Sell Without Traditional Agents

FSBO Listing Services: How to Sell Without Traditional Agents

Selling a home in Texas is expensive. Sellers can expect to spend up to 8.7% of the home’s value on closing costs—putting the cost of doing business at $26,850 based on the median home value. A hefty 69% of that is for real estate commission fees alone, as the seller is traditionally responsible for paying the buyer’s agent (3%) and your agent (3%).

This obligation is enough of a reason for many sellers to look closer at their options for selling the property as an FSBO (for sale by owner). Then you have an important question to answer: how do you sell a home on your own without an agent?

FSBO listing services are a valuable tool for sellers. Depending on the platform you choose, you can access all the tools you need to evaluate your property, market the listing, and negotiate incoming offers. But it’s incredibly important to choose the right platform that offers versatility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness based on your strategy and selling style. Learning more about the process for FSBO listings and different tools that can help you should be the first steps you take.

Advantages of High-Quality FSBO Listing Services Compared to Hiring a Traditional Agent

While hiring a listing agent is the conventional approach, more sellers are turning to online listing services. It’s a common choice among real estate investors, former real estate agents, and individuals who are either familiar with the house-selling process or want to know more. 

But whenever homeowners put their homes on the market, they prefer high-quality support. That’s why it’s important to compare the value of an FSBO listing service against a traditional agent to understand the differences.

The advantages include:

  • Easy pricing analytics: High-quality listing services should provide smart pricing tools that analyze large volumes of current and historical market data to recommend a listing price. Detailed recommendations are best, with a list price, predictions about how close the final sales price will be to that amount, and how many days the property will be on the market. Online tools provide an objective, well-researched recommendation for this critical detail. Even high-quality agents provide a biased view. They operate based on their research and experiences—no matter how valid they are, they paint an incomplete or out-of-date picture.
  • Saving on commission fees: Listing agents receive approximately 3% of your home’s sales price as their commission. Flat-fee listing services operate at a fraction of that cost, and you can choose which services you want instead of paying a comprehensive fee. You can also select additional services, such as professional photographers (which even high-performing agents might not provide), open house resources, and access to tools for scheduling private showings.
  • Direct control: When you hire an agent, part of the service is that they take a direct role in negotiations. Your agent fields calls, answers questions, and negotiates with the buyer’s agent. They’ll also coordinate showings for prospective buyers. You’ll be consulted throughout these processes, but you never speak to the buyer or their agent. If you want to gain direct control over negotiations, answer questions about your home, manage schedules, and review all offers instantly, then you only get that level of control with an FSBO listing service.

Related: 4 Strategies for Selling Your Home Without a Realtor

FSBO listing services give you more certainty and hands-on control from start to finish. 

How to Sell Your Home Without Traditional Agents

When you sell your home without an agent, that makes you the agent. You control the listing, the marketing, the contract negotiation process, and managing the deal. Develop a strategy that encompasses every phase of the home-selling process, and have a checklist of every task you need to complete along the way. Your process should include these five major steps:

Step 1. Find an FSBO Listing Service That Has Everything You Need

Before you can start selling your home, find the right listing service offering the features you need and the degree of service you trust. Some of the essential elements to look for include:

  • Flat-fee MLS listing services so you can list your home on the MLS. This also pushes the listing details to consumer-facing websites like Zillow and Realtor.com.
  • Professional photography options so you can add dozens of high-quality interior and exterior images to your listing.
  • Marketing solutions, including open house signs and a Supra lockbox for managing open houses, and other resources.
  • Negotiation management solutions, including a dashboard for managing different offers and uploading required documents.
  • A network of businesses for additional services you need, such as title agency.

As you research, keep track of pricing so you can estimate costs as you go.

Step 2. Create Your Listing

Once you select an FSBO listing service, create the actual listing. This will display information, such as property details, a property description, offer instructions, school district information, and more. The listing service you choose should make it easy to fill in all the fields correctly. Along with the details about your property, you’ll upload a seller’s disclosure notice. When you have all of this information ready, there are three details left: photographs, your list price, and the date you go live.

Get Professional-Quality Photographs

Photography is an important tool. If your listing has high-quality photographs that make your home look beautiful from every angle, your property will be more memorable, and you’re likely to get more buyers scheduling showings and making offers. But if you have blurry photos taken from a phone or no photos at all, your listing will get less attention. It won’t be memorable, and buyers might wonder what’s wrong with the property.

Choose a Competitive Listing Price

Calculating the right list price also matters. Your FSBO listing service should have a smart pricing tool that recommends prices to you based on other sales activity in your area. It’s important that this number is reasonable and accurate.

Related: Top 10 Mistakes FSBO Sellers Make and How to Avoid Them

If you price your home too high, then the right buyers might not see it. For example, if you price a $397,000 home at $402,000, buyers with a maximum budget of $400,000 won’t see your property in their search results. 

Prospective buyers who do see the home might also decide it’s not worth the price. As a result, your home will sit on the market longer, potentially forcing you to make a price reduction, accept a lowball offer, or put your move on hold. But if it’s too low, then the offer you accept might not be as profitable as it otherwise would have been.

Step 3. Upload Your Listing Information and Go Live

You also need to decide the last vital component for your listing: the go-live date. Agents with MLS access will be able to view the details on ‘coming soon’ properties, but they can’t schedule showings or send you offers until the listing is live. Schedule a go-live date for when the property is ready for open house or private showings.

Make sure all the details are accurate, upload the images and documentation, and activate the listing when you’re ready.

Step 4. Manage Questions and Offers

Once the listing is live, you’ll hopefully get a lot of activity on it. Buyers’ agents and unrepresented buyers will call, text, or message questions about the property and potential offers. Respond promptly to these inquiries, but be careful not to accidentally say anything that can be misconstrued as a promise.

You will also receive offer submissions. You can accept an offer that meets all of your terms or work with the agent to reach a compromise so they can submit a new offer both sides are happy with. All offers must be responded to, even the ones you don’t like.

Step 5. Negotiate and Accept an Offer

Most house sales have several negotiation phases, but the biggest one is before you accept an offer. You can communicate back and forth to settle on the closing cost obligations, a leaseback, or the sales price if you receive an offer that’s almost perfect, or you can wait for an offer that has everything you want. 

Once you sign an offer, the buyer’s option period will start. This is typically three or five days (depending on the details of the offer), and the buyer uses this time to hire an inspector and evaluate your property more closely. They may submit an amendment based on any repairs or costs they discover—this is common. That amendment phase near the end of the option period is the second negotiation phase.

During the rest of the time the property is under contract, the buyer’s lender will send out an appraiser, and you may have to arrange repairs if that’s part of the contract or amendment you agreed to. As all these changes are happening, be sure to update your MLS listing status to “pending” after the option period and “closed” after the sale closes.

You Don’t Need Traditional Agents to Sell Your Home

FSBO listing services make it easy to sell your home without a traditional agent. But it’s important to have a high-quality platform that provides MLS listing services, marketing options, and negotiation management tools to help you get the right offer. At ListingSpark, we provide a la carte, flat-fee services that sellers can mix and match for any home-selling strategy. We also partner with our sister organization, TitleSpark, to provide you access to a reliable, cost-effective title agency. Contact us today to see the home-selling process with our platform in more detail.

Related Posts

House Flipping Software Solutions: Revolutionize Your Strategy

House Flipping Software Solutions: Revolutionize Your Strategy

By listingspark | March 19, 2024

House flipping is a turbulent yet high-risk, high-reward market, and it has been ever since the real estate market turned on its head. While there are still plenty of revenue opportunities, with a gross profit…

Modern FSBO Listing Services

Modern FSBO Listing Services: Innovative Tools You Can Use

By listingspark | March 18, 2024

The conventional pathway to selling your home is hiring a listing agent who represents you in the transaction and manages the marketing that requires a real estate license—namely, listing your property on the MLS. This…

How to Sell Your Home Online in 7 Steps

Digital Home Sales: How to Sell Your Home Online in 7 Steps

By listingspark | March 12, 2024

Selling your home no longer means you have to put up yard signs, organize open houses, or even hire a listing agent. Instead, you can learn how to sell your home online at a fraction…

Home Image - ListingSpark

Get started with ListingSpark today