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When Florida families consider putting their house on the market, often the first thing they do is hire a real estate agent to assist with the sale. Finding a trustworthy realtor however can take time, and once the sale is complete, they claim a hefty commission of the gross sales price.

Florida homeowners have another option: sell their house without a realtor. Before going it alone however there are a few things homeowners should consider.

  1. Preparing the home for sale is essential

Regardless of how sellers approach a real estate sale, they must prepare their home. This includes many steps, such as:

  1. Do your research

It is critical for sellers to prepare themselves for a sale too. Home sellers should research and collect data on:

  • The current market trends to decide the best time to sell
  • The prices of other local listings and recent sales
  • Data on their home, including the year it was built
  • Any relevant details of the local area, such as the school district

An official appraisal can help sellers know how to price their home. However, researching the local real estate market on your own can give you valuable insight into what your property is worth. And, researching on your own is free!

  1. Advertise wisely

Realtors often have a network of clients and other agents which help them quickly get the word out about a new listing.

However, the National Association of Realtors reports that an average of 90% of home buyers began their search online. Real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Loopnet allow buyers and sellers alike to operate within the comfort of their own home and advertise their listings with a similar market reach of any realtor. So, with the many tools available online to homeowners, it is very possible to get your property in front of thousands of potential buyers without sacrificing 3-6 percent of the sales price in realtor commissions.

  1. Consult with a real estate attorney

Although in today’s age it is very easy for a homeowner to sell their property without a realtor, it is still essential that you consult with a real estate attorney. Here are a few reasons why you should always consult with a local real estate attorney before selling your property:

  • They can draft the contract for you
  • Attorneys can order title work and help cure title defects
  • They draft closing documents such a deeds and affidavits
  • Attorneys can act as the settlement agent
  • Local real estate attorneys provide valuable knowledge on the surrounding market, trends, and local laws that may affect your sale

Hiring a real estate attorney will give you as a seller the peace of mind that you have executed your sale properly and in accordance with the law.

Another reason hiring a real estate attorney is essential is that when there is an issue with the closing, the attorney will confront the issue head-on and solve it. Realtors, on the other hand, are paid only by commission, and so they are naturally more motivated to close the sale as opposed to making sure it’s done properly. Because of this conflict of interest, some realtors will advise sellers to ignore significant problems with the closing in hopes of earning a quick commission. Because real estate attorneys typically charge a flat fee their interests are aligned with your interests and they will make sure nothing improper takes place.