Have you ever tried to sell your home yourself? If you ask someone who has tried this method they will tell you that from the moment they put up the “For Sale” sign the phone began to ring. However, many of those calls are NOT from prospective buyers but rather realtors looking to obtain the listing. Selling your home and saving on the commission may sound attractive, but because of all the issues involved in the process, selling a home on one’s own can be challenging and downright frustrating.
The following are several tips to help you in the decision of selling the home yourself or getting a professional such as myself.
Prepare your Home for Sale: Look at your home through the eyes of the buyer. Do you need a fresh coat of Paint, are your walls damaged and need repair? First Impressions are the key! Make sure that your home stands out above the competitions.
Gather Legal Documents: There are many important legal documents and contracts that you will have to prepare and understand here is a list of some of them. Seller Property Information Sheet, Agreement of Purchase and Sale, Mortgage Verification, Property Survey, Deposit Receipt, Exclusion List, Property Profile Fact Sheet, Loan Application, just to name a few.
The Price is Right: Correctly stating your price is critical. Setting the price to high can be as costly as setting it too low. In order to establish a realistic price for your home, compare the price, features and conditions of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. Make sure that you remove all emotional attachment and do not price according to what you feel the home is worth.
Marketing: Other than the sign on your lawn there are several ways to get the word out about your home. Local buyers can be reached through newspaper ads. However, this is a very small and expensive way to attract buyers. Many potential buyers are already working with Realtor. So in order to target these buyers contact as many top agents in your area to see if the criteria of their buyers matches your home’s. Also, there are many out-of-town buyers, so you will want to find a strategy to reach them as well. You will have to be very service minded and make it easy for pre-qualified buyers to view your home. Also, make sure that someone is always available to take calls, or messages and arrange for viewings of your home.
The Showings: Keep your emotions and your opinions to yourself. You are emotionally invested in the home and any negative comments could result in a defensive response for either party. You must remain positive and point out all the good features of your home without sounding to artificial. Keep it real!
Qualifying your Buyers: How do you know the person on the other end of the phone line can even afford your home? Don’t waste your time, research their financial status with respect to job security, salary, debts, liabilities and credit rating. Also, bear in mind that criminals use this opportunity to “case your joint”, only to break in at a later date.
Negotiations: It’s all in the details; price, survey, insurance, terms, inspections, closing date, buyers concerns and objections, inclusions and exclusions,etc. Make sure you fully understand the contract the you have drawn up so you can explain it to all the parties involved, from the buyer to the mortgage broker and then the real estate lawyer. Making sure that your buyer does not lose interest in the mean time. Your objective during the negotiations is to control the pace and set the duration. Try to determine the buyers motivation. Do they have enough money? How much do they like the place? Are they pressed for time? Do they need the property in a hurry? Knowing all if this will give you the advantage and the ability to get what you want for your home.
Why are you Selling?: Keeping this information to yourself is important in the negotiation process. Your reason for selling will affect your list price and also how much time and money you are willing to invest in getting your home to market. As someone who wants to sell without a real estate agent in an effort to save the commission, it is likely that money is one of your primary considerations. Whatever your reasons, it is very important to keep them to yourself so as not to place yourself at a disadvantage a the negotiation table. When asked simply say your housing needs have changed.
Will you really save in the end without a realtor? Consider that most buyers do use a real estate professional to assist them in the purchase of their home. This service costs the buyer nothing and they get the sound advise of a real estate agent. Be very careful with buyers, investors and speculators who seek out “For Sale By Owner” they think they are going to get a bargain. The low ball offers from these types of buyers will often net you much lower than had you dealt with a realtor in the first place. We know the market, we know what your house is worth, we know what you deserve for your home.