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Buying a home is the biggest financial investment most people experience. When you are ready to sell your property, your first instinct is likely to search for a real estate agent, but while a real estate agent can help in many ways, this isn’t always necessary. You can sell your home without an agent. If you are taking on this task, check out the following tips to ensure the best outcome.

1. Get Educated

It’s important to research how real estate transactions work and any state or local laws that may pertain to your property’s sale. You can use the paperwork and contracts from your home’s purchase as a source and familiarize yourself with real estate vocabulary. Once you are informed on the process, gather the forms you will need for the home closing and get in contact with people you will need along the way, from appraisers to attorneys. If you aren’t up for the challenge of learning a lot about real estate transactions, it may be hard for you to be successful with this selling strategy.

2. Price & Prepare Your Home

Before you list your home, look around the neighborhood to find an appropriate, competitive price. The key is to look at similar homes in the area that have sold recently in your area. This can be hard for many people because they can’t look at their home objectively. You may love the original tile that hasn’t been updated since 1950 but someone else will just see a kitchen in need of a renovation.

When you are ready to show your home, deep clean, de-clutter and depersonalize your home so prospective buyers can conjure images of their own lives there. It’s a good idea to know the selling points (a finished basement, an extra bathroom, new roof, etc.) and highlight them, while ensuring your property has good curb appeal.

3. Get the Word Out

From posting online and creating brochures to the classic “for sale” sign, marketing your property will incur some fees. You can also consider social networking sites, forums and even more traditional routes like newspapers. An open house can be a great way to meet and entice potential buyers. Consider using a variety of methods to get the word out so you can reach a wider audience.

4. Negotiate Confidently

If you are not comfortable with negotiating or feel so attached to the house that you will be offended by low offers, you might not be ready to sell your home without a real estate agent. It’s important to remember that if you are saving on a real estate agent’s commission, lowering your price by 1% will still leave you ahead. Also, there are other things you can negotiate beyond price. This includes appliances, closing date and closing costs.

If these tips seem easy enough for you to follow (or you already have a buyer in mind and a real estate attorney on speed dial), consider forgoing the real estate agent and selling your home on your own. You can save a chunk of money that would have gone toward commission and have more control over your home’s sale. However, there are definitely drawbacks. This method takes a lot of time and commitment on your part. If you want an expert who has done it before, you might be better off hiring a real estate agent to help you out.

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