How to Sell Your Home For Sale By Owner – [Truth from an Agent]
Understand the Pros and Cons of FSBO
Pros – Save on Commission, Control over listing and schedule
Cons- Lower Sales Price; On Average an agent can expect to get 11% more in sales price then a For Sale By Owner, 2nd job, Probably have to work with an agent anyway
1. Set an Appealing Home Price
You cannot price a property too low; in any market. Most sellers make the mistake of shooting for the stars and hoping to land on the moon. If you over price your home you limit the potential buyers who have eyes on your property. In todays market it is important to know the stats that will guide you on list price. Use recently sold homes (last 1-3 months) in the immediate area; generate about 10 that are similar in style, bedrooms, bathrooms and sq footage.
2. Prepare your house for sale
Giving your house some TLC before listing is an important step, whether you’re going the for-sale-by-owner route or selling with an agent. Simply put, you’ll want your house to look perfect before listing so you can get as much money as possible out of it.
Use this simple checklist:
Clean thoroughly: Give your home a deep cleaning. Shampoo carpets, scrub tile, wash the windows, and make every nook and cranny shine.
Declutter: Put personal items like family photos and keepsakes in storage, remove knickknacks, and pare down on personal belongings to make your home’s storage space look ample — don’t just shove everything in a closet!
Stage: Either hire a professional stager or use some of your own furniture to make every space look roomy, organized and nicely decorated. You might also want to consider a fresh coat of neutral paint on the interior.
Make a plan for pets and their belongings: A buyer on a tour shouldn’t be able to tell that a pet lives in your home. Vacuum regularly, remove pet waste, tuck away your pet’s belongings before a showing, and arrange for your pet to be elsewhere during all showings.
Add light: Make sure your home has plenty of light in every room. Open curtains and blinds to let in natural light, replace bulbs, add lamps where necessary, and use mirrors to bounce light.
Do necessary repairs: There’s no need to overhaul your home completely, but it’s important to fix small cosmetic issues that buyers will notice during a tour and also big, glaring issues that are sure to cause problems during a home inspection.
Don’t forget curb appeal: Your home’s exterior will be the first thing a buyer sees upon arriving at the home for a tour. Clean up the landscaping, plant fresh flowers and repaint the front door.
Hide your valuables: Make sure valuables, money, prescription medications and paperwork with personal information are safely locked away.
3. Invest in Marketing in Advertisement
– One of the benefits of using an agent is you do not have to pay for a lot of the up front costs yourself. (Obviously you pay the broker so in a way you do). This means adding it to the MLS, Getting professional Photos Done, Syndicating it to social media sites as well as sites like facebook marketplace and craigslist.
4. Act like a real estate professional
Some buyers are hesitant to work with an owner selling their home because they assume the process will be slowed down by inexperience. And some buyers’ agents may try to steer their buyers away from a FSBO, dreading that they’ll end up having to coach the seller through the process and do twice the work for any commission, which they will likely have to negotiate. So, it’s up to you to prove buyers and their agents wrong with your professionalism and know-how.
Answer calls, no matter the time; Log every potential buyers info!
Good agents work in the evenings and on weekends, because that’s when buyers are shopping.
Be flexible with showings
Buyers and their agents may request showings without much prior notice. Try to be as accommodating as possible — the more people that tour your home, the more likely you are to get a buyer. If juggling showing schedules becomes a burden, consider using a lockbox.
Take feedback seriously
Make sure you listen to what buyers and agents are saying about the home’s listing price, condition, curb appeal, and most (and least) desirable features.
Don’t take criticism personally
It can be hard to hear criticism from buyers about the home you live in and care for. But it’s important to avoid taking negative comments personally. You love your home, but it may not be everyone’s taste, and that’s OK.
Don’t let your house sit on the market
If your home has been listed for a few weeks and you don’t get an offer, consider lowering the price or taking another action that will attract buyers — you’ll be in good company. According to the Zillow Group Report, 4 out of 5 sellers (83 percent) have to make at least one concession or allowance, with nearly one-third (29 percent) of sellers sealing the deal by lowering the sales price of the home.
Hold an open house
Open houses can be a great way to get many potential buyers to see the home at one time. Remember to advertise it ahead of time, put out plenty of signs, tidy up beforehand and offer refreshments.
5. Ensure you have qualified buyers
While you’re probably eager to get potential buyers through the door, don’t compromise your safety. Whether at a private showing or an open house, take down names and contact info for both buyers and their agents, including asking for ID. Having a record of everyone who has toured the house can not only help you ensure only serious buyers are touring but also prevent valuables from being stolen (or make them easier to recover).
Let potential buyers know that all offers must be submitted with a mortgage pre-approval letter (if they’ll be financing) or proof of funds (if they’ll be paying cash). Know that a pre-approval letter is a more solid reflection of the buyer’s ability to purchase the home than a pre-qualification letter.
7. Hire a real estate attorney
Real estate transactions are famous for their many pages of paperwork, and it’s important to know what you’re signing. If you’re selling FSBO, it’s a good idea to hire a real estate attorney to review all documents, especially disclosure statements.
In fact, in 21 states and the District of Columbia, you’re required to use a real estate attorney for all transactions, including for sale by owner. Those states include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.