A man holding his thumb up who's learned how to sell a house by owner in los angeles

How to Sell a House by Owner in Los Angeles

Can you sell your house without listing it with any real estate agent? Well, yes, you can. However, selling your property without hiring a real estate agent is daunting. There is too much work that you will need to do yourself. People are using do-it-yourself (DIY) techniques to sell their property without hiring a real estate agent.  

When you can renovate or redecorate your house by yourself, why can’t you sell it by yourself? The prices of properties are rapidly growing in Los Angeles, California, every day. According to the Los Angeles Times, the average cost of a house in LA is around $550,000. If you hire an agent to sell or buy this property, you will be paying a minimum of 6% in commission. Now, with simple math, if you calculate 6% of $550,000 that will be around $33,000. And that amount is only for the lowest cost of a house. Imagine, how much will you be paying to an agent, if you’re selling a million-dollar home or higher. 

Isn’t it too much of money you will be paying to the agent?  

More and more options are opening up to sell your house without hiring an agent. There are techniques you can learn to do the job by yourself. These techniques have worked for a lot of people. It can also work for you to sell your house without an agent in California. In this article, you will learn some techniques to sell your house without paying a hefty amount as a commission to any agent.  

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of selling a house without an agent.  

Benefits of Selling a House without an Agent 

There are many benefits to avoid the middle man while selling a property. One of the biggest advantages is saving money. Let’s learn in more detail. 

Benefit # 1: Save Money on Commission and Listings 

When you don’t hire a realtor, you don’t have to pay commission. A direct sale will help you keep all the money from selling your property in your pocket. As mentioned earlier, the lowest commission rate in LA, California, is 6%, which can go up to 10% depending on the property type and agency. 

When you hire a realtor, you typically bound by a listing agreement, giving them the exclusive right to sell your property. It means that no matter what, you will owe the agent commission, even if you find the buyer by yourself.  

Benefits # 2: You will be your own Negotiator 

If you are new to selling a house, you might have to be very careful as some potential buyers might want to take advantage of your lack of knowledge. But, it doesn’t mean that such things don’t happen with real estate agents. At times, agents take advantage of your situation by selling your property at a very low price compared to the market to an investor. Whatever investor earned from you in terms of low price, will be shared with the agent. This way, agents not only earn a commission from you but also earned something extra of his/her own.  

If you are selling your house by yourself, you can be your own negotiator. You don’t need to be flexible in terms of price. You can survey the market and put a reasonable price on your house. Not only will you earn the fair price on your house, but you will also save that 6% commission, which will be your in-hand profit.  

Benefit # 3: Keep things Personal 

Some people have an emotional attachment to their houses. They want to hand it over to someone who will take care of the house the same way as they did. In such cases, people usually prefer to sell the house to someone they know like a relative or a friend or a business partner. You don’t need an agent to sell your house to a family member or a person you already know.  

If you have a trusted buyer for your house, then there’s nothing left for an agent. Both parties can mutually agree on legal proceedings, paperwork, court dates if needed. However, the paperwork will be one thing you will battle with if selling a house without an agent.  

If you have decided to sell your house without a realtor, then here’re the necessary steps you should know about selling your property by yourself.  

How Do I Sell My House Without An Agent? 

Before heading up to the first step, first, you need to consider your options. Although there are many options to sell a house, when you decide to do it your own, you will be the boss. However, make certain that you can successfully do it.  

Step # 1: Put a Price on your House 

Setting up a selling price on your home is one of the most basic and important steps. If you are new in the game, then do complete research before putting up a price. Most homeowners often think their homes are worth more than they actually are. Don’t count on listing sites like Zillow. Real estate agents never go by these numbers as they often are skewed by false data.  

The main key is research. Look at the prices of the property selling in your area and the neighborhood. Check what they are listed as their final sales price. You can attend the open houses on these properties to compare your property with them. Set a reasonable price. If you set it too high, no one will show interest. 

Similarly, if you set the price too low, you will come out as a desperate seller, or the house look defaulted or damaged to the potential buyers. Put up a fair price. You can also consult a professional property appraiser for an opinion. This will typically cost a few hundred dollars. 

Step # 2: Market your Property through different channels 

You are now on your own. The more you market your property, the more buyers you will attract. It’s the era of digitalization. People go to google first to find anything in the world. List your property to all free property listing websites in the country. Websites like Trulia and Zillow are two of the most popular home-buying websites. List your property on these websites first. 

However, before listing your house at those websites, take some good pictures of every corner of your house. But beware! A listing with questionably lit picture of the curbside at an oblique angle will turn off the potential buyers. If your pictures don’t look great, hire a professional. It will only cost your few bucks. Using a drone camera to capture high-angle shots of the house, and sweeping aerial views will be a plus point.  

In addition to taking the pictures, you will need to awake your inner writer. Because, you will be writing brochures, handouts, and descriptions. Plus, you will be communicating with potential buyers through different platforms. It is not you are going to write a novel. You only have to be as descriptive about e as you can. However, write it in a pleasant way. Keep it simple, crisp and short. 

You can also create handouts and get them print. Once you get the handouts you need to distribute it among the neighborhood. Posting it on the notice board in nearby commercial hubs like coffee house, cafeteria, restaurants or malls will be a great idea. But, the first thing you will need to do, is getting a “For Sale” sign and planting it in your lawn or outside the house.  

You can also social media and communities to market your house. Online advertisement has the greatest reach compared to any other method. Get yourself familiar with hashtags, groups, and paid advertisement. You can use Facebook groups to post your house ad. You can use Instagram with right hashtags to reach the potential buyers. You can tweet about your house with right hashtags like:  

  • #HouseHunting  
  • #HomeSale  
  • #Housing  
  • #NewHome  
  • #RealEstate  

These hashtags can land you a couple of offers. Remember, you need to post once a week so your message doesn’t buried under the others.  

Newspaper and circulars are still offer some advantages for real estate listings. Consider that not all buyers are internet literate. Older demographics can be your potential buyer so why limit yourself. You can buy space in dozens of newspapers online. An example of such service is SoCal Ads Online. 

It helps you book a space in newspapers, like the Los Angeles Daily News, the Pasadena Star-News, and the Long Beach Press Telegram (and more). 

Step # 3: Make the Deal 

Once you are done advertising your property, you will start getting offers. You will need to keep your house clean and up-to-date so when potential buyers come for an open house, they won’t find any damages. Once you find a buyer, your next step will be making the deal. Create a contract and accept only WRITTEN offers that include 10% deposit of the total selling price. You will need to hire an attorney at this step. Consult with them about the offer and accept the offer after their approval. You don’t have an agent, so you will need to handle all the paperwork and financial matters. So, having an attorney for consultation and guidance will help you. You can always hire an individual lawyer or an agency. They charge a couple thousand bucks for their consultations.  

Believe in Yourself! 

The fate of your house is in your hands. Only you can make or break the deal. So, keep your hopes high and believe in yourself that you can do it. With little struggle, you will sell your house in no time. And, knowing that you do it all alone, that pride is priceless. And, of course, the extra money you’ll have from selling a home without a realtor. 

For more real estate advice and tips (like our moving resources), keep reading our blogs and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also explore how else we can help you , just hear what our previous clients say about us, or talk to us yourself.


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