Selling a house without a realtor is a tempting idea — who doesn’t want to save that 6% real estate agent commission? The thought of keeping that money in your pocket might motivate you to list your home yourself instead of going through a real estate agent. But, before you make the leap, keep in mind that the process of selling a house without a realtor is far from easy.
Here are seven tips for selling your home by owner to keep in mind.
1. Set a Realistic Price
The first step to selling your house is to pick the right listing price. It’s a common mistake for sellers to list their homes too high, which can deter potential buyers and slow the selling process. Use the internet to gauge selling prices for comparable homes in your neighborhood, then price your house accordingly. If you’re struggling to decide on a list price, you could hire an appraiser to give you an estimate.
2. Give a Detailed Description of Your Home
The main goal of your listing is to provide an accurate description of your home in a way that’s clear, concise and easy to read. However, the listing description is also an opportunity to highlight the selling points of your home and important details that may not be evident in photos. For example, did you replace the air conditioner recently? If you live in a hot climate, this is a perk potential buyers will want to know. Here are the basics your listing should include:
- Age of the home
- Number of rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms
- Improvements you’ve made to the home, like a new roof, updated floors or a new water heater
3. Take Good Photos
When you list your home, include pictures of the exterior and interior. These photos should help potential buyers understand the layout and size of the home. Staging your home before you take pictures is a great way to showcase the features of the home by capturing its open layout, expansive countertops or large bedrooms, for example. You could even consider hiring a professional so that your photos showcase your home’s best features and potential.
4. Advertise Online
Simply sticking a “For Sale” sign in your yard won’t do. According to the National Association of Realtors, 51% of home buyers found their homes online (compared to only 7% who found their home by a sign in the yard). It’s more important than ever to get the word out online on sites like FSBO.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com and others. And don’t forget to share your listing on social media. Your network of friends can help you get the word out.
5. Prepare to Show Your House
Get started on the deep cleaning! Your house will need to be spotless for showings and open house events. Scrub the kitchen counters and appliances, shampoo your carpets and clean the floors. Also, do your best to declutter your house by stashing keepsakes and other valuables. Check out our helpful checklist for showing your home. If you have a lot of clutter, you might want to consider holding a garage sale before listing your house on the market or putting things in storage.
6. Hold an Open House
With all the work you’ve put into cleaning your house, you might want to consider an open house to get as many interested buyers through as possible at one time. You’ll need to advertise for your open house on the internet and by posting signs in your neighborhood. Be sure to have some light refreshments and brochures about your home available for potential buyers.
7. Be Patient!
Perhaps the hardest part is being patient. Don’t be disappointed if there aren’t any offers after the first open house. Revisit your asking price, keep updating your marketing materials and make sure your home is widely listed.
Protect Your Investment
Selling your home by yourself might not be for you. The process can, undoubtedly, take a lot of time and patience. But, for some, the potential savings might be worth the time and effort. Whatever the case, be sure to keep your Farm Bureau agent in the loop so they can help you protect one of your biggest investments.