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5 steps to selling your house without a realtor

If you are considering selling your house in the Seattle area without a realtor, you may be wondering what exactly you need to do in order to sell your house as a for sale by owner (FSBO). This process can be a lot of work for you as the seller, but you may also save yourself quite a bit of money.

Here are five steps to a successful FSBO: 

  1. Prepare your house. You may have thought putting your house on the market would be the first step, but you have work to do before you get there. Make sure your house is in the best shape it can be. At the very least, you will want to declutter and thoroughly clean. You should also make sure you know where all the relevant paperwork regarding your property is located.
  2. Set your sale price. This is trickier than it sounds. You want to get the most money possible for your house, but how do you know what that is? You can hire an appraiser for a few hundred dollars. Some real estate agents will give you a market analysis for free, in hopes that you will hire them. There are also online sites some people use, but those are not always reliable. Your best bet may be to do your own comparative analysis of recent home sales in your area using online tools.
  3. Prepare your disclosures. Washington law requires a homeowner to disclose any defects they know of regarding a property they sell. You will fill out the Seller Disclosure Statement Improved Property. You must provide this information to your prospective buyers.
  4. Sell your property. As an FSBO, you will probably list your property online using a listing service. You will be in charge of showing the house yourself, and negotiating your own sale. This means you may need to draft or review a Purchase Agreement. This is a legal contract for the sale of your house, and you may want to hire a real estate attorney for this step.
  5. Close on your sale. Once you have an agreement to sell, you must decide how you want to close on the sale. Most buyers will want to use a title company, since their mortgage lender will insist on title insurance. You may use the same title company as your buyer, or choose your own. You will need an escrow office and a closing agent to transfer money and title. Your legal obligation at this point is to provide your buyer with clean title to the property. Congratulations on selling your house!

This is a brief overview of each one of these steps. Of course, there are many tasks within each step to complete, but now you have a road map of what to expect as you embark on your FSBO.

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