Whether you are selling a house in New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana, it is normal to want to get the best price on your house and save money in real estate commissions.
This is why some people have taken to selling without an agent, even tackling the paperwork needed to sell a house with no assistance. All in a bid to accelerate the selling process of the house while maximizing the profits.
A method that is known as “for sale by owner” or FSBO for short is something that does require a lot of time, drive, and ambition but not a lot of money.
Choosing to market your home in this way will eliminate the estimated 6% real estate commission fee. That’s $18,000 on a $300,000 house when you’re at the closing table.
Any homeowners in Louisiana who want to sell directly to buyers should do research and gain an understanding of the market.
Other than agents, most people don’t sell their home every day so it can be a lot to take in. Preparation is key and will help make sure you get the best out of your money.
Here is our helpful guide on how to sell your home in New Orleans or anywhere in Louisiana the “for sale by owner” (FSBO) way.
What is For Sale by Owner (FSBO)?
This means that the home sale has been conducted without the assistance or representation of a real estate agent, broker, or attorney unless the buyer chooses to engage one.
How to Sell Your House in New Orleans by Owner in 6 Easy Steps
Here are the steps you need to know including how to how to price your home, advertise your home, and follow through to closing day.
1. Determine the Value of Your House
The first thing to do is to find out the market value of your home. It is crucial to be objective about this.
Homeowners tend to let emotion play into this part when selling when it is a task that requires rational thinking. There are many websites out there that can help with selling a house in New Orleans, Louisiana. Look at similar homes in the area and this will give you a sense of what the price should be when it comes to selling your house. Using a website like Zillow can be a great way to check comparable homes nearby for sale.
Explore the New Orleans and Louisiana real estate market when selling your house
You might hire an appraiser to determine the value of your home as-is or you can save yourself $300 to $500 if you do the appraisal yourself. Research property prices that are finished in the same way your home is including similar footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and the size of the lot. An appraisal will only confirm what this research will show you.
Once you have the results of your research you are then able to set a list price to reflect this as well as your time scale. Price aggressively if you are looking for a quick transaction.
If you find yourself in a hot seller’s market, this is when a house will routinely sell for more than the asking price. A tactic that may work in your favor is setting a lower sales price. This can result in a bidding war and your home selling for more than it should.
2. Get It Ready to Sell
This step can come first or second and depends on how much work you need to do to fix up your house. It will be hard to sell your house if the conditions are not optimal which can turn off a prospective buyer.
Declutter your home thoroughly. A key to home sales is for potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in your home. This can be difficult if they see lots of your personality touches throughout the house which can make them feel like they’re in another home.
Ideally, you want to remove anything that makes the home feel lived-in. This includes things such as family photos. Store them away out of sight when potential buyers come round. If there are possessions you don’t need, now is the time to sell!
eBay, Craigslist, and the New Orleans Facebook marketplace are useful when it comes to this.
Clean your house for a smooth sale by owner (New Orleans FSBO) process
Make sure your house is clean as that can impress a prospective buyer. It could even be worth spending a bit of money and taking the time to hire a professional cleaner.
Upgrade and repair the property to attract home buyers
Get someone you trust or an expert to walk through the house and identify any issues you may not have seen. The most common repairs and upgrades undertaken before you list your home are:
- Repainting the walls with neutral colors
- Changing the furniture layout to make smaller spaces seem bigger and larger spaces seem filled
- If you can, replace any outdated fixtures and or appliances
- Decorative candles and rugs go a long way to adding homey touches but remain neutral
A buyer will obviously see the exterior so unless you live in a condo, you will want to ensure it looks like a home ready for sale.
Consider a home inspection service
In a case where you are not sure about what to repair or upgrade, you may want to hire a home inspection service. A proper and detailed inspection report can make it easier for you to identify problems to fix.
Make sure to complete all the necessary repairs as that can mean you can close a sale faster without having to wait for repairs to be done and turn off potential buyers.
Work on the exterior to make your property more appealing
Home sellers can often neglect the exterior but it can really add curb appeal if you undertake these changes. If you have a lawn, add some grass seed and fertilizer and make it greener ! For you as the seller, it is all about getting the right price for your home and making these improvements to the exterior and adding curb appeal can increase the value of your home.
3. Advertise Your House Without an Agent
Now it is time for the listing. This time, you have to go it alone as a homeowner and you’ll have to handle the listing and the marketing. On the bright side, a for sale by owner sale will allow far more freedom to promote your property in the way you wish and list it wherever you want to.
Consider a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Louisiana to attract the right investor for your houses
Though you don’t need to do a listing of your own on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), it does have its advantages. MLS is the easiest and one of the most cost-effective ways to get some serious exposure to your home for sale without an agent.
Putting a listing on the MLS isn’t terribly costly. There are MLS packages available from providers and they tend to start at around $100 for six months. This will not include any commission such as buyer agent commissions if there is any. The MLS listing fee might be a good investment if it can mean you find a buyer faster. Ensure that your contact info such as your email and phone are correct before listing on multiple spaces.
Smart ways to promote your house for sale in New Orleans and Louisiana to attract a buyer
In addition to using the MLS, there are other places to advertise too. It is always worth popping out a sidewalk or yard sign, especially if you are in a high traffic area of New Orleans or Louisiana.
In addition to that, there are plenty of other options that won’t cost a lot of money.
Look for FSBO sites, as these can be a great way to keep costs down. Target the well-known ones such as FSBO.com. This way you will give your property the exposure it needs to attract potential buyers.
Target New Orleans FSBO listings for home owners on popular sites to find a buyer
Sites such Zillow and Trulia feature FSBO listings in New Orleans and should provide good exposure. Another way to get your property listing out there is via local classified sites. Websites such as Craigslist and Nextdoor are free and receive lots of traffic which can be a great way to sell a home fast.
More ways and tips to advertise your properties and houses in Louisiana to find a buyer
If you have a videographer friend, get them to do a high-quality video around your home/houses and upload it to YouTube. Lots of agents do it and there’s no reason why a seller can’t.
Take excellent images of your property and upload them to Facebook Marketplace and FB groups.
If you don’t know any good photographers or videographers, posting a simple ad on Craigslist can be a way to meet a few. Just be sure to check out their previous work.
Creating a dedicated website for your property can really make your property stand out to potential buyers. It does require a little more effort, or you can hire a good New Orleans web designer, but the rewards can be worth it.
4. Have an Open House
A good way to prepare for this is to visit a few open houses around New Orleans and southern Louisiana to get an idea of how it all works and take notes.
Create a sales sheet and make plenty of copies. A simple way to do this is to print off the listing from a site. It is worth considering taking it a step further and adding extra details such as nearby parks, history of the house, and local amenities.
The best time to conduct an open house is during a weekend late morning or early afternoon. The duration of these events is between two and three hours. They can go on longer if you wish.
How to advertise your open house in the Louisiana real estate market
Your home should already be cleaned, decluttered and repaired and now it’s time to show off your house.
Here’s the list of a few ways that you can advertise your open house:
- Creating a post on social media about your event. Encourage your friends and followers to spread the word
- Send an email out to all of your contacts
- Post flyers around town
- Pop a listing on Craigslist and Nextdoor. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t listed your home for sale on there already since this ad is for the open house event.
Just like an agent would be, you must be present and around for the duration of your event. Remember to dress in a professional manner and make sure you give your attention to everybody who walks through the door. It doesn’t matter how serious they may seem. Do your best to answer any questions.
The objective of open houses is to make sure potential buyers get a positive first impression of your home. You might not be an agent but as the owner you have the advantage of having first hand information of what it’s like to live in your home.
After this event, you may get requests for private viewings. The buyers’ agent will have verified their identity.
It is then down to the both of you to organize showing times. Bear in mind that evenings and weekends tend to be a more popular choice with buyers.
During a private viewing, the other agent might ask you to try to be either out of the property or at least ‘out of sight’. Being around potential buyers can put them off unnecessarily as people sometimes don’t want to feel pressured about a big purchase they intend to make.
Always keep your house clean and tidy until it has sold. This will mean that you are ready for viewings whenever one pops up. Having to tidy last minute can add extra stress to an already stressful time.
5. Dealing With Offers When Selling Your House in Louisiana
Choosing the New Orleans FSBO route means you have to deal with offers without an agent and their assistance. You will be negotiating with the buyers’ agents and they do this for a living- but don’t let that put you off!
This part of the sales process may sound difficult but take some time out to hone in on your negotiation strategies. When it comes to a home sale, try to remember these two things:
- You don’t need to respond to every offer because not everyone is a buyer – If an agent puts in an offer on the buyers’ behalf that is way below the price, you do not have to respond. However, you can also go back to the agent, rejecting the offer outright. It is quite common that the same buyer may then come back with something more appropriate to the sales price and start the negotiating process.
- Remain patient to find a buyer – Remember that there are buyers out there, no matter the condition of the market. If possible, don’t be discouraged by what appears to be little interest in your listing. You can always lower your sale price if it comes to that and if you’re prepared to do so. If you’re not receiving good offers, consider investing in more repairs and upgrades which could in turn up the selling price.
6. Closing Without a Real Estate Attorney
When it comes to selling a home in New Orleans there can be what appears to be a lot of legal documents needed to sell a property without a realtor involved and it’s just you and the buyer.
While you do not need an attorney to close and finalize things, it might be worth investing the money to hire one. The closing process can be quite complex and things can become more complicated if you are selling out of state, for example. Furthermore, an attorney can help you with other crucial aspects such as legal documents, property disclosure forms, drafting the purchase contract, ensuring you document property and fixtures included in the sale and making sure the real estate transactions involved are compliant with state regulations.
You’ll also need to go into escrow with a third party, usually a title company, once both you and the buyer have agreed on the purchase.
What Are the Benefits of a Sale by Owner in Louisiana?
By getting rid of realtor commissions and sealing the deal yourself, you can take advantage of a wide myriad of benefits. Here are some reasons to sell your property yourself.
Say Goodbye to Realtor Fees
One of the biggest financial benefits of choosing to sell your house without a realtor is the lack of fees.
A realtor will more often than not take 2% or more in agent commission. That can add up to be a lot of money. In fact, 3% tends to be the standard agent’s commission off the sales price. The agent’s commission will be noted in the contract. Just imagine the extra money that you will have in your pocket by removing the realtor fees from the equation.
As an FSBO seller, there will still be fees for you to pay. However, they will be a lot less. It is usual that FSBO sellers will still only receive the amount net of the buyers’ agent commission, assuming the buyer has a professional handling their transaction.
Even if the buyer uses an agent, the real estate commission will only be around 2 or 3% on the sale price. This is compared to around 4 to 6% if both sides had an agent.
One reason to save on agent commission is that you can use part of it to invest in repairs, upgrades, marketing, home inspections, and anything that allows you to sell the home faster and for a higher price.
Have Total Control Over the Property Transaction
When you don’t sell your house with a realtor, you have total control. Sometimes you may not agree with the way your realtor is handling your transaction and you might not think they are acting in your best interests.
Agents may push you into taking an offer that doesn’t get the best result for you just so they can lock in a commission and go to closing. Other times they may ask you to go to a listing price that’s much lower than what you think the property is worth. Perhaps you would rather spend time negotiating the sale price and waiting for a good buyer.
You can make better decisions as the home owner
As your own real estate agent, you will not need to spend time and energy dealing with agents, well, that you don’t like. Real estate agents can have different methods of negotiating with you or their personalities may differ from yours making it difficult to have a good working relationship. Sometimes it might be important to you to find a buyer with the same values as you particularly if you’ve invested a lot of time and effort in your home.
You Can Market It Better to Reach the Ideal Home Buyer
Real estate agents are unquestionably skilled at pointing out the best features of a home while brushing over the negatives to buyers.
However, when it comes to actually knowing the ins and outs of a property, nobody knows that better than the homeowners.
FSBO sellers usually provide a much more memorable experience when it comes to a house viewing than a broker. By choosing to sell your house without the help of a realtor, it gives you the ability to offer something agents can’t – personality and knowledge about the property.
Choosing to sell your house with a realtor can initially seem like a daunting task. However, if you follow a process you can find yourself saving money and learning lots of new tools and skills.
It can be a great way to sell your home fast although that isn’t the only purpose of an FSBO approach.
Sellers know their homes best and once they have got a potential buyer through the front door, they are more than capable of talking a buyer through the features of the home.
The real estate agent fees in New Orleans or Baton Rouge can be quite pricey due to the size of the city and the fact it is a desirable place to live. Avoiding the use of a real estate agent can work in your favor if you’re aiming to save money, although agents do have advantages such as being able to offer a market analysis and of course experience.
Frequently Asked Questions about Selling a House by Owner in Louisiana
Many property owners in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana prefer the sale by owner method because it allows them to get a more profitable real estate transaction.
What does it mean when a house is sold by owner?
This means that the sale has been conducted without the help of realtors on the seller side. Therefore the seller or homeowner has to deal with the purchase agreement, listing, marketing, viewings, negotiations and more all on their own.
Are there closing costs in for sale by owner transactions?
Yes, there are closing costs when you sell your home whichever avenue you choose to take.
As a guide, it is best to factor in around 2 to 4 percent of the home’s purchase price into the closing costs. It could turn out to be less or you could find yourself in a situation where the buyer and seller share these costs.
As the seller, regardless of how you sell your home, you are usually responsible for the cost of closing. These can include:
- Taxes – state, county, or municipal and transfer taxes
- Attorney fees
You ought to have a full understanding of the home buying process in Louisiana before jumping into selling a property without realtors involved.
How do you sell a home by owner?
There are a few steps to follow when selling your home:
- Determine the value of your home by looking up recently sold properties that are similar to yours (comps)
- Prepare your home for sale
- Create a listing
- Have an open house
- Negotiate the sale
- Close the sale
It looks simple in theory, but it requires a lot of work, time, patience and determination. You’ll also need a good understanding of real estate laws in your area. That’s why many home owners get discouraged, but if you are determined to get the best price for your property while keeping the majority of the revenue, then this method can be a win-win situation for you.
What is the fastest way to find a buyer and sell a house by owner?
Ensure the listing is attractive and shown in plenty of channels (social media, New Orleans FSBO sites, Craigslist, etc.) to attract buyers’ attention. You can find a good buyer if you market your house consistently whether it’s an investor or prospective homeowner.
Make sure your home is in a good state and condition, neutral in appearance, and appealing to buyers.
Look at prices around New Orleans and southern Louisiana. If you are in a hurry to sell, price aggressively so that a buyer will be more likely to consider your property over a more expensive place. A real estate investor or cash home buyer is also more likely to show interest in your house if the price is lower, and some are even willing to buy it from the seller at as-is condition.