Attorneys at Law

Be Informed.

Be informed.

What Do You Need to Know before Selling Your House without a Realtor?

If you have decided to list your house for sale in Pennsylvania, you will need to make several important decisions along the way to a successful sale. The first, and possibly the most important, of those decisions is whether to work with a real estate agent or list the home for sale “By Owner.” If you are considering the “By Owner” route, you may wish to consider the following things you need to know before selling your house without a realtor.

  • Market research is imperative. When it comes to deciding on a list price, what matters is not what you think your house is worth, but what the market dictates it is worth. Normally, a real estate agent will do a market analysis before suggesting a list price for a home. If you plan to go the “By Owner” route, you will have to do enough market research to know what the property is worth in the current market.
  • There are upfront expenses. Selling your home without using a realtor may save you expenses on the back end, since you will not pay a commission, but you will still have upfront expenses for things such as inspections, repairs, and advertising.
  • Known defects must be disclosed. In Pennsylvania, the mandatory disclosure law states “Any seller who intends to transfer any interest in real property shall disclose to the buyer any material defects with the property known to the seller by completing all applicable items in a property disclosure statement which satisfies the requirements of section 7304 (relating to disclosure form).”
  • Hazards must be removed or disclosed. The presence of hazardous materials, such as asbestos or lead paint, must be disclosed or removed.
  • Anti-discrimination and fair housing laws must be obeyed. As a seller, you are expected to understand, and abide by, relative state and federal laws, such as anti-discrimination and fair housing laws.
  • All encumbrances must be removed before the sale can be completed. Title to the property must be clear before it can be transferred to a new owner. Therefore, any encumbrances, such as a tax lien, must be removed.
  • The closing must be handled by a professional. Once you have accepted an offer to purchase the property, you must arrange a closing. There is no “do-it-yourself” option for your closing. Numerous legal documents must be prepared, reviewed, and executed to finalize the sale. A mistake could be very serious, so homeowners are commonly advised to contact a real estate attorney early on to arrange for document preparation services and to schedule the closing.

If you plan to sell your house yourself instead of working with a realtor, it would be wise to consult with a real estate attorney early on in the process to ensure that you are aware of, and in compliance with, all applicable state and federal laws. Contact the experienced Pennsylvania real estate law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your private consultation.