Can You Sell a House in California Without a Realtor?

There is no law in California that requires you to sell your home with the help of a Realtor or real estate agent. People use agents because selling a home can be overwhelming and intimidating, and there are a lot of confusing legal requirements that must be followed to the letter. In the same way that a tax expert helps you make sense of your 1099, a Realtor helps you navigate the complexities of selling a home while also handling the marketing side of things. But it is possible to sell your home independently, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Why Many Homeowners Choose to Work With a Realtor

One of the biggest advantages of using a real estate agent is that you don’t have to worry about marketing or advertising your home for sale. The agent will list your home on an exclusive multiple-listing service (MLS), host open houses, coordinate with other agents, and take advantage of various advertising channels. This is tedious, time-consuming work.

In addition, a real estate agent (and especially a licensed Realtor) has the knowledge and experience to help you assess the true market value of your home and ensure that you don’t get ripped off. Most important of all, a realtor can oversee the essential paperwork and help you to remain in compliance with the law. For example, California law requires that:

  • Sellers must disclose, in writing, all details that can impact the desirability of the home
  • Sellers must use a title company to obtain title insurance
  • Sellers must use a licensed escrow agent 
  • Sellers must pay any applicable transfer tax 

There is one exception. As a seller, you can often avoid these obligations if you sell your home for cash to a real estate investment company. More on that later.

Why You Might Avoid Using a Realtor

Cost is the No. 1 reason why homeowners choose to sell without a Realtor. Real estate agents take a commission, leaving you with less money to invest in your new home. In a typical sale, you’ll hand over 3% to your agent and 3% to the buyer’s agent. So if you sell your home for $650,000, you can lose $39,000 to the agents. By selling your home without an agent, you can recoup at least half of that money.

How to Sell Your Home in California Without a Realtor

If you want to take full control of your California home sale, you’ll need to do the following: 

  1. Research the market value of your home. You can use online valuation tools or hire a professional appraiser. 
  2. List your home. You won’t have access to an MLS, but you can still use sites like Zillow to list your property. Select the “Post your home for sale by owner” option. 
  3. Write up a purchase and sale agreement. 
  4. Reach out to an escrow company to open an escrow for your home.
  5. Make a list of all legally required disclosures for the buyer.

After you find a buyer, they will be responsible for the home inspections and financing arrangements. You may then be required to obtain a title insurance policy and a home warranty. The title company can draft a grant deed on your behalf and assist you with the final paperwork. Once the negotiations are complete, you and your buyer just need to transfer the deed.

If this all sounds overwhelming and you’re thinking “I just want to sell my house fast in Los Angeles,” there is an easier way. Rather than navigating all the complexities of a traditional listing, you can sell your home for cash. We buy houses for cash in California, and the whole process is quick and easy.

We’ll make you an offer based on the After Repair Value (ARV) of your home, and if you accept it, we’ll buy the property from you. It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to pay for inspections, repairs, or insurance, and you won’t lose any money to real estate commissions. We take care of the legal requirements, and we deal with any necessary repairs.

Our quotes are zero-hassle and zero-obligation. If you’d like to learn more or receive your free quote, fill out the form on our website or call us at (626) 817-3351.

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