In the age of the internet, it's far easier to sell your own home rather than contacting a realtor to help you advertise. This method, commonly known as For Sale By Owner or FSBO is becoming the easier route to sell your house. You don't need to work with an agent and, therefore, avoid expensive fees in the process. Here is the process of selling an FSBO and a few tips you might find helpful.
Realtors have the advantage of industry knowledge which
makes it easier for them to sell houses. Before, you might need experience
before being able to sell your house fast. But with the internet, you can
easily find what you need with just a quick Google search.
There are also resources available on the website of the National Association of Realtors or NAR where you can see some useful information about real estate.
Putting a price on your home can be a headache. You don't want to go too high from the market value since you'll get no offers. On the other hand, you'll be taking a loss if you price your home too low. You can check the house price calculator on the Federal Housing Finance Agency or FHFA that will give you an estimate of how much a home in certain states should be.
You can have your home appraised if you want to be sure how much your home is. Homes located near schools and office spaces can fetch a high price. Other amenities can also increase the price of your home compared to similar ones in the area.
Pro Tip: Visit open houses nearby
To get a general idea of how much properties sell in your area, you can scout your competitors. If you heard any open house happening during your free time, you should give the house a visit. This will save you some money from hiring someone to appraise your home. Alternatively, you can also check online listings to find how much similar houses are priced in your area.
Target Selling Date
If you're selling your home, you don't want to move to your home too early since you might not be prepared enough to settle in. However, you also don't want your current house to be on the market for too long.
Another reason why you should have a target selling date is to organize your schedule. You need to hire a moving company at least two months in advance to avoid any possible delay during your move. This is especially true if you want to sell your house during peak season when everyone is moving.
Pro Tip: Set selling date at a peak season
Winter is known to be the slowest time in the real estate market. People don't usually want to move when there is snow on the road. Since there's also less demand in the buying market during the snowy seasons, this is the time when buyers have more negotiating power and might possibly get away with a low offer on your home.
Families also prefer moving during the summer when their kids are on vacation. Because of this, you might want to put your house up for sale during late Spring, when people are just starting to consider the idea of buying a new house.
Preparing your home for photos and open houses will surely take some time and effort. However, it's a necessary step to ensure that you'll be able to sell your home fast at a high price.
Clean Your Home
It's a no-brainer step that you should clean your home before anything else. Any personal items such as photos should be kept out of sight.
While selling your home, it might be a good idea to get rid of personal furniture and items that might be seen as "clutter" by potential buyers. You can temporarily store everything in a storage unit. Hiring a moving company can help you with the process.
People will certainly not buy a house that has obvious flaws such as broken windows or peeling wall paint. You can ask an inspector to check if there is anything that might decrease your property's value.
You can just let the new homeowners fix the issues themselves but doing so might lower the value of your property. Buyers can also use it as a way to negotiate the price of your home. You certainly don't want to lessen the price of your home, especially if it will only take a small amount to get fixed.
Declutter and Depersonalize
You want your potential buyers to feel at home in your house when they visit. This means you need to declutter and depersonalize the space before taking pictures or doing an open house. Potential buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home. You need to avoid making them feel like they are visiting your home.
Remove all personal clutter such as pictures. You can also hide big and bold statement pieces that show off your personality. Remember, you need to make the place as neutral as possible. However, you shouldn't remove too many things that the place will look bare and cold.
Pro-Tip: Look through a Pinterest board
There's no better place for inspiration than a Pinterest board. You can search for a neutral home and you'll find some wonderful photos of homes that anybody can feel at home in. You can also try other tags such as minimalist home or house stage to sell to see how other homes look like.
You can actually rent furniture when staging your home. This helps your house look more market-ready as you can choose neutral furniture that can appeal to a lot of people. You don't need to buy new furniture just to make your home look more trendy or homely.
Renting furniture will also be nice if you've already purchased a new home and you're just waiting to sell your current home. You can contact a hiring company sooner and live in your new home. While this means you're managing two houses, doing this can help prevent any delays if you have a time-sensitive schedule.
Advertise Your Home
Just like with anything you're selling, you should advertise your home. In the age of the internet, it's far easier to find online listings where you can upload your house's pictures to attract potential buyers. However, there's also a lot of competition.
Here are a few steps you should do to successfully advertise your FSBO home.
Take Professional Photos
Since everything is online now, you might want to snap some photos to upload to some online house listing websites. However, you need to make sure that your house stands out compared to other houses listed.
Every professional photographer will tell you that lighting is essential when you're taking photos. Turn on all the lights and open all windows to let in as much light as possible without the need to use a flash. By doing this, you're creating a wonderful ambiance that will look great in photos.
Pro Tip: Use different lenses
If you're into photography, you know that lenses give a huge impact on the perspective of the image. Using wide lenses can help make your rooms look bigger. This can also help capture the entire room since a narrower lens won't be able to show the full room in one shot.
Detailed Home Description
When giving details about your house, you can be as detailed as you want. Homebuyers don't want to waste time visiting every house they see on public listings.
Furthermore, adding descriptions that people search for will get your house noticed by the right people.
Pro-Tip: What do home buyers hate?
You also want to keep in mind that you shouldn't put anything that might be seen as a disadvantage by any type of buyer. Avoid using negative words such as tiny and gravitate towards positive words such as homey or comfortable.
Some other things you should avoid mentioning are low lighting which makes a room feel smaller. They might also hate converted rooms and wall-to-wall carpeting, among other things. You can have these things fixed or you can just not mention it on your home description.
Online House Listings
One of the most popular real estate online listings is the Multiple Listing Service or MLS where people can search for homes according to their needs. They can set the location, budget, and desired number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Then, they can see a lot of houses with the pictures, price, address, size, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms. There's also a contact number they can contact.
You can add your listing here to advertise your home. This is the recommended house listing website that show properties all over the USA.
Some buyers don't want to be put on the spot when they're just looking at their options. You want to make them feel more comfortable as much as possible so that they'll have a great impression of your home. You can host open houses so people can look freely without being pressured to interact with you.
Schedule and Preparations
Weekends are the best schedule for an open house. Since people are out of work, they usually take this time to look through the houses they're interested in. You also need to take some time to make sure that your house is clean.
Before the open house, you might also want to prepare some snacks and drinks for people visiting. It will leave them with positive impressions of you and your home. You certainly don't want potential buyers famished and thirsty while looking through your home.
What should you wear during an open house? Your attire can also leave an impression on potential buyers. You want to avoid dressing too fancy or too comfortable. Think of what you'll wear as your Sunday's best.
Buyers don't only visit one single house before deciding. You'll probably have a lot of competitors, especially if you're selling a house in a location with high residential demand. You want to make it easier for your potential buyers to review your house and contact you if they're interested.
By simply providing a sheet containing your property's pictures, important details, and your contact address, you have a higher chance of having your home considered by serious buyers. You should hand out these cards to everyone who checks your home and tell them to ask you any question, should they have any.
Offers and Selling
If you've got a few people interested in your home, then it's time to move on to the next step: the negotiation phase. A lot of people selling their houses are a bit intimidated during this part but there shouldn't be anything to be concerned about. As long as you're prepared, everything should go well. Here are a few important tips you should note.
Mortgage Preapproval Letter
Before signing any contract, you need to check whether the interested buyer has the capability to buy your house. The best way to do so is simply by asking for a mortgage preapproval letter. The interested buyer should be able to provide this if they have already managed their finances such as their housing loan.
Find the Best Offers
If you're successful in marketing your home, you might easily get offers. If not, you might want to redo your strategy and or advertise more on other house listing websites. Once you get offers. immediately filter out potential buyers who offered way below the asking price, especially if you have other offers ready.
Remember that these are contingent offers and you can make a counteroffer if you seem the offer is a bit lacking. Depending on your house's strengths and weaknesses, you might be able to increase the pay a bit more. If you haven't found the offer that sounds fair to you and you're not in a rush to move out, you can reject the current offers and wait a bit longer for the right buyer.
Contact an Attorney
While not completely necessary, having an attorney can help you get the best deal from selling a real estate property. You'll feel more at ease when you have someone expert at real estate by your side to help you decide whether an offer is good enough or not.
For sale by the owner might sound difficult at first, but the bulk of the work is during the preparation stage. Once your home is market-ready, all you need to do is host open houses and talk to potential customers. Plus, you'll be saving money compared to hiring a real estate agent.