I would hazard a guess the thought of having to pay a realtor thousands of dollars in order to list your property and then market it for you is almost scary enough for you to stay put in your home. However, you can of course make the effort to sell your own house without the aid of a realtor (thus saving yourself thousands of dollars). I should warn you that this will involve plenty of research and hard work on your part, and therefore being lazy just won’t cut it.
The reason I say this is because it is estimated that up to 90% of homeowners, who attempt to sell their own home, end up being unsuccessful and eventually turn to a realtor anyway. The remaining 10% are likely to end up lowering their sale price, so ironically the money that is saved from not hiring a realtor is lost anyway.
However, this does not mean it is impossible to sell your own house, but simply that a little more hard work and research is required. Personally, I believe this „failure“ rate may be down to people thinking selling a property is easy. But if the truth be told there is far more to it than simply sticking a for sale sign on the lawn and then waiting for the barrage of phone calls.
In fact, that’s the easy part. If you are looking to sell your own home then learning the various laws and regulations that are part and parcel of a successful sale is something that you will need to consider. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to study for the next four years and earn yourself a real estate degree, but a little knowledge can go a long way. I would suggest that you try the following if you wish to be successful in selling your own property:-
1) Educate yourself – this may involve visiting City Hall, the registrar of deeds, and of course a little studying at the local library cannot do any harm. The specific factors that you should concentrate on will include learning how to price your home correctly, as if the price is too high or too low you may not be able to attract the right type of buyer, if any at all.
You will also need to learn what professionals will need to be involved in the home selling process, how you can get yourself a really good lawyer, the basics of setting up an escrow account, and how to find yourself a home appraiser. Possibly, the most important part of the process is setting the right price for your property. However, you are able to complete a great deal of this research online which may involve checking MLS listings and various real estate websites. This will give you the opportunity to view listings of recent sales in your neighbourhood.
2) The professional appraisal – as I’ve mentioned, setting both a realistic and reasonable price is probably the best way to sell your own home. In addition to this, hiring a professional appraiser will give you an outsider’s view of your home, and is likely to alert you to any essential repairs that will need to be carried out.
I guess it’s hard to be impartial about your own house, and therefore it is essential that you have a professional outsider’s point of view. This also looks far more professional from a potential buyer’s perspective, and you may even be able to convince them not to complete an inspection of their own.
3) How well prepared is your home? – Prior to listing your property, I would always suggest that you make it ready for your onslaught of visitors. This should include making any essential repairs, especially those that may diminish the perceived value of your home. If at all possible, you should also give the walls a fresh coat of paint and touch up the painted trims.
It is also a great idea to de-personalise the inside of your home as much as you possibly can. This should include removing any family heirlooms and photos, and indeed any clutter from every room in your home. Obviously, we want to make your home look is clean and fresh as possible, and this should also include cleaning out your closets and storage areas.
It is often said that the whiter and brighter that your property looks, the more attractive it becomes to a potential buyer. Lastly, never forget about the front yard, as this will be the first impression the buyer gets of your home. Tidy up the lawn and remove any children’s toys and any unsightly mess. You should also scrub down the front door, as well as a shining any brass bells or knockers.
4) Learn how to advertise – you can still get your property listed without having to pay a realtor. The Internet is, without doubt, becoming one of the most popular places for many homebuyers to start their search for a property. In fact, it is believed that well in excess of 80% of all homebuyers will begin looking for the property of their dreams using this method. There are various for sale by owner websites that will allow you to list your property, and include photographs and particulars of your home.
Once again, this is not something that you should take lightly, and I would enlist the help of a professional photographer in order to make your listing stand out as much as possible. If you wish you could actually add this photo to newspaper ads and flyers, which would all help to generate more interest in your home. There are even a number of websites from which you can obtain a professional looking for sale sign.
5) Open house – this is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to sell your own home. It will obviously need a lot of hard work and dedication from you, as you will need to be available to take telephone calls and make appointments to show your property. As long as you realise that selling your house isn’t going to be an overnight thing, and if you’re willing to put the work in, it won’t be too long before you see results.
6) Can you negotiate? – I guess one of the reasons many people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a realtor is because they don’t want the hassle of having to deal with a potential buyer, and indeed having to negotiate a price with them. However, without the aid of a realtor, this extremely important task is down to you. You should always have a firm minimum price in mind, and no matter what, never go below this. Yes, there should always be room for both you and a potential buyer to negotiate, but you still need to get the best deal possible.