You need to sell your house. But your home’s value has dropped significantly since you bought it. What can you do?
Here’s one option: You can save tens of thousands of dollars on your home sale by selling your residence without working with a Realtor.
You are not required to work with a Realtor to sell your home. Those who don’t are selling through what is known as the “For Sale by Owner” market, often referred to by the acronym FSBO.
There’s a reason to go this route: You won’t have to pay the large commission that Realtors charge when your home does sell. When you sell your house by owner, you keep all the profits from your sale.
This is a big deal. Most Realtors charge a commission of six percent of a home’s final sales price. If you sell your home for $250,000, you’ll give $15,000 to your Realtor. If your home has fallen in value since you bought it, you might not make much profit anyway. Why give so much of it away to a Realtor?
But how do you sell your home without the help of Realtor? Here is our top advice on how to sell your house by owner as efficiently, and profitably, as possible.
Price it right: The key to selling your home by owner? Price it right. Today’s buyers know exactly how much homes in your neighborhood are worth. They won’t pay more than that, no matter how much you paid for your property. The biggest mistake that FSBO sellers make is pricing their home too high.
You can get an estimate for how much your home is worth by visiting sites such as Zillow.com and Realtor.com. Use these sites to see how much similar homes in your area have fetched at sales time. You can also ask Realtors to visit your house and provide their best estimate of the right sales price. Realtors won’t charge for this service.
Market it: Once you’ve set the right asking price, it’s time to market your property. Start by taking out classified ads in your local newspaper. These are usually inexpensive, about $25 to $40. You should also post a “For Sale by Owner” sign in your front yard with your phone number on it.
But if you really want to reach the greatest number of potential buyers, you’ll need to list your home online. You’ll have to spend some money for this. Search online for “For Sale by Owner listing service.” You can then compare sites that will list your home on everything from Google to the full-fledged Multiple Listing Service. These listing services aren’t cheap – you can pay more than $800 for listings on a wide variety of sites – but they are a necessity.
People can’t buy your house if they don’t know it’s for sale.
Stage it: When people do tour your home, you want them to be impressed. This means removing excess furniture to make your home’s rooms look large and airy. It means cleaning your house thoroughly before showings, putting away dirty clothes and cleaning and putting away dishes. It also means keeping your yard mowed and pulling weeds.
You want your potential buyers to form an immediate positive impression of your home.
Pre-approved buyers: Don’t let just any buyers tour your home. Make sure that you only open your home for buyers who arrive with a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. This letter means that a mortgage lender has already verified that these buyers can qualify for and afford a monthly mortgage payment. If you make sure that your buyers have been pre-approved, you won’t waste your time showing your home to people who can’t afford to buy it.
Work with an attorney: Once buyers do make an offer, it’s time to hire a real estate attorney. This professional can help you prepare the documents you need to close a home sale. A real estate attorney is a must; closing a home sale is a complicated legal process. You don’t want to miss any steps that could result in future problems.
Now that you know how to sell by owner, are you ready to list your home? Call us today. We can guide you through the for sale by owner process.