. Of course it is possible, but like many things, it is not advisable unless you’re truly experienced in the field. As in, know all the laws and codes and ordinances and are prepared to deal with things that go wrong. The average homeowner, armed with Google, probably doesn’t have this type of knowledge and experience. What actually happens when you sell your house without a real estate agent?

What Happens When You Sell Your House Without A Real Estate Agent?

  • You need to completely separate your emotions about your home from the facts about your home
  • You have to personally show the house yourself when people want to see it
  • You’re wide open for a lawsuit

This is the home your brought your babies home to, or the first home you bought after college, or the house where you grew up. You have a lot of sentimentality attached to it that makes it very difficult to put an accurate price tag on it. In fact, studies show that only about 40% of For Sale By Owners price their house correctly in that critical first week, when it is most likely to pick up the most traffic. Price it too high and nobody will look your way. Price it too low and everyone will wonder what’s wrong with it. Pricing is absolutely critical and real estate agents are masters at pricing because they know everything you don’t – the neighborhood, the market, how much your old roof detracts from the worth – you get the idea.

People want to see your house on weekends, evenings, Tuesdays at noon, New Year’s Eve, etc. In fact, you could spend entire weekends doing nothing but showing your house. Of course you could say you aren’t available, but then you lose a potential buyer. Will your boss let you miss so much work? What about evenings when your kids are home – who will watch them while you show the house? Don’t forget that you also have to be prepared to hear some pretty tough criticism about your home, including your decor and prized possessions. It might be pretty difficult to hear someone poking fun at the clay pot your nephew made or the quilt your grandma knit for you. Yikes.

Unless you know all there is to know about building codes, closing costs, disclosures, first time home buyers, etc., you’re going to have to hire a lawyer anyway, which is going to be nearly as pricey as just hiring a real estate agent in the first place. Some people do go to closing alone, but they are risking a lot – hundreds of thousands of dollars – when hiring a real estate agent would have probably paid for itself in what they would have gained through price negotiation by a professional. Why make your life harder?

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