Guide to 'For Sale by Owner'

Posted by Riley Rebitt on Friday, November 9th, 2018 at 12:39pm.

Tips & Tricks - Selling Your Own Home

1. Research the MLS. Do your research and find as many websites that allow you to post your home for sale online. Websites typically charge a rate to promote your home, but will reach a larger group of potential buyers upon doing so. You want to put your marketed home in front of as many potential buyers as possible. End of story.

2. Check out the competition. Get a pulse on your local real estate market. You want to know exactly where your home stands in regards to the competition. How much are homes selling for in your area? How do these homes compare to yours? How long were they on the market? A standard method is to place yourself in the buyers shoes when comparing homes & their features. You will be compared directly to the homes that have sold in your area, so prepare for that upon listing.

3. Choose your list price. Real estate agents often run a comparative market analysis when determining a home’s list price. I personally offer this service for free, and will be happy to provide one for you. Choosing the correct list price is absolutely essential. Many sellers who choose to sell their homes without the help of a licensed REALTOR often price their properties extremely high - and is often the primary reason why their homes wont sell. When in doubt, start with a lower asking price. You're already saving the commission - keep that in mind. Overpricing can cause it to sit on the market and ultimately force you to sell for less than if you had priced it right initially.

4. Prepare & stage. Prepare your home for market. Clean up the exterior of your home - possibly hire a landscaper to do a basic cleanup. Deep clean every surface inside and out. Replace what is broken. Think about hiring a professional cleaning service right before the listing photos are taken. Remove clutter, and even pack up unnecessary belongings as you will likely be moving soon anyways (if you follow this guide).

5. Take listing photos. Hire a professional to take your listing photos. Yes, a professional. I understand the iPhone camera is great, but trust me. Professional photos can cost up to $500 but will astronomically improve your chances of selling your home (at the desired price) if done correcly. A study found homes with professional photos sold for $3,400–$11,200 more than homes without professional photos. With taking this tip alone, it will separate you from all of the other homes being sold privately and therefore increase your chances of a successful sale.

6. List it on the MLS. List your home with an MLS service. I understand this goes against selling your home privately, but this is such an essential tool to reach the most people possible. Listing on the MLS with an agent will help you market your home in front of the most people possible - hands down. With that being said, I understand this goes against selling your home privately. Understand that this is, in most cases, the most logical and profit maximizing strategy when selling your home.

7. Be available. Get ready to answer questions and show your home to potential buyers at a moment’s notice. Consider taking time off work so you don’t miss the opportunity to make a sale. Buyers typically want to see the property all throughout the day, so you will need to make yourself available. You could have 10 showings a day, and you need to be prepared to show your property to each individual potential buyer. If you don't make yourself available buyers will just move on to the next house and purchase it.

8. Hire an attorney. Real estate agents take care of all of the contracts, paperwork, and fine print of a home sale transaction. Without the assistance of an agent, you should find a real estate attorney to mind the details of your home sale. Your attorney will work up a purchase and sale agreement, help negotiate the terms of the contract, and review related paperwork and loan agreements.

9. Wait for the right offer...Skilled listing agents find highly qualified buyers to sell your home for the most money. Selling your home without an agent means you’ll need to do the extra work to find the right buyer. If your home is priced right, an offer will typically come through in 30–45 days ...Or lower the price. If you don’t receive any offers, you’ll need to lower your asking price. Keep in mind that the longer your home sits on the market, the more you may end up lowering the price. Avoid price drops altogether and choose the right list price from the beginning.

10. Close the sale. Safeguard yourself from costly consequences and ask your attorney to review your purchase and sale agreement with a fine-tooth comb. Then hire a title company to take care of the closing process. If any liens come up in your title report, work with your title agent or attorney to resolve them and successfully close the sale.

Riley Rebitt

The Best Way To Buy and Sell Real Estate

I am dedicated to putting my experience and local knowledge to work for you in all steps of your real estate transaction, from start to finish. Find out why Riley Rebitt is one of the most respected agents for buying and selling in Victoria.
I deliver the very best in Victoria real estate, because you deserve no less.

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