If you’re considering selling your house, there are plenty of options to choose from, including selling it yourself. By doing so, you avoid the high commissions real estate agents charge.
However, it also entails a lot of work, especially if it’s your first time, not to mention the patience to deal with loads of paperwork, marketing, showings, and the like. That’s the primary reason many consider companies that buy houses in Lincoln, an easier stress-free option.
To make it easier for you, here’s all you need to know about selling a house yourself to help you get the best offer.
Selling a House Yourself Tips
Selling a house by yourself? The good news is that there are several alternative ways to sell your house besides using a realtor. Follow these tips to ensure a smooth sale process.
1. Clean Up
When selling a house, the basic principles are to declutter and clean it up, store family photos, and fix any loose fixtures. Consider painting the walls or hiring a professional cleaner to give your home a more polished look.
2. Come Up with a Plan
Selling a house by yourself is like a business for you. Therefore, you should have a business plan in place. Some of the considerations to make in your business plan include:
- How much time you can afford to let your home sit in the market before engaging a professional
- When is the right time to lower your asking price if necessary
- The lowest you can go in terms of the asking price.
With FSBO (For Sale By Owner), an advertising service that helps sell a home, having a plan in place is essential.
3. Get Your Pricing Right
Getting your pricing right is a crucial step that requires detaching yourself from emotional attachment to your house.
So rather than allowing your emotions to drive the asking price, instead conduct extensive online research to establish the current price of a home similar to yours. But this is easier said than done, which is why many turn to reliable websites such as we buy houses in Nebraska or cash home buyers, Bellevue.
Websites such as Zillow and ForSaleByOwner can also be quite helpful. In addition, you can attend open houses within your locality to see how people are pricing.
To ensure your house is worth the price, have a licensed home appraiser confirm it for you.
4. Get a Home Inspection
A home inspection involves a professional inspecting your home to ensure it’s in the best condition for sale.
The inspector will identify defects that you may not have noticed when cleaning and decluttering, allowing you time to repair before buyers come knocking. Remember, a fault may lead to a drop in the price or, worse, cost you a deal with a buyer.
Most inspectors charge anywhere between $400 and $700, but we can’t stress enough how much this amount is worth spending.
5. Market Your House
Once you’re sure the property is ready for sale, it’s time to take the next step—market it.
You can do this by advertising your home on websites such as Zillow and FSBO. Most buyers visit these sites daily in their hunt for houses.
In your online listings, include clear photos of the place. Additionally, have a professional photographer/videographer film a short video tour.
Put a “For Sale” sign up in your yard. If local regulations allow, put a few signs along a busy intersection.
Newspaper ads, especially on weekends, can be pretty effective too.
You can also pay a local broker a few hundred dollars to have your house listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) local realtors use.
Just keep in mind you need to pay a commission to the buyer’s agent if you’re recording on MLS. A buyer’s agent is the person who brings a buyer to you. Their commission is usually about 1 to 3% of the sale price. If you are willing to pay that, state it in your ads.
6. Be Available on Weekends
Most potential buyers visit houses on weekends. Therefore, It’s the best time to host open houses.
That said, some will visit on weekdays, requiring you to avail yourself to escort them through the property. Clearly, selling a house by yourself is an undertaking requiring 100% commitment.
7. Consider the Mortgage Terms
Consider the type of mortgage your potential buyer presents to you.
Does the buyer already have a mortgage commitment? If so, you’re better off dealing with them because the chances of the deal going sour are very low.
Cash offers are obviously ideal, but remember that, since the buyer doesn’t have any commitment to a fiduciary to buy the house, the deal isn’t done until the cash is exchanged and the closing documents are signed. Cash purchases can sometimes be a nail-biter.
8. Get the Help of a Real Estate Lawyer
Although this is not a requirement in many states, an attorney experienced in FSBO matters can significantly help.
The lawyer can help you successfully seal the deal faster by fielding offers on your behalf, helping in contract execution, making all the required forms available, and organizing for a closing date.
Know Everything About the Local Real Estate Market
Besides employing various tips for selling a house yourself, you want to familiarize yourself with your local real estate market if you want to succeed. Know the ins and outs, including:
- The primary factors, principles, and forces shaping your area’s economy
- Where to get the current information regarding the area marketplace
- How to use data in marketing and selling houses
- The performance of realtors in the area
- Current listing and sales information, including houses sold, their prices, and the rate at which they’re appreciating
- Features of recently listed and sold homes.
Once you have all this information, it’s easier to navigate the selling process. For example, you can study how the real estate agents in the area operate and their performance.
With this information, you can set your objectives, especially concerning financial goals, giving you an edge over the competition. In addition, you can understand the market fully because you can tell what buyers want. Subsequently, it enables you to handle their expectations.
Knowing your local real estate market also helps you make the right decisions regarding your pricing. The market price you set won’t scare away buyers as it’s well within the current market price range.
Lastly, when you know your local market, negotiating with buyers becomes easier. You can express your economic know-how, which can play a crucial role in convincing them to buy.
Set the Price for Your Home
It’s imperative to set the right price for your property.
You don’t want to underprice it and suffer a loss or overprice it, scaring away prospective buyers.
Remember that although you can always lower the price later, it may not work as you may already have put off a potential buyer. Therefore, conduct an extensive comparative market analysis (CMA) to ensure the price you set is closest to appraisal value.
When setting a price for your home, consider the following:
- Compare the final sales price to the original listing price and also to the final listing price to check for any price reductions and ratios. Compare at least three homes sold at market value, know the direction to adjust your price towards because a home can either sell for a price higher than the list price in a seller’s market or one lower in a buyer’s market.
- Consider the listings that have either expired or withdrawn from the market in the last few months. Then, use the information you’ve obtained to put measures to prevent your house from suffering the same fate.
- The current listings are your competitors. Identify reasons why a buyer would prefer or not prefer your home over other homes with similar features. This will enable you to adjust the price accordingly.
Consider Staging Your Home for Showings
Staging is a method of preparing your home for sale. It’s aimed at impressing potential buyers by showing off the property’s best assets to attract a quick sale at a higher price.
Here are some staging tips to consider when selling a home by yourself:
- Cleaning: Clean every part of your home. It creates a picture of a splendid, well-maintained property.
- Declutter: Remove everything you don’t use on a day-to-day basis and store these items elsewhere. Doing so portrays that there’s plenty of storage space.
- Depersonalize: Buyers need to have a clear visual picture of themselves in that home. Any personal items such as photos, clothes, and toys can be a distraction, so put them away.
- Maintain freshness: Your home should smell fresh. Use air fresheners, candles, and plants with neutral scents.
- Upgrade the floors: Installing hardwood floors is a great idea. These have several advantages, including low maintenance, adding a touch of elegance and value to a home, and durability.
- Let natural lighting take its course: Open all the curtains to let in natural light. It does wonders in making a house look nice.
- Let the exterior be inviting: Trim the hedges and grass. Also, all footpaths paths should be clean and clear.
Since you’re selling the house by yourself, you also have to negotiate offers. Often buyers come with bids lower than the asking price. Some even include harsh demands such as putting the closing costs on you.
Just remember when planning you set the lowest amount you can go. Stick to that figure.
Additionally, while the initial negotiations can be verbal, the buyer will have to make it written at the advanced stages of the talks. Have a contract in place with every detail of the sale, including the contingencies.
It’s advisable to do the closing at an attorney’s office or, alternatively, at a title company depending on your state’s customs. Agree on this location with your buyer during negotiations.
Listing Your Home on Various Websites
If you choose to sell your house online, some top real estate listing websites include:
Get All Your Documents in Order
When selling your home, you need all your documents to be in order. Some of the most crucial documents that you must have include:
- Property title deeds
- Original sales contract
- Home repair and maintenance records
- Professional appraisal report
- Mortgage statement
- Manuals and warranties
- Past utility bills
- Mandatory disclosures
- Pre-inspection report
- Natural hazards report
- Transfer disclosure report
- Listing agreement
- Purchase offer and counteroffer
- Final purchase and sales agreement
- Contingency removal form
- Home inspection report
- Most recent tax statements
- Closing statement
Selling a house by yourself is no easy task. It’s easier when you engage the services of a real estate agent. Nonetheless, many people have successfully sold their homes by themselves. You can too and save thousands of dollars. All it calls for is due diligence, detachment, and patience.