Selling your home on your own is a challenge in today’s market. If you decide to go it on your own, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Preparing the House
Start by preparing your home for sale. Clean, get rid of clutter, pack up items you don’t use and maybe having a garage sale to get rid of the rest.
Appearance Does Matter
The outside appearance of your home is as important as the inside. It’s the first thing that buyer’s see so you want to make a good impression. Make sure your lawn is manicured. Fix any broken gates, fences or windows. Plant trees, trim shrubs and add some flowers.
The inside of your home should be warm and inviting. Freshen the home by repainting, cleaning or installing new flooring or carpets and maybe new appliances, if your budget allows. The home should be spic and span inside. Removing clutter will give the home a more spacious feel.
Price Your Home Correctly
Price is the most important factor to consider when selling a home especially in today’s tough market where you are competing with distressed properties. You will need to price the home at or slightly below market to attract a qualified buyer. You must be motivated to sell. This is not a market to test. Only serious sellers are able to compete for buyers.
Offer buyers incentives such as seller financing, paying their closing costs, prepaying taxes and offering credits or making repairs. Remember, the competition is fierce out there. The more you sweeten the deal, the better.
Set aside a budget for advertising your home. Will you use signage, newspaper ads, conduct an open house, and advertise the home on the Internet? These are all good ways to expose your home. There are several websites that owners can advertise their homes for sale other than the MLS. You want to attract as many buyers as you can. The Internet is a great place to advertise your home because half of all home buyers today start their home search on the Internet.
Talk to everyone you know and tell them your home is for sale Make up some brochure sand distribute them to local Realtors in the area who may have a buyer interested in your home. If they bring you a buyer, then offer to pay their commission.
Negotiating the Contract
If you are not going to use a Realtor, then hire a real estate attorney to help you negotiate the contract. If you cannot afford an attorney, then educate yourself on the local real estate laws, health and safety codes and disclosure laws in your area to avoid any legal problems down the road.
Remember that both parties need to walk away feeling like they each won something. Find out what is important to the buyer. Is it price, a longer or shorter closing time, do they need help with financing? This will help you with the negotiating process.
Ask the buyer to provide you with a pre-qualified letter from their lender to make sure they qualify to buy your home. If it is a cash offer, then ask for proof of funds such as a copy of a bank statement. You don’t want to tie up your property for 30 or 45 days with a buyer who is not qualified to close the deal.
Closing the Transactions
You will need to choose a title or escrow holder or attorney to close the transactions. Check around with friends, neighbors or local Realtors and get a referral. Always choose a reputable company. The title company will provide you with an estimate of your closings costs. Ask if they have a document management Internet system so that you can have access to the transaction 24/7 and share information with the buyer once you have an accepted contract. It saves time and is a great communication tool to keep everyone in the loop at all times so the closing process goes smoother.