If you are asking yourself, “Should I selling a house by owner in Pittsburgh?“
Selling your own home is an attractive option. People choose sell a house in Pittsburgh without a realtor because it’s faster, you control the sale, and save thousands on realtor commissions.
Who, what, when, and how? You decide!
Each approach has advantages and disadvantages.
Don’t be too hasty to rule out hiring an agent. Depending on the situation, selling a house without an agent in Pittsburgh may not be the best bet.
Our handy “FSBO Checklist” below gives important questions to ask yourself (be honest!) before settling on the for sale by owner process.
This blog walks through the pros and cons of a “for sale by owner” home sale, and provides details on the steps to sell a house by owner Pittsburgh.
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This Sell a House By Owner [FSBO Guide] walks through the pros and cons of a “for sale by owner” home sale, and provides details on the steps to sell a house by owner in Pittsburgh.
Watch Clayton’s quick intro video and then dive into the info!
Pros of Selling A House By Owner in Pittsburgh, Pa
Selling a home the “traditional way” (i.e. listing the house on the MLS with an agent) can be a headache full of stress.
Open houses, online photos, nosy neighbors, ugly signs on your front lawn, cleaning up for showings, six percent lost on commissions. This is nobody’s idea of fun!
Homeowners often opt to “sell a house myself in Pittsburgh” to avoid the frustrations of an MLS listing. Here are some of the biggest reasons that people choose to sell a house on their own! Read on for the details or check out our video 🎥.
Save Thousands On Agent Commissions
Want to keep ALL the cash when you sell your house?
The biggest motivation to sell “for sale by owner” is to avoid paying real estate agents. Sellers that hired an agent pay on average 5 to 6% commission. In other words, realtors take a hefty cut of the sale proceeds before you pocket anything.
Selling for $100k? Get ready to hand over $6k of that to the agents.
According to FindLaw saving on the realtor fees is the biggest reason to go the FSBO route:
There are pros and cons for either option. Benefits of selling your home by yourself include, for example, being able to recoup more of the sale from your home because you will not have any commissions to pay. This can be a great way for you to get the full sale price of your home without having to pay commission fees.
Don’t Negotiate Down The Agent Fee!
Wanting to try to negotiate down the realtor commission? We don’t recommend it to our clients. Rather than paying the usual six percent, sellers make the mistake of requesting only two or three percent. Agents feel you aren’t compensating them at the market rate are less inclined to “go the extra mile”. Doesn’t that make sense? Expect to get pushed to the back burner relative to other full-paying clients. In Real Estate, just like life, you get what you pay for.
Control The Sale Process
Do you fit any of these situations?
- Sell on your time frame (fast or slow)
- Keep the sale private – no online listings
- Avoid open houses and showings
- Prefer to make the decisions
- Don’t pay realtor commission
- Pick the upgrades (if any) to make pre-sale
- Choose the closing date that works for you
- Set-up time for inspection on your schedule
Selling a Pittsburgh house or property by owner means you control the process from A – Z.
When you hire an agent, the agent controls the process.
Agents in nearly all cases will not keep the sale private (part of the reason you hire an agent is to list it online or the MLS), set-up open houses, showings, inspections at times that are convenient for everyone. Agents also take a measured approach to timing. Selling quickly at a reduced price means less commission in their pocket, but holding out for too long also doesn’t work for them (if their exclusive listing agreement expires they are paid nothing).
According to Gina Pogol over at The Mortgage Reports:
The other benefit is that you control the process. You decide if you want an open house. You decide how to advertise, if you want to have an open house, when to show your home to prospective buyers, and how you want to negotiate with them. If you like being in the driver’s seat, you may prefer to DIY your home sale.
Being in the driver’s seat might not make sense for you. You might just be too busy to handle the sale and handing it off to a third party makes sense.
The Myth of “Sell For More”
The National Association of Realtors often claim owners hiring an agent sell faster and for more sale proceeds. Let’s be honest – the National Association of Realtors is essentially the most biased source on presenting data that sellers must hire a realtor (that’s how the Nation Association of Realtor make their money). Let’s break it down.
“Realtors Sell Faster”. If the sale was “For Sale By Owner” off-market – the National Association of Realtors has no data to support on how long the sale took. The sale process could have been a few days, or a few years (at the choice of owner).
You Get Paid More Hiring A Realtor. Selling with a real estate agent usually costs approximately 6% commission with on-going holding costs. The National Association of Realtors has no data as to “net” sale amounts for even properties listed with a realtor and no data as to “net” sale amounts for off-market sales.
Your Sale Gets All The Attention!
“I have lots of MLS listing in the area with a large amount of clients. My phone is ringing constantly between marketing, incoming offers, and buyers that are just looking. I also am attending showings, open houses, and inspections on a daily basis.”
That’s essentially the life of a listing agent.
Agents –are busy. Focus is spread among current clients and listings, marketing calls, client meetings, and paperwork.
Ted Ricasa at Fast Home Help explained:
Depending on how busy your agent is with other clients, your home may not get the attention it requires. You need to be assured of having an agent that will do his or her due diligence at every stage of the selling process. The busier your agent is, the more likely you will experience the frustration of not having your calls returned in a timely manner, deadlines being missed, and deals falling through.
Property owners are able to give undivided attention to their own property.
Online Tools Available To Everyone
Agents historically were necessary – 25+ years ago.
Previously, only agents were able to connect with buyers, review neighborhood data, and find quality local professionals.
Technology and the internet makes these services available to owners. You no longer need someone to present to you data on a property or neighborhood. Although you may decide on the “traditional route” of hiring a realtor – indisputably – it is no longer necessary for an effective sale.
- Need a good inspector or appraiser? Hop on Yelp.
- Want the public exposure of the MLS? Flat-fee list for a few hundred.
- Find a local attorney or appraiser? Just Google your city name.
- Connect with a buyer for a cash offer? Our company is a cash buyer and will gladly make an offer. Click here to visit our “Get A Cash Offer Today!” page 💰 to find out what we can pay.
- Market with professional photos? Whip out your smart phone.
Cons of Selling Your Own House in Pittsburgh, Pa
Hiring a real estate agent – rather than opting for to “sell a house by myself” in Pittsburgh – does have certain advantages. Let’s dive into the reasons owners opt for the traditional approach.
Real estate agents may have local experience marketing properties. Although owners can pay more attention to marketing the sale, owners may be prefer to hand marketing responsibilities to a third-party.
Of course, the key here is experience and skill. Agents obtain a license in two weeks. New agents are not expert marketers, expert negotiators, experts on real estate transactions, or experts in your neighborhood. These skills take years to build.
To make paying thousands in commission worthwhile, your realtor needs skills. We’ve all seem crummy online photos and listings with typos.
Before signing a listing agreement, study the prior listings of the agent for the photos, descriptions, how long the houses sat on the market, and sale prices. If you aren’t satisfied – you can still work with the agent – but don’t sign an exclusive listing agreement giving them commission even if they fail to locate the buyer and you do.
Listing Agreement Options
Don’t rush to signing any listing agreement presented if you’re selling property with an agent. You can negotiate quite a few of the terms: total commission, length of the listing agreement, marketing exclusivity (i.e. only one agent may sell the property), and whether you are permitted to find your own buyer without paying commission. You can also request the sale be kept private. Make sure the process will satisfy your goals with the house sale.
Here are some buzzwords to know if you’re negotiating a listing agreement:
- Exclusive Right to Sell Listing – Most common type of listing agreement. The listing agent gets full control over the listing and rights to an agreed upon sales commission. Only one broker will work on this property.
- Exclusive Agency listing – This similar to “Exclusive Right to Sell Listing” with the biggest different being if you find a buyer on your own, then the agent doesn’t receive a commission. However, you can’t expect the agent to work particularly hard. There is no guarantee of commission.
- Open Listing – Lowest level of commitment. Whatever agent – from any brokerage – gets the commission if they find the buyer. You don’t pay commission if you find the buyer. Of course, most agents will not be pleased with this type of arrangement.
Time Available To Sell
Selling a Pittsburgh home without a realtor can sometimes take a bit of work.
You have to consider where to find potential buyers, pick out an offer, arrange for inspections or showings, negotiate or make repairs in some cases, do some online research about market values.
Although saving six percent commission and controlling the process are great perks, be prepared for some extra legwork on your end.
Got a demanding job? Family life full of obligations? If you can’t spare any free time, handing off the sale to someone else may be the right approach for you.
Should I Sell a Home by owner in Pittsburgh?
The Sell Pittsburgh Home Fast Team has bought homes in Pittsburgh from agents, as well as direct from owners. We’ve also sold our own properties on the open market with agents – but also off-market and “for sale by owner.”
Here is our handy “FSBO Check List”:
Do you need to sell fast?
Speed is the primary reason for an off-market sale. Listing your home on the MLS takes weeks between hiring a realtor and preparing for showing for time due to relocation, auction, property violation fines? A quick off-market sale can happen in days.
Are you seeking “top dollar”?
I want to sell fast for cash, as-is, without making any repairs. I don’t want to pay any commissions or have to deal with showings or open houses. But I STILL want top dollar.
This is a common feeling – we’d all like to sell for the highest amount possible as fast as possible. Sellers want the convenience of a quick sale without paying commission – but want the same sale price as listing the house for sale. Obviously, this isn’t how it works. If you’d like to complete the sale in days instead of months, you normally will price competitively.
Be honest – are you willing to sell for a notably smaller amount in exchange for an easier sale process? Here at House Heroes, we make cash offers and close fast when houses need work or you are looking for a cash closing. Click here to learn how our “3 Step Home Buying Process” works ⚙ to put cash in your pocket ASAP ➡️.
Want to avoid the process of “listing” the home for sale?
Any real estate experience?
How To Sell a House By Owner in Pittsburgh
Have you decided to avoid the “traditional way” (i.e. hiring a real estate agent)? Opting for selling your own house in Pittsburgh via the “for sale by owner” process?
If you’re opting to sell a house by owner in Pittsburgh, you might be wondering how to go about selling without a real estate agent. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to get it done!
Step 1: Understand The Pros & Cons of FSBO Process
The first step in a successful home sale is learning the pro’s and con’s of the FSBO and “traditional” approaches.
The big pro’s are saving realtor commission, controlling the sale process, the process can be private if you’d prefer it, and you set the time frames for accepting an offer and closing.
The cons are you will need to find a buyer, you get less public exposure, and you will need to put in effort on your own part.
Whether the pro’s outweigh the con’s depends on our own person situations.
Step 2: Set A Realistic Asking Price In Line With Your Goals
Selling real estate means choosing an offer for a certain amount. Although we’d all like to sell for the maximum amount as soon as possible, it’s important to set an asking price in line with your goals and he market.
Start by asking yourself about how fast you’d like to sell. Willing to wait months if not a year for top value? Shoot for the highest price the house can get. Want to sell ASAP? You will need to under-cut houses on the market and get a cash offer that’s usually a bit less than mortgage offers.
Take a hard look at the condition of your property, and then review local sold comps and active comps. If you’re house needs quite a bit of work, pricing below houses in better condition will be necessary. If you’ve put in lots of money in updates, you can even price higher than houses in worse condition.
Not sure about pricing? Considering hiring a professional appraiser. For under a thousand dollars, an appraiser can come out to your home, take pictures, go through a formal process to compare the house to recent sales, and provide a report as to his findings.
Step 3: Decide: Fix-Up The House or Sell “AS-IS”
Wondering if you should make some renovations before selling?
You can invest thousands in renovations and lots of time in overseeing contracts, and potentially seller for a higher net price (assuming you made the right renovations to increase value, and you’re contracts did a good job). Repairs a house can take months, so expect the sale to complete in the future.
The alternative it to sell a house “as-is”. The advantage here is to save the frustration of renovations, the money spend on the repairs, and close at a faster date.
Step 4: Finding A Buyer
Find Cash Buyer Online.
Any person with internet access can use the Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines to find a “cash buyer” for your house. We here at Sell Pittsburgh Home Fast are fast cash buyers in the Pittsburgh area.
Of course, it’s important to thoroughly vet any purported “cash buyer” to verify they possess the cash/skill necessary to buy your property. Some buyers promise a high sale price, and then find someone else to buy your house without telling you. You can ask for work samples, check social media reviews, and look for video testimonials.
Listing on Free Online Websites.
For Sale By Owner properties can be listed for free on websites such as Trulia, CraigsList, and Backpage. The advantage of FSBO on popular websites is additional exposure compared to working with a single buyer. The disadvantage is you will need to manage multiple showings, may be required to pay 3% commission to a buyer’s agent, and assess the legitimacy of buyers relying upon complex mortgage financing. Homeowners negotiating on their own may be hesitant to employ strong negotiation tactics when dealing with more experienced real estate professionals. This can be overwhelming, leading to longer time to sell and less proceeds.
“Flat-fee listing” is when a realtor accepts a flat-fee rather than a percentage commission, and lists your property on the MLS. The fee is typically several hundred dollars. The realtor is subsequently out of the picture and the seller manages the MLS sale from showing, to negotiation, to closing. Flat-fee listing is ideal for sellers with time to arrange showings and real estate experience by creating more exposure than listing on free online websites.
Wrapping It Up!
Selling a house by owner in Pittsburgh is a great way to sell fast, control the process, without paying any realtor commission. The downside is that selling a house in Florida without realtor means doing the work yourself – not easy if you’re too busy with work or family! The “For Sale By Owner” process in Pittsburgh may not be the best option. Selling your own home in Pittsburgh depends on each of our personal situations.