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How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor in Detroit, Michigan

FSBO house for sale

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When it comes time to move on from your home, there can be a lot of tough decisions. Though the prospect of doing it on your own can be daunting, it can also be rewarding.  If you’re curious about how to sell a house without a realtor in Detroit, you’ve come to the right place. 

All you need is the right information and the willingness to get your hands dirty. There are a lot of moving parts involved in selling a house, but there are also a lot of rewards. Not only can you save money when you sell a home without a realtor, but it’s also immensely satisfying too. 

Reasons to sell your home yourself

Though there’s definitely some personal satisfaction with selling a house independently, the real driver for most people to sell their home themselves is financial. A good real estate agent is going to take six or seven percent in commission to list and then sell your home. Real estate agents have to make money off the real estate transaction, after all.

That fee can cause some sticker shock to homeowners. If you’re selling a home for $200,000, that leaves the real estate agent with a commission of around $14,000. Though that fee is well worth their time and expertise, it’s still a hefty chunk of change. 

What does a real estate agent do?

open house sign on a FSBO house

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When you list your home with a real estate agent, they’ll do all of the heavy lifting. Though a real estate commission seems high, it’s to cover a lot of work from the seller’s agent. 

– Client visits
– Information gathering
– Market analysis
– Professional home photos
– Staging
– Open houses
– Fielding calls from prospective buyers
– Fielding calls from buyer agents
– Forming a marketing plan specific to the property
– Lots of paperwork
– Arranging appraisals
– Arranging a home inspection
– Ensuring legal requirements are met
– Closing efforts

Even with all of that, some home owners still don’t want to handle the real estate commission. That’s especially true for a house that’s close to or even below the value owed on the mortgage. Homeowners who are worried that they won’t be able to cover what they owe are understandably hesitant to give a big percentage to a real estate agent. 

Steps to selling your house without an agent

If you’ve decided to sell your house without a real estate agent, there are specific steps you should follow. It’s not hard to do, but you will want to follow the steps to make sure you don’t miss anything important. 

home sold without a real estate agent

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1 – Find out the fair market value of your home

Getting the listing price right is the first step in selling your home.  You’ve got a few options to figure out the fair market value of your home. 

The first is done through an online site like Zillow, which measures current trends in your neighborhood. The second is something you’ll have to go to a local real estate agent for. You can ask them to do a CMA for you. You’ll have to pay for it, but the fee is nominal and well worth it. You’ll also have to pay for a Detroit appraiser.

The fair market value of a home in Detroit, Michigan is determined mainly by the following factors. There can be others depending on the area around Detroit that you’re in.

– Location
– Style
– Size
– # of bedrooms
– #of bathrooms
– Lot size

2 – Get your house ready for sale

To get your house ready for the market, you’ll have to do a few things to make sure it’s on point. 

Minor cosmetic repairs
– Clean and declutter
– Improve the front of the home for curb appeal

You might consider hiring a Detroit cleaning company to help you do the heavy lifting. A clean and decluttered house is essential to attract buyers.

You’ll also want to gather all the information you can about the home’s condition. Repair bills, proof of work done on the house, etc. Once your home is clean and ready to go, it’s time to take some pictures. Consider working with a home stager to help you make your house look its best.  

It’s important to note here that you can also work with a cash buyer to sell your house fast without making repairs. You’ll get a lower price, but you’ll also avoid all of the preparation costs. That path might be worth it if you want to sell a burdensome home quickly.

3 – Spread the word

The more you advertise and market your home effectively, the better the price you’ll get. Even in a seller’s market, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you get more eyeballs on your home. 

But a professional looking for sale sign up in the front yard. Have your phone number printed on it at a local print shop for a better price. You can also print up flyers with a picture of your home. These are great to have on the counter when people come in for open houses. You can also post them locally. Though everyone seems to be online these days, sometimes the best way to get the word out is the old fashioned way. 

You will want to list online as well. Put up an ad on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for free. You can also look for real estate sales websites to list your home on. You’ll have to pay to list on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Expect for that to run you one to two hundred dollars. 

Here’s the information you’ll want to include in your home marketing materials.

– Square footage
– Year built
– # of bedrooms/bathrooms
– Room sizes
– Recent updates
– Amenities
– Neighborhood features

Using those professional photos from step 2 is critical here. Make sure you’ve got photos with great lighting that highlight your home – you might even want to hire a professional photographer for a few hundred dollars. 

4 – Negotiation with buyers

Particularly in today’s real estate market, you can expect to get offers pretty quickly. This is by far the most complicated part of the process. There are lots of federal, state, and local laws that govern the specifics of real estate transactions. If you aren’t aware of all of them and are working without a realtor you could open yourself up to a potential lawsuit in the future. 

Before you sign the paperwork, you absolutely must hire a real estate attorney. This will protect you from any potential mishaps in selling your FSBO home. Remember, nothing is done until you sit down at the closing date and sign the purchase agreement. Though you can find the real estate paperwork you’ll need online and get it ready to save you time and money with real estate attorneys, you’ll still want to have them look it all over. 

Here’s what you’ll need to negotiate with the buyer or the buyer’s agent:

– Price of the home
– Contingencies (ie repairs, inspection)
– Closing costs
– Closing date

You’ll want to not just read everything, but you’ll want to understand everything. Don’t sign if you don’t fully understand everything. You can do this either by reading up on it or by asking a real estate attorney. You can also explore agent assisted home sales, in which you bring in your own agent or a lower commission just to the closing. FSBO homes sold in this way will save money compared to those who pay traditional real estate comissions.

5 – The closing date

How fast you schedule the closing and what terms you agree to are up to you and the Detroit homebuyer. Closing could be within a week or could take more than a month to schedule, depending on what you and the buyer decide. 

A real estate closing is the date that the house actually changes hands. You’ll need clearance from your mortgage company if you have one, from their financial institution, and you’ll also need a licensed professional present at the closing. 

You can either use a Detroit real estate attorney or a title company in Western Michigan to handle the closing. Each one is going to cost about the same. Ask around to friends and family for recommendations about who’s great in your area.

Leading up to the closing, you’ll want to be in regular contact with the title company or real estate attorney. Make sure that there are no surprises waiting for anyone at the closing table. 

You aren’t selling your home alone

home closing without a real estate agent

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Even though you might be using the for sale by owner tactic to sell your Detroit area home, there are still experts out there who you will want to engage with. You’re also working with a buyer to sell your home – they’re obviously a crucial partner in this!

Keep in mind that if a buyer comes to you with their own real estate agent. FSBO home sellers generally end up paying a three percent commission to the buyer’s agent as part of the process. You can always choose to look for a different buyer who doesn’t have a buyer’s agent, but be prepared for that to take longer. 

Whatever you decide to do, you can be confident that you can sell your home yourself if you do your research. Though it can be a daunting task, it can also be highly rewarding!

Autumn Karen

Autumn Karen

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