What you need to Know About Selling Your Own Home
If you ask anyone who has ever tried to sell their home themselves they’ll tell you that from the moment the “For Sale by Owner” sign goes up, the phone begins to ring. Unfortunately, many of those calls will not be from prospective buyers, but rather from real estate agents looking to obtain your listing. Obviously, the idea of not having to pay a commission to a real estate agent is attractive to any home seller. But because of all the issues involved in the process, selling a home on one’s own can be challenging as many home sellers will attest to.
The key is to be properly prepared. If you are not, your home could remain on the market longer than you expect because you are not attracting and getting offers from qualified buyers. This can be a point where many homeowners become frustrated and consider giving up their dream of selling their home themselves. However, there are sellers who accomplish selling their own homes, very well. You can be one of them.
By understanding the elements involved as a For Sale By Owner, you can sell your home quickly and for the most profit. To help you prepare, here are 9 steps that you should take to increase your probability of success.
1) Price Your Home Right
Correctly setting your asking price is critical. Setting your price too high can be as costly as setting it too low.
Home prices are determined by fluctuations in the marketplace not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. In order to establish a realistic price for your home, objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important for you to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today’s market.
Carefully budget your selling costs and prepare a net proceeds sheet to calculate your best estimate of what you will take away from your home sale. Prospective buyers may also request this kind of analysis of buying costs.
2) Prepare Your Home For Sale.
First impression is crucial. Make sure your home makes a positive statement by carefully inspecting all details and viewing it through the objective eyes of a buyer. Don’t gloss over needed repairs and fix-ups, as your prospective buyers won’t. Your job is to ensure that your home stands out favorably from the competition.
3) Prepare Yourself With All Necessary Legal Documentation
Not surprisingly, there are many important legal contracts and documents which you must assemble, complete and understand. If you don’t know what you need to complete the sale while at the same time protecting yourself from possible future litigation, feel free to call us for a list.
4) Market Your Home Effectively
Beyond the sign you will put on your lawn, you should find effective ways to spread the word about your home. Local buyers can be reached through the newspaper, but this is only a small part of the market you are after. Be sure you include the many buyers who could already be working with a Realtor®. To locate them, target as many top agents as possible in your market to see if the criteria of their buyers matches that of your home’s. Because out-of-town buyers are also an important target, you should create a strategy to reach these people as well. Above all, you should be very service minded and make it easy for pre-qualified buyers to view your home. Ensure there is always someone available to answer the phone, pick up messages promptly, and be ready to give qualified prospects a tour of your home as soon as possible.
5) Remain Objective While Your Home Is Being Shown.
Keep emotion out of the sale of your home, and the best way to do this during a showing is to remain physically in the background. If a prospective buyer says something negative about your home, it is better to counter-balance this point of view by illustrating the positives rather than becoming defensive.
6) Pre-Qualify Your Prospects.
Don’t waste your time entertaining buyers who could never afford your home. Research their financial steadiness with respect to job security, salary, debts, liabilities and credit standing.
7) Negotiate Effectively & Knowledgeably
There will be many details to resolve before a sale can be considered final: price, terms inspections, possession date, buyer concerns and objections. Make sure you fully understand the contract you have drawn up so you can in turn explain details and ramifications to the buyer and make any amendments to the sale that are necessary.
The contract you use should be thoroughly examined by your real estate attorney if you don’t have us helping you with this. While this is going on, manage the buyer’s interest in your home so that it doesn’t wane during negotiations.
8 ) Know Your Buyer
In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. And the better you know your buyer, the more easily you can maintain control.
As a rule, buyers want the best property they can afford for the least amount of money. But knowing specifically what motivates your buyer enables you to negotiate more effectively. Maybe your buyer needs to move quickly. Or the maximum amount he can spend is just a little below your asking price. Knowing this information puts you in a better bargaining position.
9) Don’t Move Out Before You Sell.
Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant—it looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. It could even cost you thousands. If you move, you’re also telling buyers that you have a new home and are probably motivated to sell fast. This can give the buyers an advantage at the negotiating table.
Whether to sell your home on your own or not is a very big decision. And if it all sounds like a lot of hard work, it is. However, this is to be expected when selling something of such great value. In the end it can be well worth the effort.
If you feel you might need some help before or during this process, you’re welcome to call us. We might be able to give you some ideas and resources to save you time and money.