How To Sell Your House By Owner – [The Ultimate Guide]

Selling a house by owner is a great way to save some money on the sale of your Massachusetts home. On average Massachusetts realtor commissions cost 4.9% to 5.7%, so if you were to sell a house worth $462,000, the median property value in Massachusetts, you would be looking at paying up to $26,000 in commissions. Besides the huge savings of not hiring a listing agent, homeowners honestly like having control over their home sale, especially if it’s challenging to find a real estate agent they trust. If you’re in the same position and would like to save a little money and be in charge of selling your Massachusetts home, that’s completely understandable. However, you’ll want to make sure you are prepared for the task ahead. Below we’ll cover the best ways to sell your house on your own, including the FSBO process and some helpful tips. So let’s get started!

Sell Your House By Owner without a Realtor

Should You Sell Your House By Yourself?

The big question you should ask yourself is should you sell your house without a realtor? Better yet, are you prepared to put in the work to sell your home by yourself? Selling a place on your own won’t be easy, however, it can be rewarding! Below are two big reasons why you should sell your house by yourself. 

Selling By Yourself is Less Expensive 

We touched on this early regarding the savings of selling on your own, which is a huge reason to give it a try. But let’s clarify that a little bit. When you sell by owner, you take on the role of the listing agent. That will save you money on not hiring a realtor to list and sell your home, but you won’t get to keep the entire commission mentioned above. The cost to hire an agent to list your house in Massachusetts is usually 2.8% of the final sale price. However, if the buyer uses an agent to purchase your home, there is usually a buyer’s agent fee of 2.5%, which the buyer typically asks the seller to pay. So, should you sell your house by owner MA? Yes, but just know it may not be as big of savings as you think. 

Selling FSBO Gives you Control of The Sale 

You should also consider selling your house by owner to control the selling process and because there will be less competition with other clients. Finding an agent you trust to get the job done may be difficult, so who better to trust than yourself? There are a few different types of realtors out there you may encounter if you decided to interview a few. Top agents are great because they have sold a lot of houses to reach that position. But with many listings, how can your listing be a priority amongst all the others? When selling by yourself, there is no competition with other clients. 

But what about an agent that has fewer listings to manage? Some part-time agents sell homes too, but do you really want to hire someone working part-time on selling your house? Here is the thing, some agents do work hard for their clients, some may not. When you’re selling your home, you can dedicate as much time as you want to the process, you can decide the price, listing timeframe, showing schedule and open houses, marketing strategy, negotiation tactics, and more. You run the show and some buyers like that, and you may too. 

Best Ways to Sell a House By Owner

When you think of selling a house by owner, usually sticking a ‘For-Sale-By-Owner’ sign in the yard comes to mind. But besides the traditional approach to selling a property by yourself, there are actually some other ways you can officially sell by owner without all the hassle. Below are some of the best ways to sell your house by yourself that you may not have even thought were options. 

Selling a House By Yourself Online

One way you can sell your house on your own is by selling it online. Selling online has become more popular for its easy transaction process and ability to sell without listing the property. To sell online you would find an iBuyer, which are big companies that purchase houses in multiple city markets. Once you find one you like, you would contact them and fill out a form on their website, they usually ask you questions about the property and the condition it’s in. They then send you an offer for the house, and you decide on the closing. The only catch usually expensive service fees are involved and can sometimes cost more than realtor commissions (6-8%). They also don’t buy every house, especially ones that would need costly improvements that would take them too long to resell. 

Selling Your House to a Cash Home Buyer

Another option is selling your house to a cash home buyer. Like iBuyer’s cash home buyers offer an easy transaction process and the ability to sell without listing the home. Furthermore, no repairs or improvements are required, because they will buy your house as-is. To get started you would contact a local “We buy houses Massachusetts” company and request a free cash offer online. Within a few hours, someone from the company contacts you to ask for more details about your house you’re trying to sell. Even though you would be selling your home as-is, they usually ask questions to see if any major repairs need to be done after buying the house. After they get all the information regarding the property, they present you with a no-obligation cash offer. Once you agree to the offer you’ll get to pick the closing date and move on to your schedule. 

The perks of working with a cash home buyer vs. listing with an agent would include:

  • No Commissions
  • No Service Fees
  • No Repairs or Renovations required 
  • No Buyer Contingencies 
  • No Long Closing Process (They can close in as little as 7-days)

Homebuyers like Ocean City Development can also help cover closing costs too. Because of the easy selling process and guaranteed offer, selling to a local investor like Ocean City Development is a great way to avoid months of uncertainty and the hassle of listing for sale by the owner. 

→ Looking for companies that buy houses in Boston and other cities in MA? Ocean City Development does! 

Selling Your House to a Property Developer

Is your house in bad shape? Maybe have some unfinished construction, or you’re trying to sell an abandoned house that needs some major repairs? Selling your house to a property developer may be an option to look into. Property developers are usually in the market for homes to tear down, build, and then resell.

Selling Your House to a Property Developer

But they typically are looking for property in “it” areas. Furthermore, their offers are usually less because they consider the cost of demolition and usually don’t consider the value of the home, only the land it sits on. Since their offer usually doesn’t include the house, some people prefer to just sell on their own to be able to cash in on some of the house’s equity. 

The Process of Selling to a Cash Home Buyer

If you’re interested in working with a local home buyer to sell your house by yourself, that’s a great idea. Selling your house as-is to a cash home buyer is really easy, especially if you were to work with Ocean City Development. Their home buying process consists of three steps:

Step 1: Share Information about your Property

Give them a call or fill out a form on their website to tell them all about the house you’re trying to sell by owner. This will help them learn more about your place and what your goals are with selling your property. 

Step 2: Schedule a Video or In-Person Walk-Through

They’ll want to learn more about your home so they usually recommend scheduling a time for a video walk-through or an in-person walk-through. This helps them get more information about your home and see what repairs they may need to make.

Step 3: Receive your Cash Offer and Schedule Closing

Once they take a look at your house, they will make you a fair cash offer. If you accept the offer, they work with you to close on your schedule. 

It’s that easy and listing for sale by owner isn’t necessary. 

→ Learn more about selling to a cash home buyer in Massachusetts with this FREE Guide

Additional Tips to Succeed as a FSBO

If you’d really like to sell your house on your own, here is some FSBO advice. The hardest thing people selling by owner struggle with is figuring out a listing price. Lack of market knowledge is usually the big reason why people selling by owner have a hard time determining a perfect listing price. A few FSBO tips when it comes to figuring out a good price, look at real estate websites for houses that have sold in your area that are similar in condition and size to yours. Then take a look at what they sold for include the price per square foot. Calculate the average number and that will give you an idea of what to list your house for. 

If you’re having trouble figuring out a good price, you can always hire a real estate appraiser. They can give you a good idea of what your house is worth based on comparables in the area and taking into consideration your home’s current condition. 

Be Honest About Your House’s Condition

Another FSBO tip, be honest about your home’s condition. If you have foundation damage,  a termite problem, or a leaky roof causing water damage, make sure you either fix the problem and get documentation that it was correctly treated or tell the prospective buyer there is an issue. It’s never a good idea to hide the fact that your house is in poor condition. Although Massachusetts is a “buyer beware” state, you should still be truthful about your property’s condition. 

Get Yourself Ready 

Some more FSBO advice would be to get yourself ready for all outcomes of the selling process. Buyers can be picky sometimes and vocalize something they may not like about your house, but that you love. So you’ll just need to be prepared to take criticism of your home with a grain of salt. Even though you’re trying to sell your personal home, you’ll need to try your best to keep personal feelings out of the equation. The goal is to sell your house successfully, so if you think it will be hard for you not to get emotionally involved, maybe one of the other selling by owner options listed above would be better for you. 

Something else to be prepared for is if your house doesn’t sell right away. This could happen for several reasons, the listing price is too high, you didn’t advertise and market your house enough, or maybe you’re trying to sell a house with tenants. Whatever the reason, if you need to sell your home fast, maybe because you are in pre-foreclosure or running into mortgage paying trouble, you’ll need to have an action plan in case you need to sell right away- i.e., sell to a cash home buyer. 

Final Thoughts:

Selling a house by owner in Massachusetts is possible! You’ll just need to figure out what the best way to sell your house on your own would be for you. For some people, that’s’ listing FSBO, for others selling their house online to a home buyer. You’ll just need to figure out which option is the best for you, your timeline, and what you’re trying to accomplish.  

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