How Do You Sell Your House Privately In MN

How to Sell Your House Privately If Someone Wants to Buy in Minnesota

How Do You Sell Your House Privately In MN

Imagine this: you’re going about your day and suddenly there’s a knock at the door. Not a neighbor or a package delivery, but someone who wants to buy your house. This scenario is not as uncommon as you think, especially in great neighborhoods across Minnesota. If this happens to you, you’re probably wondering what to do. This article will walk you through the process of selling by owner, the pros and cons, and alternatives that might be better for you.

Someone Wants to Buy Your House Privately

When someone approaches you about buying your house privately, they’re offering a direct sale without real estate agents or listing the property on the open market. This can be attractive to buyers for many reasons but you need to approach the situation with a clear head and know all your options.

A private sale usually means an FSBO seller, which is someone who is selling their home without a real estate agent. Private buyers might be investors looking to flip or rent properties or they might just love your house and want to make it their home. Regardless of their motivation, remember you’re in control. You can choose to accept their offer or politely decline.

If you’re interested in selling privately, take a moment to think about your situation. Are you already thinking of selling? Is now the right time for you and your family? These are important questions to ask before you start negotiating with a private buyer. Also consider the financial implications and negotiation responsibilities including offering a competitive commission to a buyer’s agent even in a private sale.

Definition of a Private Buyer

A private buyer is an individual or company that approaches a homeowner directly to buy their property without going through traditional real estate channels. They want to streamline the buying process and potentially save money by avoiding real estate agent commissions.

Knowing the fair market value of your home is key when dealing with private buyers. The fair market value is the market price at which a home will sell, which can be calculated using real estate comps in the neighborhood.

But not all private buyers are created equal. Some are legit investors or homebuyers with real intentions and others are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. That’s why you need to approach private offers with caution and do your due diligence before you proceed.

Private buyers come in many forms:

  1. Individual homebuyers: People looking for their next home and happen to love yours.
  2. Real estate investors: Professional or semi-professional buyers who buy properties to flip or rent.
  3. “We Buy Houses” companies: Companies that buy homes quickly, often for cash.
  4. Developers: In some cases, developers will approach homeowners in areas they want to develop.

Pros and Cons of Selling Your House Privately

Selling your house privately has its advantages and disadvantages for home sellers. Let’s look at some of them:


  1. No real estate agent commissions: By selling privately you can avoid paying the 5-6% commission to real estate agents, on a $300,000 home that’s $15,000 to $18,000. But consider offering a competitive buyer’s agent commission to attract more buyers and not limit your pool of potential buyers.
  2. Faster sale process: Private sales can be done much quicker than traditional listings. Without open houses, multiple showings and back and forth negotiations with multiple buyers you could close the deal in weeks not months.
  3. Less prep work: Private buyers, especially investors, may be willing to buy the house as-is so you don’t need to do extensive repairs or staging. This can save you time and money on pre-sale improvements.
  4. More control: You can negotiate directly with the buyer without intermediaries. This direct communication can result in a more personalized deal that suits both parties.
  5. Privacy: A private sale means your home won’t be listed publicly. This can be attractive if you value your privacy or don’t want neighbors and acquaintances to know you’re selling.


  1. Lower sale price: Without competition from other buyers you may not get the best price for your home. The open market often drives up prices, especially in a seller’s market.
  2. Limited exposure: Your home won’t be marketed to a wide audience so you might miss out on better offers. The more people who see your home the higher the chances of getting multiple offers and driving up the price.
  3. No professional guidance: Without a real estate agent you’ll have to handle everything yourself. This includes pricing, negotiation, paperwork, and legal requirements which can be overwhelming for many homeowners. Hiring real estate attorneys is crucial to handle legal paperwork ensure compliance with local laws, and provide the necessary professional guidance.
  4. Higher risk of scams: Some private buyers will try to take advantage of homeowners who are not familiar with the selling process. Without a professional to vet buyers, you’ll have to be extra careful.
  5. Emotional involvement: Selling a home is an emotional process. Without a neutral third party to mediate you might find it hard to negotiate objectively.

Do’s and Don’ts When Selling Your House Privately

If you decide to go private, remember:


  1. Research the Market: Know the current market conditions in your area. Look at comparable homes and their prices to set a realistic price for your home.
  2. Prep your Home: Do necessary repairs and improvements to make your home more attractive. Clean, declutter and stage your home to attract buyers.
  3. Hire Real Estate Attorneys: It’s important to hire real estate attorneys to protect your interests and ensure all legal requirements are met during the selling process. They can facilitate closing, ensure legal paperwork is done correctly and draw up sales contracts to comply with local laws.


  1. Overprice your Home: Setting a price too high can scare off buyers and prolong the selling process.
  2. Ignore Marketing: Use multiple marketing channels to reach a wider audience. High quality photos and detailed descriptions can make your listing stand out.
  3. Dismiss Offers: Respond to all offers promptly and professionally. Even if an offer is lower than expected, consider negotiating to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Can I Sell My House Privately After Listing With a Real Estate Agent?

If someone approaches you to buy your home after you’ve listed with a realtor you need to be careful. Most listing agreements have an exclusivity clause that gives the listing agent the right to earn a commission if the home sells during the contract period regardless of who finds the buyer. Remember only real estate agents have access to the tools and can list homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is crucial to get your home online and in front of buyers.

Before you consider a private offer, review your listing agreement and talk to your agent. You may need to wait until your contract expires or negotiate out of your exclusive agency listing agreement. Not doing so could lead to legal issues and double commission payments.

In some cases your agent may be willing to reduce their commission for a private sale especially if they haven’t invested much time or resources into marketing your property yet. Always talk to your agent about your options.

Why Do People Sell a House Privately

There are several reasons why homeowners sell privately:

  1. Financial Distress: Some homeowners facing foreclosure or other financial issues might opt for a quick private sale to avoid further complications. In these cases, the speed of the transaction takes precedence over getting the highest price.
  2. Inheritance: People who inherit properties they don’t want to keep might prefer a private sale. This is especially true if the inherited property is in another state or needs extensive repairs.
  3. Relocation: Those who need to move quickly for work or personal reasons might find a private sale more convenient. This is true for those who can’t afford to carry two mortgages or don’t want to manage a property from afar.
  4. Divorce: Couples going through a divorce might choose a private sale to split assets faster. In these emotional situations a fast, straightforward sale can help both parties move on quicker.
  5. Avoid repairs: Homeowners with properties that need significant repairs might prefer to sell to investors who buy homes as-is. This saves time and money on renovations that the homeowner can’t afford or manage.
  6. Privacy: Some sellers, especially high profile individuals or those in sensitive situations might prefer to keep their sales private to avoid public attention.
  7. Simplicity: For some the idea of a simple, direct transaction is appealing. Avoiding open houses, multiple showings, and drawn-out negotiations is a big plus.

Alternatives to Selling a House Privately But Without a Realtor

If you’re looking to sell your house without a realtor in Minneapolis or how to sell a house fast in but not sure about a private sale there are other options to consider:

  1. For Sale By Owner (FSBO): This allows you to sell your house on your own terms but still market it to a wider audience. You’ll be responsible for pricing, marketing, showing the home, and negotiating with buyers. While this can save you realtor commissions it requires a big time investment and market knowledge. There are many owner websites that can help you list your property and reach potential buyers, one of the best FSBO sites in America.
  2. Flat-fee MLS listing: You can pay a flat fee to list your house on the Multiple Listing Service, get exposure to potential buyers without paying full realtor commissions. Flat-fee MLS companies offer this service, you can post your listings on the local MLS for a low upfront fee in Minnesota. This gives you the best of both worlds – the exposure of a traditional listing with the cost savings of selling on your own.
  3. Cash home buyers: Companies like Mill City Home Buyers buy houses quickly and as-is. This is a good option if you want to sell your house fast in St. Paul, Eagan, Apple Valley or Maple Grove without the hassle of repairs or long negotiations.

Benefits of selling to Mill City Home Buyers:

  • Quick close: They can close in as little as a week if you need to sell fast due to financial distress, relocation or other time-sensitive situations.
  • No realtor commissions: You won’t pay realtor fees, which can save you thousands of dollars.
  • As-is purchases: No need to spend time and money on repairs or renovations. Cash buyers buy homes as-is, so you don’t have to worry about pre-sale improvements.
  • Simplified process: Cash buyers handle most of the paperwork, so the process is smoother. If you’re intimidated by the traditional real estate process this can be a big plus.
  • Certainty: With a cash buyer you don’t have to worry about deals falling through due to financing. Once you agree on a price you can be sure the sale will go through.

Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Even if you’re going to sell privately there are still things you can do to increase your home’s value. Getting your home ready to sell involves several key strategies that can make a big difference in how buyers see your property.

  1. Declutter and deep clean: A clean and organized home is more appealing to buyers and can help you negotiate a better price. Remove excess items and personal belongings and give every room a deep clean. Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas influence buyer’s decisions.
  2. Make minor repairs: Fix leaky faucets, patch holes in walls, and replace burnt-out light bulbs. These small fixes can make a big impact. Walk through your home with a critical eye and note any minor issues that might detract from its appeal.
  3. Curb appeal: First impressions matter. Mow the lawn, trim the bushes, and consider adding some colorful plants to make your home more inviting from the outside. A fresh coat of paint on the front door or new house numbers can also enhance your home’s exterior.
  4. Neutralize and depersonalize: If you have bold paint colors or lots of personal items on display consider neutralizing the space. This helps buyers envision themselves in the home. Use neutral paint colors and remove family photos or highly personal decor.
  5. Address major issues: If your home has big problems (like a leaky roof or outdated electrical system) get estimates for repairs. Even if you don’t do the work yourself, having this information can be helpful in negotiations. Being upfront about these issues can also build trust with buyers.

By doing these things you’re not just getting your house ready to sell, you’re creating an environment where buyers can see the value and potential of your home.

But selling to cash home buyers like Mill City Home Buyers can help you avoid the time and expense of getting a house ready to sell. They buy homes as-is so you don’t have to worry about repairs, deep cleaning or staging your home. This can be a big plus if you need to sell fast or if your home needs big repairs you can’t afford or don’t have time to do.

Cash home buyers know not every homeowner has the resources or desire to get their home ready for a traditional sale. They’re often willing to look past cosmetic issues and even major repairs and focus on the underlying value of the property. This can save you time, effort, and money which is a big plus for many sellers especially those in unique or tough situations.

While getting your home ready to sell can increase its value, consider whether the time and money investment will pay off. For some homeowners, the convenience and speed of selling to a cash buyer outweigh the benefits of a fully prepared home sale. As with any big decision, it’s important to weigh your options and choose the best path for you.

What To Do if Someone Wants to Buy Your House Privately in Minnesota


When someone wants to buy your house privately in Minnesota you need to weigh your options. Private sales can offer faster transactions and no realtor commissions but they also come with risks and downsides.

Not sure about selling privately or through traditional real estate broker methods? Consider alternatives like cash home buyers. Companies like Mill City Home Buyers offer a middle ground, the benefits of selling a house for cash privately with the security and expertise of professional home buyers. 

Remember the most important thing is to make an informed decision that’s right for you. Whether you sell privately, work with a realtor or use a cash home buyer make sure you know the process and seek professional advice when needed.

Selling a home is a big decision and there’s no one way to do it. By knowing your options and doing your homework you can navigate the home selling process with ease and get the best result for your situation.


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