How To Sell A House By Owner In California

We have formulated a guide to help those that are How To Sell A House By Owner In California recently and are looking at solutions. If your question is not listed or answered in this guide about selling a house by owner or FSBO, please feel free to call us at 1 (866) 497-8248 or fill in the contact us form below, and we will try to answer any and all questions you may have.

For Sale By Owner In California : What It Is, How It Works  

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How To Sell A House By Owner In California ?  

How To Sell A House By Owner In California

Do you need a realtor to sell your house? After all, you are an avid do-it-yourself-er and have managed to do many things by yourself, and now you want to know how to sell a house by owner. You find it exciting and may save money by not dealing with a realtor. There are a lot of considerations when opting to sell your house without a realtor. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers. You will find good information below if you are considering selling a house.

Questions and Answers

  1. Is It Possible To Sell My Home In California Without A Realtor?

  2. How Do I Sell My House By Owner In California?

  3. Can Owner Sell House Without Realtor In California?

  4. Do You Need A Lawyer To Sell Houses In California?

  5. Can I Sell My House Without an Agent?

  6. How Much Tax Do You Pay When You Sell Your House In California?

  7. How Can I Sell My House Privately?

  8. What Is The Process Of Selling A House Without An Estate Agent?/What Is The Process Of Selling A Home By Owner?

  9. Is It Hard To List For Sale By Owner?

  10. What Is The Easiest Way To Sell A House?

  11. Do You Need A Realtor To Sell A House?

  12.  How Quickly Can A House Be Sold?

1: Is It Possible To Sell My Home In California Without A Realtor?

In California, you are not required by law to sell your home with the help of a real estate agent or realtor. However, many people who use agents do it because they find the for sale by owner process intimidating and overwhelming. In addition, sometimes legal requirements are confusing and must be followed precisely. As a result, so many people will give over the task to an experienced realtor.

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2: How Do I Sell My House By Owner In California?

FSBO, or for sale by owner, is a method of selling your home without a listing agent. In this selling scenario, the seller handles an agent’s responsibilities. So the seller will have to price the home, arrange showings and negotiate the deal. When you choose this route of selling your home, you can eliminate the cost of a listing agent’s commission which is usually around 3$ of the house price.

It is important to note, however, that an FSBO sale doesn’t mean you won’t need any professional help. Instead, you will need the help of an attorney to prepare or review critical documents, ensuring that all your paperwork is correctly filled out.

When you opt for this type of sale, you are competing with homes with the extensive marketing resources of a real estate agent. So you want to ensure you are giving your home the best chance of looking like the homes listed by realtors to attract potential buyer attention.

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3:  Can Owner Sell House Without Realtor In California?

The most common reason homeowners opt to sell without a realtor in California, and the United States is to cut costs. Because real estate agents take a commission, you are left with less money when you make the sale. In a typical deal, your real estate agent will get 3%, and the buyer’s agent will also get a 3% commission. 

So let’s look at some numbers. If your home sells for $650,000, the agents will get $39,000 out of the sale price. When you don’t use an agent, you can keep half of that money which is $19,500, using this example. 

If you choose to sell your home without a realtor, here are the steps to follow to get the best sale. 

  1. Make any repairs and do necessary maintenance tasks. 
  2. Complete disclosure forms.
  3. Declutter, clean, and stage, ensuring you add curb appeal when staging. 
  4. Get a professional to take photographs.
  5. Choose a competitive price point. 
  6. Market your home.
  7. Field and negotiate offers. 
  8. Close the sale. 

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4: Do You Need A Lawyer To Sell Houses In California?

California does not mandate using a real estate lawyer for home sales. However, some cases may require the help of a lawyer. For example, suppose you have parties interested in the property that complicates the process. In that case, the real estate lawyer can protect your interests and even help to negotiate terms that everyone will more likely agree to. So while selling with a lawyer isn’t mandatory, it can be beneficial.

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5: Can I Sell My House Without an Agent?

The bottom line is that you can sell your house without an agent. This will create more profit for you, and you may even be able to sell your house faster if you choose to accept a cash offer. If you prepare yourself correctly, you can successfully sell your home without the help of a real estate agent.

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6: How Much Tax Do You Pay When You Sell Your House In California?

If your home sale provides you with a profit, you will be assessed for capital gains tax. You can avoid these taxes if you are eligible for an exclusion from the IRS. What are capital gains? These are any profits you make from selling an asset that has been appreciated. Say, for example, you bought a house for $250,000 and resold it for $500,000. Your capital gains would be the difference of $250,000, and your taxes could be assessed against that total. 

In California, capital gains are taxed at the state and federal levels. California’s Franchise Tax Board taxes capital gains as regular income at the state level. You will pay between 1% to 13.3% in tax on your gains, depending on the tax bracket you fall into.  

At the Federal level, it gets more complicated. First, you will find short or long-term gains taxes. For example, if you sell a house within a year of purchasing it, this is considered a short-term capital gain. These are taxed as ordinary income, and the percent you pay is dependent on your tax bracket.  

Long-term capital gains are profits after owning a home for at least one year. These gains are taxed based on the location of the house within California. 

The FTB and IRS offer a capital gains tax break for some homeowners. They will exclude up to $50,000 capital gain for a single filer and up to $500,000 for a married couple. To qualify for the entire exclusion amount, one will need to meet the following criteria. 

  • You are selling your primary residence.
  • You owned the home for at least two years within the five years occurring before you listed the house for sale. 
  • You have lived in the home for at least two years within the five years before listing the house for sale. These two years do not have to be consecutive over five years. Exceptions are made to this rule for persons who are disabled, served in the military and were deployed, persons in Foreign Services, persons in the Peace Corps, and persons in the Intelligence Community, as it is not uncommon for these individuals to not live in homes as they have to be away due to work or disability. 
  • You didn’t acquire the home by swapping one investment property for another. This is known as a like-kind exchange. 
  • You have yet to claim this exclusion on any other property within the last two years. 
  • You will not be expatriate tax, that is, renouncing your citizenship and taking residence in another country. 

You may still qualify for a partial exclusion if none of the above apply. For example, if you had to sell your home because your workplace location changes, if an unforeseeable event is causing you to move, or if you have a health issue causing you to move. 

Reporting your Capital gains taxes in California is done with the IRS Form 1040. This form can also be used to report capital losses if that is the case for your home sale. 

In addition to capital gains taxes, there are also transfer taxes that you will pay. This is a transaction fee that is tacked on to the sale of any property, including land with a building or land-only sale. This tax varies based on the location of your parcel within the state. General law counties and cities charge 55 cents per $500 of the property value or amount paid. This amount can increase if you sell in a charter county or city. 121 California cities have charters. Then some cities use a tiered transfer tax system, so the more significant the purchase price, the greater the taxes paid. 

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7:  How Can I Sell My House Privately?

Here’s what to do to take complete control of your California home sale. 

  1. Research your home’s market value. 
  2. List your property on websites like Zillow, and select the “home for sale by owner” option. 
  3. Write up your purchase and sale agreement, getting the necessary help if you need it. 
  4. Create an escrow account for your home with a reputable escrow company. 
  5. Make a list of all the required legal disclosures for the buyer. 

When you find a buyer, they will be responsible for the financing arrangements and the home inspections. In addition, you may need to obtain a home warranty and title insurance policy. The title company can help you with the final paperwork. You will only need to transfer the deed to your buyer when the negotiations are complete. 

If this seems like a process you would rather not deal with, you can always opt to have us buy your house for cash. We do it fast, and this way is much easier. You won’t have to worry about navigating the complexities of a traditional listing, and we ensure a quick and easy process leaving you with cash in hand. 

We offer you the After Repair Value of the house, and if you accept, we will purchase the property from you. You do not need to pay for repairs, inspections, or insurance, and you won’t lose any money in commissions for an agent. We take care of all the legal requirements and will do any necessary repairs. You can get a zero-obligation, no-hassle quote by contacting us today.  

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8: What Is The Process Of Selling A House Without An Estate Agent?/What Is The Process Of Selling A Home By Owner?

There are a lot of choices you will be making when you are ready to put your house up for sale. It would be best if you considered when to create your listing, how to sell the house, and where to move. You can sell your home yourself if you want a better offer than a cash one. 

One of the most significant advantages of selling your home without a real estate agent is you save the commissions that would have gone to the agent. But it would be best if you didn’t decide based on that alone. The process can be complex and time-consuming, and you may lose more if you need to know what you are doing. 

The three main options for selling your home without a real estate agent are: 

  1. You are selling your house to a cash buyer. This can include cash-buying house companies or real estate investors. You may even be lucky enough to find an individual buyer offering cash for your home.  

This is the most convenient way to sell your house fast. 

  1. Sell to a known buyer with the help of a real estate attorney. If you have a buyer waiting to purchase your home, a real estate attorney can help you to close the sale of your home. They will draft the necessary paperwork and guide you through the process, ensuring you get into a good deal with your known buyer. 
  1. For sale by owner. Choose this if you are comfortable selling a home and can complete the process by yourself. This option gives you full control over the process and helps to save you some money on those agent or attorney fees. Note, though, with this option comes a lot of responsibility. 

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9: Is It Hard To List For Sale By Owner?

This is a challenging task. You will need to do all the prep work, list the house yourself, and do all the marketing and advertising. You will also need to do the showings, the contracts, the negotiations, and the legalities, and you will have to close. No matter where you are in the process, you can always change your mind and get an agent to help you.

Is Selling A House Yourself Hard?
Yes, selling a house yourself can be challenging if you want to make top dollar and are unwilling to go with a cash buyer. However, a National ASsociatio of Realtors Study from 2021 revealed that people who used a real estate agent could sell their homes for, on average, 26% higher than those who chose to sell their homes alone.

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10:  What Is The Easiest Way To Sell A House?

Taking a cash offer is by far the easiest way for you to sell your house. However, even if you go the traditional realtor route and find a buyer in a couple of days, the closing phase of the sale can take weeks and even months. 

When you list your home, you can’t predict if you will get an offer from a cash buyer or a prequalified home buyer with a loan. However, you have a higher chance of seeing the latter as 78% of buyers finance their home purchases. 

When working with a financed buyer, steps such as a lender-ordered appraisal or inspection add time. The processing of your buyer’s loan can take 50 days or more, according to data from Ice Morgage Technologies from December 2022. 

No matter how well you plan, you can expect a slower home sale when selling your home the traditional way. The good news is you have an alternative option. You can request a cash offer from a real estate investor or us, which will speed up the process considerably. The benefits of this house-selling option are: 

  • You can receive an instant offer
  • There is no risk that the financing will fall through
  • You won’t have any real estate agent commission fees to pay 
  • You won’t have to make any costly repairs
  • The home sale can be closed in a matter of days or weeks instead of months
  • With no lender involvement, your sale timeline will be shorter

When opting for a cash offer, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of the option before making your final decision. You may find yourself with a lower offer. Investors don’t have any emotion in buying and intend to rent your home or flip it to make a profit. But the upside is that you don’t have to factor in home prep or repair costs. So if you have a rotted deck or need to install a new front door, you won’t need to do that to sell to a cash buyer. Suppose you factor in the cost of any repairs to be done plus the 3 to 6% agent fee. In that case, you may find that selling to a cash buyer, though with a lower overall offer, you will end with a more net profit at the end of the sale. 

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11:  Do You Need A Realtor To Sell A House?

This is a significant concern for most homeowners when they are ready to sell their homes. Should you choose to deal with a real estate agent or sell independently? If you proceed to sell on your own, do you even know how to sell a house for sale by owner?

It pays to weigh the pros and cons of each situation before making the final decision. But the answer is no; you do not need a realtor to sell a house. Just know that homes for sale by owner often get less marketing exposure if you are trying to figure out where to list your home or how to market it, so it brings it to the right eyes of your potential buyers.

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12:  How Quickly Can A House Be Sold?

How quickly a house is sold depends on the home and market conditions. In late 2022, the average house stayed on the market for 56 days. This metric tracks when a place is listed to when it goes under contract with the buyer. But outside of this, you have to consider the time it will take to close. Data from Ice Mortgage Technology shows that the average number of days to complete a house purchase with a loan is 50 days. So from listing to close, you may have to wait over three months. This needs to take into account the time you have to spend preparing the house to be ready for the market.

In 2023, interest rates are rising, so home sales are declining. The National Association of Realtors has indicated that pending home sales have reduced by 4%. This makes the market very competitive. So sellers were in a stronger position a year ago.

Since 2020 mortgage lenders have become overloaded due to low-interest rates and other factors. Because of this, in January 2021, the average days to close went as high as 57 days. With increasing interest rates, there has been a bit of normalizing seen in interest rates recently. And remember that all the info quoted here is just averages.

Bigger banks will have more internal red tape that could lengthen the process. But, at the same time, other lenders may be able to close much faster, especially if they are familiar with navigating the quirks of the local market.

Now that you know how to sell a house by owner, which will be your choice? Will you choose to sell your home with a real estate agent or sell for cash fast?

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If you need help at any time during the process, just give us a call or shoot us an email. We can walk you through your options, look at your specific situation, and in many cases, we can buy your house at a fair price in as little as 7 days with no commissions or fees.

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California Home Owner Resources

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Selling a Fire Damaged House In CaliforniaHow to Sell Rental Property In California
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How To Sell A House By Owner In California | For Sale By Owner In California

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