Even in today’s high-tech world, most home sellers use a real estate agent. For Sale by Owner (FSBO) sellers generally do so to save money. But selling a home without a real estate agent presents its own set of challenges.
Here are some tips to help you, should you consider selling your home on your own.
Pricing your house right is crucial – too high and nobody may want to buy; too low, and you are likely to incur a loss. You need to check the market situation: compare prices of houses in the neighborhood similar to yours in features and condition, check the prices of houses sold recently and so on. Work out the terms of potential sales as well; work out what your selling costs (advertisements, documentation etc.) will come to, and set your price so that you can take away a reasonable amount of the sale. For many people, would be prudent to consider getting the pre-listing appraisal done to assist in properly pricing their home and to be certain of the gross living area of the property.
Preparing your House
First impressions are always critical; it’s very important that your potential buyer is impressed when they see your home for the first time. If something needs fixing, don’t ignore it, because your prospective buyers won’t! Make sure your home and yard are clean and welcoming; your home should stand out favorably from similar houses for sale.
You need to be prepared with the legal aspects, especially documentation. Prepare all these and have them ready so that prospective buyers don’t have to waste time. These documents could include but may not be limited to:
- Home Inspection Order Forms
- Disclosure by Seller
- Purchaser’s Advisory
- Contract of Purchase
- Preliminary Title Report
- Termite Inspection Report
- Lead-based Paint Disclosures
- Mortgage Payoff (if applicable)
- Loan Application Forms
- HOA Disclosures & Restrictions
- Property Profile
- Buyer’s Cost Sheet
- Home Warranty Order Forms
- Personal Property Exclusion List
- Property Survey (if applicable)
Market Your Home Effectively
In addition to posting a sign in your yard and online, you need to find ways to market your home: tell friends, family and colleagues about it; place ads in the newspaper; post it on your social media accounts, and in groups you are part of. Make sure either you or a family member or employee always answers the phone and checks e-mails and messages; it’s vital that you respond to queries quickly. Set up a convenient time to give them a tour of your house and premises, and keep to it.
Top agents in your market will often see if the criteria of their buyers match those of your home.
Remain Objective during the Tour
Don’t allow your sentiments to your home affect your sale; be objective and matter of fact; allow the prospects to explore and examine the house, and just be in the background as a guide when they need. If the prospect says something negative, try to counter the view by politely talking about the positive aspects of the house.
Pre-Qualify Prospective Buyers
When prospects contact you, research them a little – income, liabilities, credit scores and so on – and check if they can afford to buy your home, and also if they are really interested, or are just going to waste your time. Check if they want to move in immediately, and so on.
There are a lot of aspects to selling a house – inspections, date of transferring possession, price, terms of payment, concerns and objections the buyer may have and so on. Be well aware of the terms and the contract you have drawn up so that you can provide detailed explanations to the buyer, as well as make the necessary changes. You may want to have the contract looked at by a real estate attorney.
The trick is to be adequately prepared, but bear in mind that it may not happen overnight. Regardless of how prepared you are, the actual sale may still take its own sweet time.