Buying or Selling a Nashville Home Without a Realtor

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By Rochford Law Posted on September 12, 2017 at 11:50 AM

We’ve all seen the For Sale By Owner signs dotting Nashville lawns. On the seller’s side, if you’re looking to downsize, upgrade, or relocate, selling your home in Nashville’s hot market can be a lucrative decision. On the other end of the real estate spectrum, if you’re looking for a friendly city with booming job prospects, buyers can count on Nashville to deliver. For buyers and sellers alike, the autonomy involving a DIY real estate transaction is incredibly appealing. Before you decide to be your own real estate agent, however, there are a number of things to consider. Read on to discover how to sell by owner or purchase your next home without going through an agent.

A Few Words About Nashville’s Hot Real Estate Market

It’s a good time to sell a home in Nashville. It’s a good time to make Nashville your home.

In fact, it may be the best of times. Just last month, the financial fitness website, WalletHub, analyzed the housing markets of 300 cities to find the best local real estate markets in the United States. Using 21 key indicators of “housing-market attractiveness and economic strength” researchers named Nashville the second-best place among large cities to put down roots. (In case you’re wondering, Seattle took home the big prize.)

Earlier this year, The Tennessean reported that the city is still growing by an estimated 100 people per day and Zillow, ranked Nashville as the hottest real estate market in the country. “In the same year renting becomes more affordable and the homeownership rate bounces back from historical lows, the country’s housing market superstar will be—drumroll, please—Nashville! Music City has moved beyond its country roots to become a fast-growing economy with employment by the healthcare industry and big corporate names including Nissan, Randstad, and Kroger—plus the popular chain of diners, Shoney’s.”

A quick word of caution from your local real estate attorney: before you sign on the dotted line, either as a buyer or a seller, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the Tennessee Property Disclosure Law and what As-Is really means.

Advantages to Selling Your Home Without A Realtor

Often, real estate agents split a commission that comes out of the seller’s pocket. So if you’re selling your home to a buyer with an agent for $233,000 (the median home price in Nashville as recently reported by Zillow and commission is 6%), you could save yourself nearly $7000. Today, sites like Zillow make it easier than ever for homeowners to represent themselves.

Sellers also have complete control over the asking price and marketing costs may be dramatically reduced. Furthermore, if you’re selling your own home, you can be in direct contact with the buyers and can communicate freely while negotiating a price.

While all this may be true (and appealing), it’s still critically important to protect yourself from legal liability. To do this, be sure to consult with a local real estate attorney and title company that understands the current real estate climate and local laws and ordinances. Read our post to learn more about What To Look For In a Title Company.

What You Need to Know to Sell Your Home On Your Own

The Value of Your Nashville Home in Today’s Market

This may seem like an obvious one, but believe it or not, many FSBO (that’s for sale by owner for those in the biz) sellers set a selling price that’s too high. Be sure to research comps in the area to find out what similar properties in your neighborhood are selling for. It may be wise to invest in a professional appraisal from a certified appraiser.

You’re Still Going to Pay a Commission

Or, rather, you should be prepared to pay the commission of your buyer’s agent (typically 3% of the sale price). If you opt not to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission, your pool of potential candidates will likely shrink dramatically because they’ll have absolutely zero incentive to show your home.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

Odds are pretty high that your buyers will have an agent and they will be ready to negotiate. Be prepared!

How to Market Your Home

In addition to listing your home on the MLS, an agent may also create brochures, host open houses, professionally photograph and stage your home, and more. As a FSBO, you’ll need to make sure that you advertise your property for sale on reputable internet websites that you have a yard sign, open houses, fact sheets, and that you can articulate clear selling points for your property.

Advantages of Buying a Home Without an Agent

Cost Savings

The number one reason buyers look to purchase a home without the guidance of a realtor is to save money. In many cases, the money buyers would spend on commission is applied directly to the principal on their new home!

Room for Negotiation

Buyers can ask for more flexibility on the sales price of the home because the seller doesn’t have to pay a commission to the buyer’s agent.


Savvy buyers who appreciate having their fingers on the pulse of a transaction enjoy the process of buying. Because there’s no middleperson to contend with, communication moves more quickly and efficiently.

Buying or selling a property without the assistance and guidance of a real estate agent isn’t for everyone! It requires a lot of hard work, a thick skin, perseverance, and keen attention to detail. With any property transaction, there is a great deal of legal paperwork to sift through. Whether you’re buying or selling, if you’re doing it without an agent, you’ll need an attorney. Typically, an attorney’s fees are a fraction of a real estate agent’s commission, so it’s money well spent. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home on your own, give us a call or contact Rochford Law & Real Estate Title for a free, no-risk consultation.

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Topics: Buying A Home