Selling your home with a realtor means that you will pay that person a percentage of the sale price simply for doing what you can do yourself with a little work. Selling your home yourself as a for sale by owner listing can work, if you know what to do. You and the buyer can save thousands by leaving out the realtor. Here are some tips to consider when selling your own home.
Start by Staging the Home
One benefit of using a realtor that you will miss out on by selling for sale by owner is staging advice. Staging refers to setting up the home, both inside and out, so that it is more appealing to a potential buyer. You do not need a realtor to stage your home if you know what to do. First, take down those things that are reflective of your family. Your family photos, children’s artwork, and other mementos that make your house a home will keep buyers disconnected from the home. You want the buyer to picture his family in your home, not yours. Pack these things away for your new place. If you have outdated furniture, buy something more modern now, not when you move. You need to freshen up the look of your home. You can use classifieds to find affordable furniture to brighten up your home. However, keep the look uncluttered. Do not pack too much furniture into any room of your house, as this will detract from the appeal. Don’t be afraid to put a fresh coat of paint throughout the home, especially if you have eccentric colors in some rooms. Neutral colors work best when selling because, again, they help others picture themselves in the home. If you have wallpaper, pull it down and paint. Even if the wallpaper is up-to-date, it is probably not the style the potential buyer wants, and no buyer wants to purchase a home that will require him to pull down wallpaper before he can move in. Do the dirty work first and your home will sell more quickly. Take a look at the front of the home. Does it look like a home you would want to live in? Make it welcoming, put on a fresh coat of paint, and clean up the foliage. Curb appeal is essential to selling your home fast. Be sure that you fix anything major that is broken before you put your home up for sale. Search the classifieds to find a plumber to fix that leaky pipe, because it will be a huge turn-off for potential buyers and likely costs little to fix. Stained flooring is another item that you need to fix before listing your home, especially if you have pets.
Figure Out What the Home Is Worth
Pricing the home is one of the biggest mistakes most people who are listing for sale by owner properties make. The value of your home is not what you need to get for it. It is what the home will sell for realistically in the existing market. Even though you are not using an agent to sell your home, you do not have to tell agents this fact. Most realtors will visit potential properties and give their estimate of the property’s value. Keep in mind that these are sometimes inflated estimates given in an attempt to get your business. You can safely price the home a little lower than these estimates and have a pretty good idea that the price is accurate. You can also search for sale by owner classifieds to see what similar properties in your area are selling for.
Marketing Is Essential
If your house is gorgeous and priced perfectly, it still will not sell if it is not marketed well. You need a variety of marketing options to get the word out there that your home is ready to sell. The most obvious and simple way to market your home is with online real estate classifieds. Be sure to post the home on a variety of sites, as you never know which site a particular buyer may be surfing. There are many free classifieds websites available that you can use. If possible, put a picture or two of the home on the listing. Be sure to take pictures that highlight the home’s best features, like a picture window with a nice view or a beautiful outdoor garden. When photographing the exterior, remove any clutter or vehicles from the yard before snapping the shot.
Place signs near major intersections that will draw people to your home. Many buyers will drive around looking for properties, so signs are a must. Also, have open houses on Saturday or Sunday and advertise these with signs and in classifieds. These are the days most buyers are off work and can take the time to visit properties, so having yours open then is important. If you are putting a sign in someone’s yard, be sure to ask permission first. Also, if you are part of a homeowner’s association, find out their regulations about realty signs before placing them. Be sure to contact the major newspapers in your area and place ads. Sunday is the day you definitely want to have your ad in the paper, with a picture if possible. Do not forget to contact local papers to see if you can get a more affordable ad. Also, contact any real estate publications that you can find in your area. Make sure that you know the press date before you advertise in these, however. If the book is not coming out for a month, it may not be worth spending your money on an ad.
E-mail newsletters and direct mailings are other options you can use to market your home. You can often purchase mailing lists from agents in your area. Do not forget to send them to friends and family members, because they may know of someone who is in the market for a home. Click here for more details.
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