How to sell your home without using an agent
It may surprise you to learn that even as a real estate professional, I believe there are some instances when a person can sell their home without utilizing the services of a real estate agent! I have prepared this free report to help people, who like yourself, are considering selling their home and possibly doing so without using the services of a real estate agent. In it, you'll find detailed information that will help you sell your home. Naturally, should you decide at some point to take advantage of the expertise of a professional real estate agent, I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. Thank you.
Factors you need to consider when selling your home
Most homeowners who are considering selling their home are interested in three basic things:
1. Obtaining the most amount of money
2. The shortest possible time
3. The least amount of trouble and inconvenience
Unfortunately, there is much more involved. For example: timing, terms, condition, accessibility, advertising, marketing, and merchandising all play a roll in whether or not your home will sell at all, and for how much. Let's start with the basics.
Arriving at a realistic price to ask for your home
When determining the price to ask for your home, you'll need to know how other comparable homes in your area are priced, what comparable homes have actually sold for, and what homes were on the market, but did not sell.
You may want to order an appraisal to help you obtain this information. Generally they run between $300.00 and $500.00 and will give you a good idea of what comparable homes are selling for in your area. Should you decide to list your home for sale with an agent, the agent you choose will provide you with a "Competitive Marketing Analysis" gathered from information he or she can obtain through the Multiple Listing Service and his or her own experience. Either way, you can get a reliable price structure for your home by compiling this information.
What you need to know about the condition of your home
Essentially, when you put your home on the market, it becomes a "product," and like any other product, the better the condition, the more money you'll receive from a buyer. There is an old saying in real estate that paint is worth $15.00 in the can, or $1,500.00 on the wall. You should take an objective walk through your house, placing yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer, and determine for yourself what you think needs to be upgraded, cleaned up, remodeled, refurbished, etc. I can provide you with a checklist of items you'll need to review. If you'd like one, please feel free to call.
Terms are also important
Flexible financing is also an important factor in selling your home. Basically, the more avenues of financing you can provide, the quicker the house will sell. When showing your home to prospective buyers, you will need to qualify them to determine what kind of financing they can obtain, how much down payment they can afford, how much monthly payment they can afford, and so on. While this is often uncomfortable, it is a necessary step in the sales process and must be addressed. Failing to properly qualify your buyers could lead to your home being tied up for several months, only to have the sale fall through later.
How and where to advertise your home
You must understand that people selling their homes as a "For Sale By Owner" and real estate companies, both compete for buyers from the same pool. It goes without saying that real estate companies have the bigger advertising budget.
Since you will be competing with real estate companies for the attention of potential buyers, you'll need to plan on spending enough money on advertising. Should you decide to list with an agent, the advertising costs are funded by the listing agent and/or the real estate company.
Local newspaper classifieds are a good place to advertise your home. Once your ad appears in the paper, you will need to stay close to the telephone. It has been proven that many prospective buyers will not leave their name and number on a recording machine or voice mail.
You'll want your ad to be as descriptive as possible, as it will be competing with many other ads. Also be aware that many buyers who call a "For Sale By Owner" advertisement do so believing that because the house is not listed with an agent, the price will be lower. Like you, they are interested in saving the commission, so be prepared to negotiate.
How to Merchandise Your Home
To a person selling their own home "For Sale By Owner," merchandising often means simply showing the home. To an agent, it means much more, including creating feature flyers, making other agents in the area aware that your home is on the market, holding open houses, and generally doing a host of different marketing activities to help promote the sale of your home.
You might consider doing some of these things yourself. For example, create and design a feature flyer so buyers looking at your home will have something to take with them after they look. You could hold your own open house. I can give you some tips on how to hold a successful open house, as well as other ideas for successfully merchandising your home. If you'd like that information, feel free to give me a call.
Why Most "For Sale By Owners" Eventually List with an Agent
Selling your home without using a real estate agent is, at least initially, an appealing proposition. Nobody wants to pay a real estate commission. And yet, it would only make sense to ask yourself, "Why do so many people use a real estate agent to sell their home?" The answer is really very simple. Selling your home "For Sale By Owner" is typically an extremely costly and laborious task. It is time consuming, frustrating, and often ineffective.
Many studies have been conducted by both independent consumer groups and real estate industry trade organizations over the years that convincingly indicate that selling a home "For Sale By Owner," in the vast majority of instances, takes longer and costs more.
The choice is certainly yours, and I hope I've been able to provide you with some ideas that will help. If you feel you would be open to discussing your alternatives in person, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.
Sandra Duncan, REALTOR®, CCS