As a realtor telling people how to sell their home without a realtor may be counterintuitive but if I have a buyer who is interested in your house, I want a partner to sit across the table who is up to the job.
My listing commissions is 6% of the home’s sale price, so I understand how tempting it is to hang out a “For Sale by Owner” sign and save the commission. After all, FSBO would put an additional $16,800 in your pocket if you sell your house for $280,900, the recent median single-family home sale price.
But selling your own home is hard work. It requires time, energy, market knowledge, and some up-front money. FYI, I budget $2-4,000 on each home I list. National statistics indicate that only 9 percent of today’s sellers attempt to do the job without an agent, down from 12 percent in 2006. If you plan to join that minority, use these tips for greater success.
1. Be sure you’re up for the job.
You must have plenty of time on your hands to show your home, be able to negotiate, and able to market your home.
2. Right Pricing
You can use online services like Zillow and others but be cautions, they haven’t walked through your home. Check newspaper ads and real estate blogs for a read on the market, and spend several weekends going to open houses near you, and track their final selling prices.
3. Declutter and clean up.
Family photos with the dogs and cats should be put away, fix broken items, clean all surfaces, and a coat of fresh neutral-colored paint on the walls. You can also use a professional stager but be ready to budget $250-500.
4. Use online tools to advertise.
There is a lot of Sale by Owner services for FSBO’s. They offer services for advertising in magazines and websites, and providing forms and merchandise like weatherproof boxes to present fliers. Budget $100-300. Realflyer helps you create nice looking brochures starting at $.32 each. Owners.com will list your home free for 30 days for $300. For your $300, your listing will hit Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow. For an extra $100, you can get on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for realtors to see. You will also need to feature pictures and a video tour on your online marketing campaigns. Ensure you include driving directions, heating and cooling sources, and your school district. You can also publicize your house on Craigslist, Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter.
5. THE SIGN!!!!
A “For Sale” sign is one of the best ways to attract buyers. Placement is critical and should be as close to the road as possible, unobstructed and with an easy to read phone number. And when that phone rings, answer it 24/7. Average attention span of a buy is less than 1 minute.
6. The Showing
When people come to look at your home, get their contact information. Let the buyers lead the way through your home. Be sure to point out any special features that make your house different from the rest. Give them a copy of your sales brochure as they leave. Follow up with a call or e-mail thanking them for stopping by and if they have any additional questions. Safety, NEVER SHOW YOUR HOUSE ALONE.
7. Buyers need a pre-approval
A potential buyer with a mortgage commitment is further along in the borrowing process than one who has prequalified for a mortgage.Don’t be afraid to ask for this prior to letting someone in your house. A deal with a buyer holding a commitment is less likely to fall through.
8. Get a real estate attorney
Many states don’t require a lawyer for selling your home, but hiring one is crucial. That is where all the moving parts come together including executing contracts and setting a closing date. Budget $750-2000.
9. Be Aware of Scams
Seems like there is a new scam everyday. Check out this video courtesy of Teddy Smith and I wish you the best of luck!