If you’re looking to sell your house or investment property in Houston without using a real estate agent, we can help.
Let us preface this discussion with this statement: In most situations, local brokers and real estate agents can be very useful and they earn their commission by representing your best interests getting your house the most market exposure, netting a higher sale price, and helping sellers navigate through the process.
Although we do cooperate with brokers, we will say that sometimes it’s best to avoid paying someone to be in the middle, if it isn’t in your best interests. After all, paying 5-6% of the sale of a property in a commission is a lot of money.
Most sellers don’t mind paying this, provided they have an agent that is in a position to add value – and nor should they mind.
Not always is that the case.
Sometimes the house itself is a challenge. Not every house is picture perfect, worthy of professional photographs, staging and classy open house events.
Sometimes the seller is dealing with a situation that requires a faster sale, or some additional discretion. Remember the overwhelming majority of the qualified buyers in the market for your house are going to be using some form of financing, and that doesn’t happen in a matter of a few weeks.
And quite often, we find, it is a combination of both. The house needs work and the seller is dealing with something that they would rather not talk about – at least not with every potential seller that walks in the door. If they call a realtor, they realtor is happy to list. Some will have some real estate investor contacts that they can contact (we have bought more than one house this way), and this is sometimes a good option. Another option is to call that same real estate investor directly, and we’ll suggest that below.
Realtors shine when they sell pretty houses and they have the time to do it right. Read any recommendation by any realtor about what you need to do to prep your home for sale, and they will tell you to clean it, fix it up, renovate as much as you can, declutter, remove all personal items, maybe stage it and clean it again. And this is accurate – you do need to do this, if you want get top dollar for your house. As a seller, you have to give your realtor a chance to win, and they are the professionals in this space.
We just want to make it clear that not every house and not every seller is perfect for listing with a realtor – even if most of them are.
If you are looking for a great realtor, we can recommend a few really good ones. Just contact us and we are happy to provide some referrals.
How Do I Sell My House Without An Agent in Houston?
There are a few ways to avoid paying high commissions in your Texas sale.
First, there’s a tricky custom that you’ve gotta know about.
In most sales in Houston, roughly half of the commission you pay as the seller goes to pay for the buyer’s broker.
Doesn’t make much sense, right?
Why should you pay for the agent on the other side of the table?
Now this truly defies logic – particularly in the case of the buyer’s agent that should be incentivized for getting a lower price for their client, and not a higher price. It is an imperfect arrangement that, but it is customary and it is what’s typically done.
You can use that to your advantage in a few ways.
First, factor in the commissions paid when you’re looking at the comparable sales. If the properties similar to yours sold for prices that included commissions, take that into account.
Don’t underprice your property – be aware that a savvy buyer may expect to take a discount too. If you’re doing the work of one agent, you can expect to save that money.
Sometimes buyers who aren’t represented by an agent won’t remember to negotiate the buyer’s side commission out of the price for themselves, so don’t remind them if you don’t want to pay them. Just don’t be surprised if it comes up during the negotiation.
You may want to consider offering 2.5% to buyer’s agents who will bring their clients to show your property. Sure, it’s a lot of money. If you’re pricing your property including that commission, you can always negotiate a better deal for a purchaser who comes without an agent.
On the other hand, if you don’t leave room for the buyer’s agent’s commission, you’ll be excluding most of the buyers in the market in the Houston area.
Over 90% of transactions happen through the MLS – that’s the Multiple Listing Service. It’s the main database that all the brokers use to access information for their clients on the houses, condos, land and investment properties for sale, along with data on the sold prices. In each major metro market area it has a different name, and you might be familiar with HAR.com here in Houston
Once upon a time, you had to pay a full commission to get your property on the MLS. Keep in mind that, here in Houston, there are a few brokers who will charge you a fee just to list your property on the MLS. Often, you spend a few hundred bucks and you only pay a commission if the sale closes.
Compared to the cost of a newspaper ad, the MLS is a cheap way to market your property to a very wide audience.
All the major real estate search sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Redfin, Yahoo Homes, etc. get data from the MLS. Chances are good that when you submit your listing in Houston to the MLS, information on your property will end up on most of the major sites within a few days.
Each of those sites sells ads. They’ve got packages that let you pay to enhance your listing, feature it at the top of the search, and a lot of other bells and whistles that might or might not get an interested buyer to buy your property.
Advertising is never a sure thing. Sometimes open houses in Houston can be a great way to sell a property, and sometimes they’re a waste of time. This is also true with newspaper ads, craigslist postings, social media posts, fancy signs (or not so fancy bandit signs that you often see all over Houston). Much depends on the content of the ad, and frankly, we find that sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t.
To effectively sell your property on your own, you have to market it well.
Putting up fliers and signs around your neighborhood can generate some calls, and there’s a lot of free websites where you can post information. But often just putting up flyers and an open house isn’t enough if your house doesn’t appeal to the average home buyer.
In theory, real estate agents charge big commissions because they have to spend a lot of money up front to advertise your property. By advertising lots of properties at once, they expect to get more phone calls – and obviously, they’ll make good profits by selling lots of houses.
Certain properties might require thousands of dollars in advertising expenses before the right buyer happens to see the ad and call.
If you want to avoid paying any commissions, you can also sell your house to investors like us.
We offer fair prices for properties – and we can close fast (in only 21 days, and faster if you need to).
Sometimes we’ll purchase Houston houses, fix them up, then rent them out… sometimes we’ll fix them up and sell them to other people looking for great homes in the area, and a lot of other reasons, too – but we love to hear from people like you who are thinking of selling anywhere in Texas.
In fact, we invite you to take a quick look at our project page and learn a little bit more about the Houston houses that we have bought and renovated.
We’re local investors offering real solutions to sellers, and we care a lot about the city we call home.
We close fast and pay cash in as little as just 21 days. Give us a call now at 281-947-5545 or fill out the short form over here.