Real estate is seeing a steady growth rate year on year. When it comes to California, the markets are even hotter making many wonders about the nitty-gritties involved when it comes to selling a home without a realtor.
Sure, the easy way out would be approaching a real estate company to sell your house, but that process— although removes the headache, you pay a hefty price for it anyways.
Now, if you’re a homeowner who’s never sold a home before, the process is similar may seem overwhelming especially if you’re going solo.
If you worry about it too much, the lack of first-hand knowledge can be almost terrifying – so don’t.
While experience is unquestionably the best teacher in this subject, it’s also important to remember that sales frequently deviate from generic standards due to negotiation. As a result, there will always be some degree of ambiguity.
To cut a long story short, being adaptable is the best way to approach the process.
In this article, we’re going to take you through the journey of selling a house in California without the need for a realtor and save you on some painkillers.
Follow these steps to make sure you’re abreast of all the nuances of selling your home without a realtor.
Step 1: Time It
When it comes to selling a house in California, timing is everything. When you time it appropriately, you can get the best price for it, maybe even more than what you hoped for. In California, the months of May to July are considered to be the best for buying and selling real estate, though this varies by county.
Usually, the best months to enter the market are in the months of April, May and June, but you can check this table out for a better understanding of which seasons are the peak ones:
|Spring||High demand and cutthroat competition as a number of properties up for sale during this season.|
|Summer||Buyers with families are usually active during this season as they prefer shifting before the school year begins. Heavy competition during this period.|
|Fall||Market gradually becomes bearish during this season. The number of sellers is also low.|
|Winter||Very slow-moving market during this season but very niched and limited market looking to buy properties. Mostly these buyers are genuine and seriously looking out for houses.|
Step 2: Find Out What Your House Worth
Just like how an agent knows the price of the surrounding houses, you too have to put on your detective hat and be a nosey neighbor to figure out what do houses around your neighborhood retail at.
It’s best to also explore various real estate websites to aid you in this process. If that isn’t sufficient, take a sneak-peak into the county recorder’s office.
Keep in mind that no matter how much you believe your home is worth, if there isn’t data to back up your list price, a buyer may struggle to get it appraised.
Step 3: Offer a Price Others Will Find Hard To Refuse
Things may appear fishy to prospective buyers when your house has been up for sale for a prolonged period of time. Several questions might pop up in their minds and to beat that is another problem you don’t want to face one day.
When your house is up for sale, offer them something fair which will not only attract prospective buyers but also validates that you’ve done your homework before putting a price tag.
Step 4: Stage It for Showings
Start renovating and repairing your house to stage it for showings. Apart from ensuring no personal belongings are scattered around, some experts recommend packing at least half of your belongings before listing your home. Scrutinize your house to evaluate how best to spruce things up and give it a welcoming vibe with some simple and quick fixes., such as a fresh coat of paint, un-kept flooring, ill-maintained lawn, etc. If you want a million bucks, make sure your house looks like one!
Step 5: Click the Best Angles of Your House
If you have a keen eye for presenting your house in ways people stop and look at your property, you’re already won half the battle. If not, then it’s better to invest in a professional photographer for listing photos on MLS sites. Professional photography makes your listing stand out on the MLS and elevates it.
Step 6: Approach Flat Fee MLS California Listing Companies
The next step is to approach Flat Fee MLS California Listing companies.
You need to be a licensed realtor to be listed on an MLS. A flat-fee MLS company will list your home on your behalf to attract potential buyers and their agents. The advantage of approaching Flat Fee MLS California listing companies is that when potential buyers are searching specifically in your area and your house details match their requirements, your home will be one of the top searches. That’s an easy sale for you.
Step 7: Market like Your Life Depends on It
Just like how a real estate agent, has a strong network of prospective buyers lined up to whom they can pitch your home, likewise, you must also have your own buyers lined up for you.
Here’s a pro tip: Copy what other agents are doing when they market other properties and execute it, chances are those methods are already tried and tested which have resulted in higher conversion rates. Whether they send postcards, post yard signs, and post “for sale” notices in local groups, do what they’ve done.
Step 8: Start Scheduling
Your listing is “live” on the Flat Fee MLS, you and any moment your phone will be buzzing with prospective buyers eager to visit your house. Make use of tracking software and online calendars usually used by agents to schedule showing and at any cost avoid double bookings.
Step 9: Follow Up
Follow up after people have visited your house! Usually, agents contact the buyer’s agent for feedback or send a form requesting feedback. Inquire by phone or email if they have any questions.
While you can ask them what they thought of the house, bear in mind that they may not be as blunt to you since you’re the owner and they wouldn’t want to comment on anything negative. Be a thorough professional and don’t take anything personally.
Step 10: Review and Negotiate
When you start getting offers, assess and do a comparative analysis of who has offered a suitable deal.
To understand what constitutes a “Good Deal”, look beyond the sale price and keep a keen eye on closing timelines, rent-back period, or other contingencies in addition to the sale price.
Remember, there’s always room for negotiations; be cautious during negotiations because you don’t want to tick off buyers and make them walk away.
Step 11: Deal With the Paperwork and Other Legal Stuff
There is a lot of paperwork to deal with after accepting an offer. These are legally binding documents, from the purchase agreement to the closing statement. Keep an eye on contract timelines, duration the buyer has to get a home inspection, negotiate for repairs, etc.
Remember the legal requirements for selling homes vary by state. It will be beneficial for you to have a lawyer review or prepare these documents on your behalf. At the least, you’ll require a purchase agreement and a settlement statement.
Step 12: Schedule an Inspection
A thorough home inspection is conducted by hiring an inspection officer which is typically paid by the buyer. You can choose to touch up your house before an inspection may but at least make sure that the house does not have your personal belongings scattered everything they and the buyer and inspector have unfettered access to your house.
Step 13: Haggle
Post the inspection, buyers usually renegotiate keeping in mind the extra costs they may incur in-home repairs.
Either they may ask you to repair the flaws listed on the inspection report, or they may adjust it in the final price during the closing to cover the cost of the repairs.
If the inspection officer discovered serious issues, you may get lowballed.
During those times, be prepared for another round of negotiations. Keep calm; be realistic when before bowing to their conditions.
If this vicious loop continues, be realistic and slash the sale price to offer a fair deal and close it once and for all.
Step 14: Close
Workng with a title company to ensure the home has a clear title is one of the most important parts during the closing process. Gather all documents, including the title, deed, and any homeowner’s association covenants, as well as any mortgage amounts; be absolutely transparent about everything.
In some states, they require lawyers to be present at the closing, so even if you didn’t involve one earlier in the process, make sure to check the legalities and hire one accordingly.