If you’re considering putting your home on the market and moving forward with a new chapter in your life after it sells, you’re probably hoping to maximize the final profit from the sale. You may have heard that selling your house without a Realtor can leave you with thousands more dollars in your pocket after the deal is done. Although acting as your own agent isn’t for everyone, many sellers have enjoyed significant success by going this route. It definitely involves a little more work than leaving everything in the hands of a real estate agent, but sellers who are willing to put in the time and effort often find that it pays off. Following are six for sale by owner tips that everyone thinking of handling their own home sale should know about.
Price the Property Competitively
You can easily use the internet to research prices for comparable homes in your area to get an idea of what you should ask. One of the biggest mistakes those selling their own homes make is setting too high of a price for the property. This usually happens simply because the owner feels a large degree of attachment to the home and overestimates its market value as a result. Keep in mind that because you’ll be saving a substantial amount of cash by acting as your own agent, you can afford to go a bit lower than the asking prices for similar properties. However, it’s important not to go so low that you don’t have any room to negotiate. Most modern buyers expect some degree of negotiation when coming to an agreement on the final price.
Use the Internet as a Marketing Tool
Selling your own home involves much more than simply putting a sign up on the front lawn indicating that the property is for sale. The majority of today’s buyers turn to the internet to determine which properties they’re interested in seeing. A website showcasing your home is an excellent selling tool, and putting an ad on Craigslist directing potential buyers to the website is a sure way to generate some interest. Social media is another resource that you shouldn’t overlook. Most communities have local pages for the purpose of buying and selling various items, and some larger towns and cities even have pages specific to real estate. However, it’s important not rely solely on internet resources when selling a home. Go ahead and plant that sign on the front lawn, have brochures printed up, and put an old-fashioned ad in your local newspaper. It’s likely that your home will end up selling faster if it’s advertised in many different ways.
Learn How to Write a Good Ad
The strength and quality of the original ad is what compels prospective buyers to look further at any given property. Browsing listings on the sites of professional real estate agents is an excellent way to get a feel for what makes an effective ad. The main strategy is to determine what elements cause your home to stand out from others in the area and to highlight these features in a clear, concise manner in your ad.
Hold Open Houses as Often as Possible
Open houses are a great vehicle for getting your home noticed in a positive way by those who are seeking available properties. Post signs in your neighborhood advertising the event, put it on Craigslist, and post about it on your local social media page. Have light refreshments on hand to offer to those who attend as well as brochures for them to take when they leave. Although it goes without saying that your home should be as clean as a whistle when you’re hosting an open house, preparations shouldn’t stop there. It’s also important to limit distractions when showing your home. If you’ve got active children in your household, this may be a good time to schedule a day with a grandparent or other relative. Domestic pets that are boisterous and noisy may be better off left with an understanding neighbor or even at a boarding facility for the during of the open house. After all, prospective buyers may not care for being barked at no matter how adorable you think your pet is.
Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource Specific Tasks
Just because you’ll be selling your house without a Realtor doesn’t mean that you’ll have to do everything yourself. In fact, it makes sense to outsource tasks that fall outside of your skill set or cut too deeply into your available time. If you struggle with writing, for instance, consider paying a professional freelancer to create an appealing ad designed to capture the attention of prospective buyers. If being around people is hard for you or if you find yourself short on time, you should think about using a professional home staging service to prepare your home for open houses and to act as a host while you spend the day elsewhere doing something you enjoy. Selling a house without a Realtor can be overwhelming, but outsourcing certain aspects on an as-needed basis helps relieve some of the pressure as well as creates a more polished and professional sales package. Many of those who’ve successfully sold their homes themselves say that one of the most useful for sale by owner tips they received was to use the services of a professional photographer.
Have the Final Contract Reviewed By a Professional
Even if you feel you’ve got everything else handled, this is the one area where you should definitely think about enlisting the assistance of an expert. Hiring a local real estate attorney to review the contract to ensure that it’s in compliance with all applicable laws may save you from experiencing significant problems somewhere down the line. Many U.S. states actually require that a real estate attorney be involved in finalizing transactions, and some even mandate that the attorney be present during closing. Other states leave it up to the buyer and seller to decide whether an attorney is necessary. This can also vary by county and municipal jurisdiction within individual states, so make sure you’re aware of all local and state laws if you decide to proceed with closing without an attorney. Perhaps the most important thing to bring to the table when selling your home on your own is a resilient sense of humor combined with an abundance of patience. A well-developed sense of adventure is also a plus in this endeavor. You’ll meet new people and learn new things on nearly a daily basis until the time comes to ad your last signature to the sales contract and hand the keys to the new owner.
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