In today’s property market, the idea of selling your house without an agent, popularly referred to as For Sale by Owner (FSBO), is becoming more of a reality. Thanks to new economic realities and modern communication tools, real estate agents are no longer a given part of the traditional home selling process. Selling your own house can be challenging but equally appealing and potentially rewarding. You may want to bear a few factors in mind should you decide to go it alone.
Price It Right
Be sure to price your home right for the market. Research home prices and recent sales in your area. Invest some time to visit open houses around your home to get a general idea of asking prices. It’s easy to be subjective, especially if you have an emotional attachment to the house. If you can, consider having the home professionally appraised.
Timing is also crucial. Find out the best times to put your home on the market and adopt different approaches to seasonal sales. The way you sell during winter is very different than selling in spring or summer.
Take Advantage of Available Resources
In the past, finding a home buyer in San Antonio meant you had to take out ads in the real estate circulars and dailies, put a For Sale sign on your lawn, spread the word to everyone you know, and then hope for the best. Of course, you still have to market your property but circumstances have changed and sellers are at a marketing advantage. There’s an influx of real estate services that cater to people who want to sell property on their own.
For instance, you can make use of online services that will help you obtain a flat-fee MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listing.
When writing ad copy, know your property’s selling points and make them known. Include the basics but also mention a few details that make your home special. Look at other online listings and you’ll quickly get the hang of the sort of details to include in your copy.
Get the House Ready for Showings
Make sure your home is attractive to potential buyers. Everything should be in working order. The house should be clean, neat and free of clutter. Budget for a fresh coat of paint and clean carpets. Deep clean the entire house, replace broken tiles, clean the gutters and fix leaky faucets. Consider spending money on improvements but don’t spend too much money that will never be recouped.
Know the Rules
Research state laws and legal requirements regarding disclosures and other relevant details. Also, keep up with rules governing offer-and-acceptance and contract law. Get acquainted with all the nitty gritty and read about the procedures so that you’re in full compliance. You don’t want to risk a lawsuit for an issue such as failing to disclose some defect on your property.
Know About Financing
Once you have a house buyer, find out if they’re pre-approved for a home loan. When it comes to finances, anything can happen so brace yourself for the possibility of things falling through at the last minute. You should get an earnest deposit from the buyer to show their commitment to purchasing your property.
Hire an Attorney
Navigating legal waters on your own can be stretch. Hire a lawyer you trust to draw up a contract and represent you at closing. The lawyer will also take care of all the paperwork and fine print. Seek recommendations from colleagues, friends or family and be aware of any tax implications. Your attorney will also be able to advise you on issues such as capital-gains taxes.
Beware that buyers may try to give lower offers because they know you’re saving on sales commission. Work on your negotiation skills and don’t let emotions burn you during the process. If the price is right, and you really need to sell your home, you should be able to attract plenty of buyers. Moreover, buyers’ agents may be reluctant to work with people needs to sell their houses on their own but don’t let them ruffle your feathers. Target them with your marketing and offer additional compensation to lure them to show your home.
Take advantage of other’s experience. If you know someone, say a relative or friend who works or has worked in real estate, ask them for a few tips. Leverage their wealth of knowledge.
Invest in Professional Photography and Videography
Do some searching and find websites where you can post your home for sale online. The modern-day buyer is looking online for property to buy and a large part of your online marketing efforts will have to do with the quality of photographs and videos of your property. Grab your camera or better yet hire a professional photographer to shoot a virtual tour of your house. Recent studies show that homes with professional photographs sell for more than those without, so it’s worth the investment.
Never underestimate the power of staging your home. Gone are the days of selling homes with dirty dishes, unmade beds and litter scattered all over the house. Today’s homes must resemble a model home, they must be spotless. You want any potential buyer to envision themselves living in your house. If you can afford it, hire home stagers to help you get your home in tip-top condition. When staging is beyond your budget, at least get rid of excess furniture and ensure your home has sufficient space and lighting.
If you’ll be showing your home to potential buyers, be ready to do so at a moment’s notice. Consider freeing up your schedule so you don’t miss the opportunity to make a sale. Be ready to answer questions and get feedback from potential buyers. Alternatively, you can get an agent who will charge a fee for showing the house.
The secret behind how to sell house by owner is in putting sufficient time and effort into the whole process. If you play your cards right, you can save plenty of money that would otherwise have gone to an agent’s commission.