You have a home for sale and you are wondering if you should hire a realtor or try and tackle it yourself. Why would you want to sell your house yourself, without the help of an agent or realtor? The biggest reason would be savings. You can expect to pay close to 6% of the sales price in agent commissions, and that is in addition to all of the other closing costs you are expected to pay.
Additionally, many home buyers are drawn to houses that are for sale by the owner for the same reason. Saving the broker’s fee is attractive all around.
Selling your house yourself also puts you in control of the sale. You can schedule showings on your time and control the time table of the entire sale, plus you aren’t locked into any obligations with an agent and can take your house off of the market at any point.
How do you go about selling the house?
- Set a realistic price.
Everyone wants to sell their house for as much as possible, but a large price doesn’t do you any good if the property just sits on the market month after month.
Look at what other houses in the area have been selling for, and remember to look at houses that are comparable to yours in age, square footage, and amenities.
- Get your home ready to sell.
If you are planning to sell to another homeowner, they will want to see a clean and safe house that invites them to move in. Clear out the clutter and clean up. Fix anything you can but make sure you give the buyer a clear list of things they might find when they inevitably have the home inspected. It’s always best to be upfront.
- Write a great description of your house. List details like;
When was it built?
How many rooms?
What is the square footage?
How many bedrooms/bathrooms?
Highlight any recent renovations or improvements like a new roof or hot water heater
- Take great pictures
Spend some time getting each room in the proper lighting and at a good angle. Show off the curb appeal of your house by finding the time of day when it really shines. Most of the time these pictures make the first impression of your house to potential buyers. Make them count.
- Market your property.
In the old days you just stuck a sign in the yard and waited. People looking for a new house drove around on weekends and looked for signs and you had to stay home in case they dropped by to have a look.
Today 95% of home buyers start looking online. This is where you want to focus your efforts.
You can use online services like FSBO.com, Owners.com, ForSaleByOwner.com and many more that will not only market your home on their sites but often will syndicate the listing to other sites like Trulia.com and Zillow.com at no extra cost. By the way, this is where that great description you wrote and the pictures you took come in.
People that find your home on these sites can set appointments to come see the house in person, but if they are interested enough in the online listing to come by they are well along the path to making their decision to buy.
- Be Patient
It is going to take some time. Buying a house is a big investment and buyers want to be certain that they are getting what they want.
If it takes a little time to find the perfect fit for your house, then you are just going to have to wait. But don’t wait too long. If you aren’t getting any leads in several months, then you might want to re-evaluate how you have presented or marketed your house.
Move even faster!
Selling your house to a buyer that is looking for a home for their family can take some time and a lot of negotiating. If you are just looking to sell a house fast and dont want to bother with the cleaning, fixing, marketing, there is another route you can take.
You might want to sell to a home investor. Investors are always looking for properties to buy and use as rental homes or to fix and flip themselves for profit. They will gladly take a house in as-is condition (at a slight discount) and you can move on with cash in your hands. In addition they will often pay all the fees and closing costs so that discount ultimately doesn’t add up to as much as you think.
Investors aren’t looking to move into your house so they are flexible with their buying schedules. Often they can close on a house in well under a month, but if you aren’t ready to move out that fast they can usually wait till you are ready before taking over the property.
While a realtor will have a great many resources to bring to bear when selling your house, you will pay extra for them. Sometimes the DIY approach will work just fine, and save you a little cash.