How to Sell a House Without an Agent When Moving Cross Country

If you want to sell your home without real estate agents getting involved, you’re not the only one. Plenty of sellers try to figure out how to sell a house without an agent, but that’s a challenging process requiring knowledge and dedication. Luckily, if you know what you’re doing, the outcome can be pretty rewarding. Our tips will help you navigate through the world of real estate like a pro.

holding a house overlay
November 4, 2021 Posted in Housing Tips

So, where do you even begin? How to untangle all the paperwork and preparations? Don’t worry – if you do your due diligence, everything will turn out just fine. Your old home will be in good hands, and you will have money in your pocket, so you can move to a new home – it’s a win-win. But, before you are ready to celebrate and enjoy the benefits of moving, let’s see how to sell your house without a real estate agent – are you ready to learn some new moving hacks?

Should You Try to Sell a House Without an Agent? Let’s See What the Pros and Cons Are

Before you start researching how to sell your house without an agent, the one thing you should ask yourself is this – should I even bother, or is it better to leave this to the pros and focus on my moving inventory? Considering you will be under plenty of pressure and moving stress, do you really need this trip to the world of real estate?

Some people have high levels of moving-out anxiety – if you’re one of them, will you be able to pull off the “for sale by owner” game? We’ll discuss the pros and cons of selling on your own to help you determine if this is the right move or just a moving mistake.

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Pros – You Will Save Money That Would Go for the Realtor’s Commission

Some people decide not to hire long-distance movers to save some money, but eliminating the realtor out of the equation can save you up to 6% of the price – the amount that would usually go for the commission. If you are trying to save money on moving costs, this could be the way to do so.

Sure, simply saying 6% doesn’t sound like much, but think about it – when you look at the price of your residence, that 6% can be tens of thousands of dollars. Not too bad of an amount when you have to move to a new state, don’t you think? It might help you on your quest for the cheapest way to move out of state.

Cons – Handling a Home Sale Can Be Complicated, and It Requires Serious Work

Nobody knows how to sell a house without a real estate agent – at least, without taking the time to investigate all the aspects of selling houses. It may sound like all you have to do is be charming and persuade buyers that your place is lovely, but this is so much more than that.

It can be tricky and potentially a waste of time if you do it wrong – it’s not as straightforward as reading a few moving tips and implementing them into your packing process so you can have an efficient move. You must be ready to roll your sleeves up and get to work. Also, if you want to be your real estate agent, remember that patience is crucial.

A front view of the brick house with two garage doors and a front lawn
Do the pros of selling without a realtor outweigh the cons in your case?

How to Pull Off a Home Sale as an Owner? A Thorough Research Is Necessary

There’s no such thing as a 100% stress-free move, even if you have the best long-distance moving services (with or without high-quality packing assistance). This is well-known, but let us tell you one thing – if you choose to be your own realtor, you must be ready for the stress. Your relocation to-do list will be a bit longer because you will have to do everything agents usually would. So, make sure you get familiar with what they do – this way, you won’t face any obstacles along the way.

Hiring an Attorney to Help You With the Legal Aspects of the Process Is Usually a Good Idea

If you are worried about navigating the legal aspects of the sale, contacting an attorney might not be such a bad idea. After all, rare are those who like to deal with paperwork, and an attorney can take that load off your shoulders. Plus, once you realize how many documents you need to sell a home, you will run to an attorney’s office as fast as you can. Spoiler alert – it’s more than 20 different documents (and the paperwork can vary in different states).

A person typing on the laptop, looking for the right long-distance movers
The first step in this process is careful research of all aspects of selling homes

Setting a Realistic Price – Consider Online Pricing Calculators

An essential part of preparing your place for sale is setting a price for it. Now, when it comes to money, all sellers must make sure they avoid two mistakes. The first one would be setting a too low number – in this case, the residence will be sold quickly, but you will lose a significant amount. The second mistake is pricing your place too high. Although it likely has some significance to you and your family, you mustn’t let emotions get in the way. Insisting on the amount that is more than the residence’s worth will keep it on the market for months, and this is definitely something you don’t want to happen.

So, how to find out the realistic value of your home? It’s best to look at the objective parameters. Using online pricing calculators is the easiest way to get the correct estimate. These algorithms take into account all the essential factors about the property, such as location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any other additional amenities the property might have. Which one do we recommend? Well, there is more than one popular option, so we’ve decided to share the best ones in the list below:

  • Zillow,
  • Trulia,
  • Realtor,
  • For Sale By Owner,
  • Redfin,
  • Eppraisal,
  • RE/MAX.
Pile of coins on the white surface and a small plant in the middle of the pile
With online calculators, sellers can get the correct estimate for their property

A Yard Sign Won’t Be Enough, You Have to Put Effort Into Advertising

A big, old yard sign might’ve been enough in the past, but in today’s real estate market, it’s going to take a lot more to reel in the buyers. Although no one says sellers shouldn’t put up the sign, the fact is that a significant number of buyers find their new homes on the internet. This means that one of your tasks on the list of things to do before moving will be advertising your property online. How do you do that? Of course, by listing your property on websites specialized for this purpose, such as FSBO, Trulia, Zillow, Marketplace, Redfin, and many others – you’ll notice that some of these are the same ones we’ve recommended for online calculators.

Another option to consider is signing up for MLS (Multiple Listing Service) through one of the websites mentioned above. This will require paying a small fee, but it’s worth it because it will give your listing better exposure and thus increase the likelihood of successfully getting the place off the market. You should definitely consider this option, especially if you have to organize your move sooner rather than later.


A man adjusting the “for sale” sign in front of the garage doors
Sellers must know the importance of advertising - it’s more than just putting up the sign

Proper Description of the Residence Is Crucial

Even if your listing is shown in the right places, that doesn’t mean it will be off the market in no time – buyers still have to love your place in order to throw money at it. But, how can they love the place they know nothing about? This is why it’s essential to add a detailed description with all the valuable information about the property. The basics include the location, price, square footage, how old the property is, the number of rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

Also, it’s wise to highlight anything that will make your property more appealing – don’t hesitate to mention the benefits. Obviously, none of this will work if you don’t have high-quality pictures of the property – interior and exterior, both. Some experts even suggest hiring a professional to do a photo shoot, and it’s a great idea if you’re not a particularly skilled photographer. When taking photos, your place should look its best – you will have to prepare it. Keep reading to learn how you can do just that.

A plane view of the houses in the suburb
Your listing is one of the countless on the market - describe it well, so it’ll be noticed

Make Your Home Appealing to Potential Buyers

As an owner, your job will be to prepare the place for viewing. It has to look perfect, which means you have a lot of work ahead – you can’t start packing for the move just yet. How will you get your place to look the best it can? The first thing that will pop into your mind is probably cleaning, and you are right – no one will want to buy a place that looks dirty. So, just as you will clean the place before moving in, you will also have to do a deep clean before showing the property to anyone. But, that’s not all – there are a few more essential measures you need to take.

Declutter and Handle the Repairs Before Anyone Sees the Place

Decluttering is a moving essential, which means you will have to purge your soon-to-be-former residence – if you want to speed up the selling process, we suggest you polish the place, so it seems like no one lives there. When people go house-hunting, it’s easier for them to imagine living in a particular place if it looks impersonal.

Handling the repairs will also boost the chances of your property being sold more quickly. There are quite a few tips and tricks like this that an owner can use to make the place more appealing – check out the video below for more great ideas.

Be Patient, Homes Don’t Get Sold Overnight – Give It Time, Your Hard Work Will Pay Off

Naturally, everybody wants to see the results of their work quickly. But when it comes to being a realtor, things don’t always turn out like that. You must be patient – this can take quite some time, even if you do everything right. Eventually, a buyer will come along, and so will your money. Then you can focus on your cross-country moving experience, which includes finding a reputable long-distance moving company and packing your belongings for the move. Sure, that’s not the easiest thing in the world, but hey – you’ve managed to get your place sold on your own, so you can undoubtedly manage a bit of moving stress.

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.



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