Texas is a great place for real estate investors and homeowners looking to sell. For one, you’re not required to have a lawyer present during a home real estate transaction. In fact, homeowners can sell their homes without even hiring a real estate agent.
Both lawyers and real estate agents can provide helpful guidance during a home sale, but that support comes at such a steep price that many home sellers prefer to manage the entire process on their own. Knowing how to sell your home without a realtor can easily save you thousands of dollars on closing costs and fees.
When you’re putting your home on the market without a listing agent, you have a lot of freedom, but several tasks also go into preparing, marketing, and selling a home. Start the process of putting your home on the market with in-depth strategies to minimize mistakes, cut down on delays, and help you manage complex negotiation processes.
Whether you’re on the fence about selling your home or you’re confident but seeking advice, take a closer look at why it’s such a financially savvy approach—and what tools and tactics can make it even more advantageous.
Advantages of Knowing How to Sell Your Home Without a Realtor
Selling your home is already a massive undertaking, even if you’re moving within the same community. So, what’s the advantage of adding marketing, negotiating, and selling projects to your to-do list when you’re already so busy?
Here are some of the most important reasons why it’s important to know how to sell your home without a realtor:
- You can reduce your closing costs by 3% of your home’s purchase price. The typical real estate agent fee in Texas is 3%—for each agent. By doing away with a listing agent on your side of the transaction, you can save around $9,000.
- You don’t have to deal with a middleman. Whether you’re in a hurry to sell your home or you prefer to stay involved during every step of the process, selling your home without an agent can make that happen. When agents are intermediaries, dozens of small delays build up along the way. You can speak to buyers’ agents or self-representing buyers directly, market your home the way you prefer, and gain a deeper understanding of the real estate process.
- You can comfortably reduce the sales price in exchange for other contract terms. Let’s get technical for a second. When you don’t have an agent, you can pocket that 3% difference and make a bit more profit. But that’s not your only option. You can also negotiate with buyers who need a lower purchase price but are willing to make up for it through other deal terms. For example, say you agree to an offer with a 1% lower price and a 45-day free leaseback that perfectly aligns with your schedule. You still pocket that 2% difference and have a more relaxed transition.
- Gain insight into what’s going on. Even if you ultimately decide to hire a listing agent, knowing how the process works makes you a savvier seller. You’ll spot when an agent is dragging their heels or prioritizing their go-to strategy over your preferences. You can also follow the details of the interaction so you’re comfortable enough going it alone on your next home sale.
All of these reasons are valid. You may also choose to sell without a realtor because you’re considering becoming an investor or an agent yourself.
How to Sell Your Home Without a Realtor: 4 Top Strategies
Once you decide to sell your home without a real estate agent, there are several resources and services you can use to make the process easier. With the right strategies, you don’t have to guess on pricing, spend hours marketing your home, or get spammed by bad offers. Instead, seize control of the entire process, from prepping and pricing to closing, and get deal terms you’re satisfied with.
1. Use a Flat-Fee Listing Service to Put Your Home on the MLS
The Multiple Listing Service is a network of databases for real estate agents and brokers. It contains all the profiles of homes listed within a region, including coming-soon properties, active listings, homes under contract, and historical records. Your listing will include details like the square footage and room count of your home, a description, images, and offer instructions. The information is automatically pushed out to consumer-facing websites like Trulia, Realtor.com, and Zillow.
However, most people don’t have access to the MLS—only agents and brokers have direct access. Traditionally, home sellers who wanted to use this widespread distribution network to market their homes had to hire a realtor. But today, there are flat-fee listing services that you can use instead.
Through them, you can fill in all the listing information, provide images and PDFs, and have the service upload the information. Prospective buyers and their agents will then be able to see your property, contact you for more information, and submit offers.
While you can list your home without this strategy, far fewer buyers will see your property—and you’ll spend much more time and effort marketing your home.
2. Hire Professional Home Photographers to Enhance Your Listing
For most home buyers, emotions play a part in the decision. Is the home beautiful? Can they picture themselves living there? Or does the home look a bit small and shadowed? The exact same home can inspire offers over the list price or make buyers hesitant to schedule a showing, all based on the quality of the images.
If you have professional photographs that enhance the best aspects of your home’s interior and exterior, you can get both faster and higher offers. Professionally photographed homes sell 32% faster, and 44% sell at a higher price per square foot.
Professional photographers have the tools and expertise to elevate your listing. They’ll bring high-quality lighting to minimize shadows, take dozens of pictures from multiple angles during golden hour, and ensure you have a beautiful portfolio of high-resolution images.
3. Use Smart Software to Accurately Price Your Home From the Start
One of the most crucial pieces of information you’ll include is the listing price: the amount you think your home should sell for. If the price is too low, you could lose out on funds. But if you list it too high, then you’ll either receive disappointing offers, which turn the whole project a bit sour, or your home will sit stagnant on the market.
The longer your home sits, the less attention it will receive. Eventually, prospective buyers will start to wonder what’s wrong with it. This could result in you lowering the price (which shows in the listing record) or taking it off the market and trying again later.
Instead of guessing at the property’s value or combing through the home sales data you can reach, utilize smart home pricing software. There are tools available that use near real-time data from active databases, historical performance trends, and machine learning algorithms to derive comparable listing prices for your home. Armed with this kind of tool, you can decide whether to price it aggressively or a bit lower to receive very fast responses or other negotiated terms on your must-have list.
4. Work With an Efficient Title Company That Offers Savings on Closing Costs
When you act as your own listing agent, interfacing with a title company is part of the process. Before properties change hands, title companies research the history of the home to ensure the current owner actually owns the title outright and that there aren’t any liens on the property or other complications. Either you or the buyer will pick the title company used and pay the fees for the title search and insurance.
Make sure you have a reliable, low-cost title company in mind. Title fees may be up to 0.65% of the purchase price, and reducing that price tag can help you keep more of the money in your own hands.
Those four strategies will put you in a great position to manage the sale of your property, leaving you satisfied with both the process and the outcome. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind as you get started:
- Make It Easy for Agents to Show Your Home: Private showings—but not necessarily open houses—are the point when many prospective buyers decide whether or not to submit an offer. If you simplify the process for scheduling showings, you’ll likely get more offers as a result.
- Set Clear Offer Requirements and Have a Firm Negotiating Stance: Start by knowing what you definitely need, what you want to see, and how far you’re willing to negotiate. Make sure you know your parameters for all aspects of the negotiation, including price, potential concessions, and leaseback requirements.
- Be Prepared to Handle Multiple Offers: Many areas in Texas still have a clear seller’s market, so you’ll likely receive multiple offers on your house. Be ready to comb through each one, respond in a timely manner, and objectively assess the pros and cons.
- Be Familiar With the TREC’s One-to-Four Family Residential Contract: In Texas, most offers will be on the standard TREC contract. Review the blank PDF before you list your home so you’re familiar with all the aspects of the document.
Choose Support Resources That Let You Control Your Home-Selling Journey
Selling your home without a lawyer or a real estate agent in Texas is more than possible—it grants you a lot of freedom and potential reward. You can set your own price, choose your marketing strategies, and dive deep into the nuances of Texas real estate. At ListingSpark, we give you all the tools you need to do it, including flat-fee MLS listing services, professional photography, and our smart home pricing tool. You can even work with our sister title company to get title services at an affordable price. Contact us to learn how to sell your home without a realtor, and keep more of the purchase price in your bank account.
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