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Posted on May 6, 2022 by in Sellers

How to sell your house without paying a realtor

One of the most common questions homeowners ask when deciding to sell their homes is: how can I sell my house without paying a realtor? For many, the idea of paying thousands of dollars to a real estate agent seems like a rip-off. After all it’s your home, why should you have to pay someone to sell it? 

If you’ve also been wondering: “how can I sell my house without paying a commission?” This article is for you! 

What is a real estate commission?

When selling a home the first step is typically the hiring of a real estate agent, or Realtor™. Their job is to manage the sale of your house. They market your home, list your home on the multiple listing service or MLS, and host open houses, all in an effort to find potential buyers. In exchange for their expertise, real estate agents charge a commission, or a percentage of the price your home sells for. 

When selling a home in Florida this commission is usually 6%, split equally between the buyer’s real estate agent, and your own. This 6% is almost always paid by the seller. When you consider that the average home in Jacksonville is almost $300,000, that 6% can mean tens of thousands! 

But do I really need a realtor? 

The answer to that question entirely depends on you and your comfort. While it’s generally considered a good idea to hire a professional, there are ways to sell a house without a realtor. Be prepared though, selling a house on your own can be a lot of work. 

There are two common ways to sell your house without a realtor. The first is to sell FSBO or for sale by owner. The second is to sell to a real estate investor. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each! 

Selling FSBO

There are tens of thousands of FSBO sellers every year, but most of the homes they try to sell end up listed with a real estate agent in the end. Why is this? Selling a home is easy, selling a home well is hard. 

When you sell FSBO you first have to determine your own sales price. This can be done by hiring a real estate appraiser, or by looking at recent comparable sales in your area through a site such as Zillow. This can be costly or time consuming depending on the route you take, but making sure you don’t put too low or too high a price on your home is key to ensuring a good sale. 

Additionally when you sell FSBO, you have to do your own marketing and negotiations! Social media has given home buyers and sellers a good opportunity on the marketing side, but knowing the ins and outs of a real estate contract takes time and training. You may need to enlist the service of a real estate attorney to ensure you aren’t being taken advantage of, which can be costly depending on the attorney you choose. 

Selling to an investor

The other option you have when trying to sell your house without paying a realtor fee, is to sell for cash to an investor. Real estate investors are always looking for homes for sale, and because they buy for cash, they don’t need home inspections, repairs, or other costly home selling measures. 

Make sure you trust the investor you are choosing to work with. Many investors aren’t professionals, instead, they are just looking for the best possible deal. You still need to get a professional opinion on the value of your home, or spend the time doing your own homework. 

Alternatively, you can always look for a cash investor with positive reviews, a transactional history, and licensed agents working for them. These types of investors offer a full service selling option, without paying any commissions. It’s like the best of both worlds!