Selling your property on your own can be a daunting task. Lack of proper knowledge on the real estate market, compounded by the expenses in home selling, may push you to consider selling the house on your own. That’s because of the common belief that you can only list your home with the help of real estate agents. These real estate professionals are mandated by the law to receive up to 6% of the total property sale value.
Hence, if your house sold for $200,000, you’d have to pay $12,000 to the real estate agents. You can pocket this commission amount if you sell a house for sale by owner (FSBO).
It may seem challenging, but with the right tools and knowledge on where to look and how to market your property, you can do it. Let’s look at some useful tips on how to sell a house by yourself.
1. Get A Proper Valuation for Your House
This is perhaps the trickiest part in selling a home. If you’re selling your home at a low price, you may leave too much money on the table. Inversely, if your house’s value is higher than it should be, then you’ll end up waiting for months on end, without securing a sale. Ideally, you should price it only slightly lower than its ideal value.
You may determine your property value through the following:
- Getting ‘comps’: Short for comparatives, comps can highly influence your property valuation. To determine the estimated selling price of your home, a real estate professional should perform a thorough analysis of your home and get a list of properties that recently sold in your neighborhood or locality. While this may be a reliable way to arrive at an ideal home-selling price, there’s a possibility that a real estate agent may price your home higher, so you’ll be encouraged to seek his or her services. Don’t fall for this trick.
- Online property valuation sites: There are a host of available websites you can tap to market your home, and these typically offer an additional appraisal service. Although these sites ask you for pertinent details such as size, the number of bedrooms, and location, it may not consider the overall status of your property including the repairs and renovations needed. This may be the least reliable method of appraisal.
Your home’s asking price may also be culled from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s website, which provides you with tools to compare data from home sales and mortgages done under various housing agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration, Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA/Fannie Mae), and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. or (FHLMC/Freddie Mac).
- A licensed appraiser: This is the best and most recommended way to arrive at a property valuation. An appraiser can provide you with an objective estimation of your property with the cost ranging from $300 to $500.
You can use it to negotiate the selling price for your home, but take note that if the buyer acquires your property via mortgage, the latter will send its own appraiser and will not honor the seller-initiated appraisal report.
2. Get Your Home Showroom-Ready
You may feel that your property is in good shape, despite its minor and major flaws. For this exercise, though, it’s important to step in the buyers’ shoes, and ask what your first impressions are, upon seeing the property.
Focus on the flaws, as this is how your potential buyers will assess your property. What major issues will the buyer face after the transaction? If you want a more neutral assessment, ask for a third-party, a person whom you don’t know or who doesn’t have interests in the transaction, to help you out.
3. Repair, Renovate, Declutter
Appraisers may not be doing the estimation based on your home keeping skills, but keeping your home clean and tidy may evoke positive feelings in an appraiser or a potential property buyer.
That being said, make your home exude positive vibes by performing the following:
- Check stuff that may need to be repaired or replaced such as flimsy door knobs, a leaky pipe, old and damaged upholstery, and faulty locks. This will help enhance the overall appearance of your home. Consider re-painting your walls.
- If you want a higher valuation for your property, consider spending some cash for the upkeep of some areas of your home. The kitchen and the bathroom are the most common remodeled areas of the house.
- Channel your inner Marie Kondo and throw or give away the stuff that ‘don’t spark joy’ in you anymore. This is essential in helping make your home look bigger. Scour your basement, attic, and garage for extra stuff and dispose of them properly.
A clean house is essential in stirring further interest among buyers when conducting virtual home tours, or taking photos and videos to accompany your selling posts.
4. Know Where and How to Market Your Property
Knowing where and how to market your home is critical in finding success in home-selling via the FSBO scheme. Mix online and offline methods for wider reach.
The easiest and perhaps cheapest way to market your property is by posting it online. Some home-selling platforms can help you with your online property selling activities at a minimal fee. You can also post your home for sale in your social media accounts, at no cost.
For your offline marketing strategy, do the following:
- Put up a good yard sign: Nothing beats the traditional way of selling your home by putting a sign on your front lawn. You can either have the generic sign purchased in office supply stores or you can have it made by professionals to have a more unique and eye-catching look.
- Distribute flyers. Have your friends or any of your family members distribute flyers and other printed materials in strategic locations with high human traffic such as malls, salons, restaurants, among other places. Attach high-resolution photos and write down the complete details of your property on the printed materials.
- Conduct regular open house schedules. To attract more potential buyers, have your house open for viewing, anytime and not just when an interested buyer wants to see your property.
After these tactics, potential buyers may start contacting you to negotiate. It’ll be up to you to decide how low you can go. If you don’t have sound negotiation skills or are wary of how the process will go, you may seek the help of an experience real estate agent.
5. Sell Your Property to Home-Buying Companies
According to industry estimates, houses stayed in the market for an average of 56 days last year, which is 8% faster compared to 2019 figures. This means home sellers typically wait for almost 2 months before successfully making money.
If you’re in a hurry to sell your home and don’t have enough cash to pay for renovations, you may approach home flippers or home buying companies to purchase your property.
These companies are created specially to help out home sellers rushing to have their properties sold. The downside? They tend to exploit your urgent need for cash, and will price your home on the cheap. They will, however, save you from spending thousands on repairs, appraisal and inspection costs.
Selling your property on your own is a tedious and time-consuming process. But once a transaction is closed, you’ll realize that it’s all worth the hard work. Don’t forget to seek the help of other real estate professionals and an attorney if the process gets too confusing.