Selling a house can be surprisingly expensive. Closing costs can pile up, and you usually get less than the sale price. Homeowners who need cash quickly might find the various expenses of the home-selling process somewhat surprising.
Fortunately, there are ways home sellers can sell a house for cheap. Read on to learn the cheapest way to sell a house.
Cheapest Ways To Sell a House
There are many hidden costs of home selling. Paying the real estate agent commission is often one of the most costly expenses you can expect. A real estate agent might charge 5% or more of the total home sale.
In addition to paying the realtor, you might have to pay for renovations and upgrades, such as repainting, to increase the home value and curb appeal and attract more potential buyers.
After all, you want to make an excellent first impression during open houses. Home buyers won’t want a home with damage, so you’ll have to make essential repairs, at the least.
Other costs can include the home inspection fee, brokerage fee, escrow fee, and more.
As you can see, you do not only get a lot less than your asking price once the real estate transaction is complete, but you may even have to pay thousands of dollars upfront for repairs.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the costs of selling a house. The following are the cheapest ways to sell a home to prospective buyers.
Using a Free MLS
An MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is what realtors use to find listings and brokers to help them sell houses. Unfortunately, the MLS database is private, and only professional realtors with the National Association of Realtors and other professionals can access it.
You can’t just list your home on the MLS. You must work with a listing agent or real estate broker to get your home on the MLS database. However, instead of paying them a commission, you can work out an agreement in which you pay a flat fee for them to list your home on the database.
Another option is using a free alternative to the MLS database. These sites don’t charge a fee, and you will get a lot of exposure and reach potential buyers without needing to pay a broker.
Here are some popular listing services you can use:
You can list your home’s sale price and other details on these DIY listing sites. You can upload pictures and discuss the advantages your home has over other houses in the local market. Likewise, you get to decide your listing price, and you can deal directly with buyers.
There are other listing sites that aren’t accessible to retail buyers and investors. Realtor.com, for example, is a big name in the industry, but only licensed real estate brokers and agents with the National Association of Realtors can use it.
FSBO in Wisconsin
For Sale By Owner or FSBO is another option worth considering. In a seller’s market, you might not even need the help of a realtor to find a buyer willing to pay your home’s market value or even more.
However, with an FSBO, you will need to do everything yourself. You can’t rely on an agent to connect you with buyers, and you won’t have access to exclusive tools like the MLS database.
You can list your home on sites like Zillow or put up flyers in your area. You can even use websites like Craigslist or pay for classified ads in your local papers.
However, you will then have to negotiate with buyers yourself. Of course, all that can be a lot of work, but you’ll save a lot of money.
There are a few things to consider, though. First, you may still end up paying the buyer agent fee.
When you sell a home, you typically pay your agent’s commission and the buyer’s agent’s commission. However, when you list your home as FSBO and a buyer’s agent contacts you and facilitates the sale, you may be on the hook for their share of the commission, usually 2-3%.
That applies even if you use a free listing site like Zillow. You might still pay the buyer’s fee on top of any advertising costs you may pay to increase exposure.
That’s still cheaper than using a real estate agent, but it’s not free. A solution would be to find buyers who aren’t using agents and to avoid dealing with any agent that contacts you on behalf of a buyer. However, that makes the process a lot harder.
Hiring a Cheap Broker in Wisconsin
One option you might want to consider is just hiring a cheap broker. Some brokers don’t charge extravagant real estate commissions of 5-8%. Hiring a licensed broker will help you avoid the common pitfalls of selling a house for cheap, which you can read about in the next section.
Clever is an excellent example of a cheap broker. It charges a fee of just 1% (or $3,000 if your home listing is less than $350,000). It partners with big brokers but pre-negotiates these rates, so you don’t have to pay more. Note that this applies to the seller’s fee only; you may still have to pay the buyer agent fee of 2-3%.
Nevertheless, 1% or $3,000 is a pretty low fee when considering the big picture. An agent can help you find buyers willing to pay your home’s actual market value, which may be challenging to do if you sell it yourself.
Redfin, which charges 1.5%, and Ideal Agent, which charges 2% (with a minimum of $3,000), are two other nationwide discount brokers.
Keep in mind that these are full-service brokers. In other words, they provide all the benefits of hiring a real estate broker, including helping you get your home ready for listing, preparing photos, and getting your home on the MLS database.
Understanding the Pitfalls of Cheaply Selling a House
Selling a house for cheap is not without its pitfalls. The first pitfall, especially when selling a home yourself, is the multitude of scams.
There are a lot of scammers out there. A scammer might show interest in buying your home but not have the money to do so. They may use fake financial information to fool you. Before signing any contract, you must ensure they have the funds to pay you.
There are also the lowballers. These people waste your time by agreeing to your price but then trying to change it at the last minute. It can be incredibly frustrating to deal with a lowballer, especially if you turned away other buyers because you relied on this particular buyer’s words.
In general, getting the right price can be difficult. You need to compare your home to other listings in your area to ensure you get a fair deal. There may be ways to significantly increase your home’s value, such as staging your home (repainting it, doing a deep clean, and making it look like new again).
Repainting your home is one of the cheapest ways to increase home value. However, that costs money too.
There may also be other costs, such as attorney fees, HOA fees, and brokerage fees. The buyer may not be willing to pay all those costs, so you’ll need to negotiate with them. You must be a good negotiator if you want to sell your home yourself.
You must have an attorney to ensure that all the documents are in order and you have all the necessary paperwork when selling the house by owner. They will also ensure there are no loopholes in the contract that can come back to haunt you. It’s worth paying for a lawyer, even if you are trying to save money.
Another good option if you want to sell a house fast in Milwaukee is selling to a cash buyer. There are a few benefits of doing this, starting with saving on costs.
Even when doing an FSBO, you may still have to pay for staging, renovations, repairs, and upgrades if you want to get a reasonable price for your home. Otherwise, you might find it challenging to find buyers willing to buy your house.
Cash home buyers in Wisconsin, on the other hand, are used to buying homes as-is, so you can avoid paying anything upfront for repairs.
Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about negotiations, listing on different sites, and dealing with scammers. We use a simple three-step process:
- You contact us for a quote, and we set an appointment to view your home.
- We come to view your home in person, or you send us pictures, so we can evaluate its worth.
- We give you a fair cash offer and close on your schedule immediately or in a few weeks.
It’s quick, simple, and hassle-free. You can also save on buyer agent costs, which you can’t always do when selling your home through the FSBO route.
Selling a house can be expensive, but there are a few ways to reduce costs and save money.
We buy houses in Brookfield. Contact us if you want to sell your home but don’t want to pay expensive realtor fees. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to sell a house, and you can get your money in as little as a few weeks.