A significant consideration for property sellers is whether they can sell their home by themselves or if they require a Realtor® to manage the sale.

There are both positives and negatives with either option. The advantages of offering your home by yourself include, for example, being able to recover more of the sale from your property since you will not have any commissions to pay. The drawback is that selling a house by yourself makes you responsible for understanding and complying with all of the legal steps and obligations involved in selling a home.

In this article, we discuss the basics of what you should do to prepare to market your property for sale. Reading this will help you to decide whether you should seek the help of a real estate professional.  Continue reading to determine if you speak to a Realtor®.

Do I require a property representative by law?

Although lots of people think that they require a real estate representative to offer their property, there are no legal requirements or laws that mandate that you work with one when you decide to help you sell your home. However, be aware that that there are a few states that mandate that you have a real estate professional assist with the legal documents that are associated with the closing of a home sale. If you’re not sure of the laws that apply in your state, you should speak to your state department to see if you require the aid of a real estate broker to close your house sale.

Marketing your own home

Should you decide to sell your home by yourself, you will be participating in a procedure known as ‘For Sale By Owner.’ The number one benefit of selling your home yourself is that you can save a lot of money because you won’t have to pay any selling-agent commissions. However, be prepared because if this is your first time selling your own home, you will probably soon see why real estate agents charge the commissions they do. You must be ready to put in a lot of time, energy, and effort to market your home efficiently and without mistakes.

However, before you set up your For Sale By Owner sign, think about checking out the marketplace in your area. If it is a purchaser’s market, you will probably have a harder time selling your house by yourself. This is because you will be competing against real estate representatives whose only focus is to sell houses, whereas you will have to balance your home life and work, so you still have time to market your home. The best time to offer your property by yourself is when it is a seller’s market.

Legal considerations for selling your own property

In order to properly sell your house on your own, you will be required to find out about the laws of your state that govern realty transfers. These laws will show what type of paperwork you will need to prepare as well as who will need to sign what. Also, you will be required to find out what to do if you find any encumbrances are on your house and how best to handle them. Some states have compulsory disclosure laws that you will be required to follow, where you will be compelled by law to divulge certain physical attributes of your property.

Listing your home

If you are serious about listing your house by yourself, think about posting your listing online. There are several sites around that are committed to helping you sell your property by yourself.

One of the first things that you should do to get your home noticed is to get it listed on your local Multi Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is a nationwide service that lists houses for sale that are searchable by area and even by specific communities. There are several ways which you can get your property placed onto the MLS, such as:

  • Working with a broker to list your house
  • Listing your property free by using sites like HomeBuyer.com and Zillow
  • Using certain low-fee services offered by websites committed to For Sale By Owner

Utilizing a real estate agent

You may not think you need a real estate agent. However, there might be times when you might wish you had engaged a professional to help you. Many real estate agents are willing to assist those who are planning on listing their home when it comes to Sale By Owner by offering services such as:

  • Helping you understand the  current housing market
  • Help you determine a realistic asking price
  • Listing your home on MLS, or
  • Assisting with some of the more complicated documents and deals.

If you can find a real estate representative that is willing to help you with a few of the smaller sized jobs connected with your house sale, you may be able to negotiate a fixed fee for the agent that is more to your preference. For instance, you might want to negotiate a smaller sized commission, and even pay the agent a consulting fee on a per hour basis (check with your state to find out if this is permissible).

When you need a real estate agent

If you decide that you’re not up to listing your home by yourself, then go ahead and look for an experienced real estate agent to sell your house for you. It will end up costing you more than if you sold the house by yourself, but it might save you time and effort in the long run. Realtors® are experts when it comes to selling homes, and will assist you in setting up your home so that it is as attractive as possible to would-be buyers. Nevertheless, if you are in no rush to sell your house, you can always try selling on your own first before deciding if you’re better off working with a real estate representative.