Are you looking to cut out the middle man and sell your own home?
It’s attractive not having to pay expensive realtor fees. And as the homeowner, no one can sell what your home has to offer to others better than you can. But it isn’t as simple as it looks and you might be wondering how to go about it.
Read on for our guide on how to sell your own home.
Step 1: Determine Your Home’s Fair Market Value
In some cases, a direct sale of your home can benefit you more than listing it – compare here. This first step is crucial – if you price too low you’ll be missing out on the cash your home is worth. If you price too high, no one will want to buy it.
To determine your property’s fair market value, use these 3 methods:
Use Online Valuation Sites
There are many you can choose from. A few you can check out are Zillow.com and Trulia. These sites will give you quick, free valuations of your home. But remember they’re estimates and might be thousands of dollars off the real mark.
Use a Realtor for a Competitive Market Analysis
This is where the realtor performs a detailed analysis of your home. It’s based on other similar sales in your area.
Most realtors offer this for free and the results are pretty accurate and reliable. Bear in mind you’ll also get a sales pitch to let them sell your home for you. And they might estimate higher to try to coax you to use them.
Use a Licensed Appraiser
To get the most accurate estimate, use a licensed appraiser. This appraisal will also be useful when it comes to negotiating with your buyers later on. But bear in mind this service isn’t free and can cost between $300-$500.
Step 2: Get Your Home Ready For Sale
Take a walk through your home and try to look at it from the view of a buyer. When buyers look at your home, they will be looking for the flaws. Think of things like does your home have a good general appearance? Attractive curb appeal? Do the rooms flow well?
It’s hard as it’s your home, so if you can’t do it get an outsider’s opinion instead. And don’t get offended when they point the issues out. Here are some general improvements to consider:
- Fix minor repairs like leaky faucets and loose door handles
- Touch-up or repaint tired paintwork and stick to neutral colors
- Declutter and depersonalize so buyers can visualize themselves in your home
- Make sure your home is clean, tidy and smelling fresh
Step 3: Market Your Home
There is no one way to go about this – it’ll depend on what suits you so here are some suggestions.
Have a Good Yard Sign
Get a quality ‘For Sale’ sign and include important details like price and contact details. Also, list the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and a few notable features.
But don’t overwhelm the sign with too much information. It should be informative but draw in the potential buyer to find out more.
Make Flyers or Brochures
Have a supply of these at the ready to hand out when people come to see your home. Keep some on you so you can hand them out to any potential viewers you might meet.
Include attractive graphics like a few well-staged pictures of your home – inside and out. Make sure to include:
- Address and contact details
- Number of rooms
- Local amenities
- Transport and school information
It doesn’t hurt to include a creative, unique sales pitch either to get people’s attention.
Use online home selling sites to market your home. Zillow.com also allows you to do this. It even has a subpage for homes for sale by the owner. Another good site to use is HomeFinder.com. Facebook and Craigslist can also be useful tools to advertise online.
Hold an Open House
An open house is where you open your home to the public. Weekends are the best days to hold them and try to pick a day where the weather forecast is good.
Advertise in local papers and online a week before the hosting date. Also, put up signs in your yard and on all major local roads to get people’s attention.
Step 4: Negotiate the Sale
When you get an interested party, you’ll have to do the negotiating yourself. Before going into it, understand it’s a give and take situation.
The buyer will most often start with an offer below your asking price. They might even include conditions like you paying any closing costs.
If you don’t find the first offer acceptable you’ll need to negotiate. The goal is as you come down on price, the buyer’s offer will go up. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you how low you go.
First negotiations are usually going to be verbal. But when you reach an agreement, you should get the buyer to submit a written offer. It’s a good idea to search for and print out some copies of a real estate contract for this purpose.
Step 5: Handle the Closing
This is the legal part of the sale. You’ll need a title agent or closing attorney to handle this process. Once you settle on who you’ll be using, they will go through the procedure with you.
Keep in contact with the buyers while this is going on. If any issues arise, good communication can help get you through it.
The most likely obstacle usually is the buyer’s mortgage. Most mortgage offers have conditions that buyers must meet between approval and closing. If they don’t meet them, then the lender can withdraw approval.
It’s Easy When You Know How to Sell Your Own Home
So there you have it! Now you know how to sell your own home.
You have to bear in mind a lot of the leg work is going to be down to you. Get a proper valuation and make sure you market your home well. As the owner, you’re in the best position to do that.
It’s important to keep an impartial head on your shoulders though and think like a buyer. Communication is also key and goes a long way towards securing that sale.
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