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HOW TO SELL YOUR OWN HOME

FOR SALE BY OWNER

Thinking about selling your home on your own? Not having to pay an agent’s fees sounds amazing!

Saving that extra money is great in theory but there are a couple of catch-22s on this to consider when contemplating the idea. One is the number of phone calls you will receive from agents trying to convince you to sell with them rather than pre-approved buyers that actually want to make an offer with you. Another is the lack of proper marketing a traditional homeowner is able to do on their home. 

3rd party statistics show that For Sale By Owner sold properties sell for substantially less than they do when using a GOOD real estate agent. 

Without PROFESSIONAL marketing and marketing strategies, it is difficult to get a lot of people to know about your home in the first place. If you don’t understand WHERE and HOW buyers search for homes (it’s not what you think) and you don’t have access to these places, it will be difficult or impossible to create the market demand that will cause your home to sell for as much as it possibly can.

Additionally, the contractual paperwork, legal liability, and stress of the home selling process might be enough to do you in. 

A good question to ask yourself before deciding which route to take is, “Will selling my home on my own mean I will have more money left over at the end or will I have taken all of this extra stress and liability on for the same amount or possibly lower?” 

In order to go about this, you must be properly prepared to begin. If you don’t do your research and start off on a good foot, your home could be on the market for longer than ideal, costing you tens of thousands of dollars. However, you can be one of the Sellers who accomplishes selling their home very well if you do these steps correctly.

Below are 10 industry tips that will help you achieve your dream of selling your home alone as well as helping you establish whether this path is right for you.

10 INDUSTRY TIPS FOR SELLING WITHOUT AN AGENT

1. UNDERSTAND THE PRICING STRATEGY.

As Jim says, “Price is a MARKETING STRATEGY, it’s not for informational purposes”.  This is one of the most important steps in this entire process. This is where a Seller can let ego come into play and cause their home to sell for less money than it should… or not sell at all.  If your home is not priced properly using a good strategy, it will sit on the market for far too long, turning buyers away from an “unwanted” home.

2. MAXIMIZE THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR HOME.

You never get a second chance for a first impression.  You wouldn’t choose to buy from a company if their products didn’t look good, right? This is the same with Buyers in this market. The appearance of your home is key! Do you ever see clutter in a model home?  Also, fix EVERYTHING that is visible.  Especially that burnt-out light bulb in the hallway you just haven’t gotten around to changing. Jim calls this “Spend $10 to save $10,000”.

3. PROPER DOCUMENTATION AND CONTRACTS

When it comes to selling your home, there are many important legal documents needed that protect yourself and your buyer in and after the close of escrow. Though this is only a partial checklist, consider drafting up the following:

  • Seller Disclosure
  • Mortgage Payoff
  • Deposit Receipt
  • Buyer’s Cost Sheet
  • Personal Property
  • Property Survey/Plot Plan
  • Purchase Contract
  • Loan Application
  • Property Profile Fact Sheet
  • Closing & Settlement
  • Exclusion List
  • Seller’s Statement of Representation

4. MARKETING YOUR HOME

Not only should you be putting that “For Sale” on your lawn, but you should also be finding other effective ways to put the word out. How are the Buyers finding homes right now?  If your home isn’t “there”, you have a problem.  Above all of this, you cannot be sales-minded. Market yourself to be service-oriented, always making sure someone is there to pick up the phone within 2 rings, be available to have Buyers tour your home whenever their schedule allows it, and answer all questions promptly before the Buyers find another home.

5. KEEP EMOTION OUT OF IT

You must remain objective during showings of your home. Allow yourself to be physically in the background during a showing and only interject when needed. Buyers will have lots of remarks about your home, some being negative, so you have to deflect their negative emotions into a positive experience.

6. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME

Pre-qualifying your buyers will save you time in the long run. Make sure these buyers have the financial status to afford your home. Research their job security, their salary, possible debts, liabilities, credit standing, and anything that might delay or even cancel the sale of your home.

7. LEARN TO NEGOTIATE

Price, terms, inspections, possession dates, concerns, and objections are all things most Sellers will have to negotiate with the Buyer on. Make sure you fully understand the contract you have drafted, and be able to explain details.  There is a tremendous amount of liability when it comes to selling a home – you can minimize this liability if you are knowledgeable and do things correctly.  The contract should also be thoroughly examined by an attorney specializing in real estate. While this is all happening, you also must maintain the Buyers interest in your home so negotiations don’t make them wary of the process.

8. GET TO KNOW YOUR BUYER

When negotiating, your main goal is to control and set the pace of the sale. Ask the buyer: what is your motivation to buy? Do they need to move homes quickly? Do they have enough money to cover closing costs? Knowing this can help you avoid sticky situations while in escrow.

9. RESEARCH ON HOMES IN YOUR AREA THAT DIDN’T SELL

Homes in a neighborhood that did not sell tend to have a common trend.  Find out why they didn’t sell, then don’t do that.

10. UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE SELLING AND STICK WITH IT

What is most important to you in the sale process of your home?  Price, Speed, Least Hassle?  The reason you decide to sell will affect everything in the process including what you price your home at, how long you want escrow to be, and how much money you invest in getting your home ready for sale. Ask yourself, what is more important: the money you make, how much time it takes, or maybe both? Choose a strategy that will best fit your plans.

HOW TO ASSESS YOUR NET GAIN

To understand whether or not you would be better off selling alone or working as an agent to help sell your home, consider that most buyers do indeed use a real estate agent because it doesn’t cost them anything. Typically the seller agent covers their fee, but if you sell alone, this fee will come out of your pockets. Buyers who also seek out “For Sale By Owner” homes are looking for a low-ball bargain. Though they may be an adamant buyer, you are obviously receiving less money for your home’s actual worth. Consider the following:

  1. Be as ready as you possibly can be with your marketing, negotiating skills, evaluations, all legalities involved, and showings.
  2. Research the cost to successfully market your home and how to assemble all necessary documentation
  3. What offers you are going to receive from buyers. Is your net price going to be higher/lower than selling with or with an agent?

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, let us help you! For a stress-free experience, we’re here every step of the way.

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