Since we’re real estate professionals ourselves, you may be wondering why we’d want to tell you how to sell a home without us. Because we’re in such a hot market, plenty of people have been asking us how to sell a home on their own, so we figured we’d provide the information for doing so. Here are the five steps for selling your home without a Realtor:

1. Prepare your home for the market. Well-prepared homes are selling for 5% to 7% more than unprepared homes. Clean up your home, declutter, and paint rooms that you feel need it. Keep in mind that the money you put into preparing the property will often yield a 200% to 300% return when you sell.

2. Market your home. Zillow is one of the biggest online marketplaces for homes, and over 50% of buyers are going to this site when beginning their home search. Zillow will allow you to post your home for free, but you also want to take advantage of the multiple listing service (MLS). With a quick search online, you can find services that will list your home on the MLS without an agent.

3. Retain counsel for help with the paperwork. A good real estate attorney will help you with contracts and disclosures. There are a number of legally required disclosures in California, and if you miss any, you’re putting yourself at risk.

4. Have good negotiation skills. Once the offers come in on your home, you want to be able to negotiate with the buyers. If your negotiating skills aren’t so great, you can always lean on your real estate attorney to help out.

“One of the biggest things we do as professional Realtors is help you get more money for your sale.”

5. Get post-sale protection. Title insurance is often required when you take out a mortgage loan with your bank. We recommend you purchase a home warranty—if anything goes wrong in the year following the buyer’s purchase of your home, it’s covered by the warranty. Both of these minimize legal issues you may encounter down the road.

Following these steps will help you sell your home, but it may not sell for top dollar. One of the biggest things we do as professional Realtors is help you get more money for your sale. Here’s a funny story: The founder of listed his home on his own site and related sites, but it went unsold for six months. After finding no luck through his own resources, he hired a Realtor and sold it for more than asking price. It just goes to show that a good Realtor can go a long way.

If you’re considering selling your home, let us demonstrate what we can do for you. We have a market-proven process that is guaranteed to get your home sold for more money—up to 18% more than the neighborhood average. Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like a consultation, have any questions, or need more information. We look forward to hearing from you.