Seven Quick Tips for Selling Your Home Without A Real Estate Agent

Posted on 22. Dec, 2010 by in News

I’ve noticed a big increase in the FSBO homes in my local area.  With all the online real estate information available it’s not surprising that some of them are considering selling without the help of a real estate agent. The biggest advantage of the for-sale-by-owner strategy is that a commission won’t need to be paid to a listing agent.

 But those taking on the job themselves need to roll up their sleeves and prepare to work to get their home sold, understanding that they are the ones taking care of tasks ranging from marketing to showing the property. I’m speaking from experience here, having sold properties independently - it’s not an easy job. Here are a few tips that I’ve gained along the way which hopefully will help you too if you are interested in FSBO’s.

1.  Prep Your Home for Sale

Whether you are selling on your own or with an agent, in order to attract buyers your house must be completely clean, empty of clutter and in the best possible condition. You don’t need to spend too much fixing up your home, since you may not get all of the money back when it sells. Instead, focus on inexpensive improvements such as fresh paint and Curb appeal.

2.  Price it Correctly

One of the biggest mistakes for sale by owners make is pricing their home too high. It’s really tempting to overprice your home and hope that some poor sucker will offer full asking price.  It just doesn’t work like that. Sellers who choose not to work with a real estate agent need to do their own research on what comparable homes in their area are selling for. Look at the most recent sales you can find and also check out the listing prices for other homes on the market that are similar to yours.

Use Web sites such as Zillow.com (U.S) and HouseValues.com to get a starting idea of what a house is worth. A look at a listings site, such as MLS will reveal what sellers are asking for in the neighborhood. If the home subsequently ends up sitting too long on the market, a potential buyer might speculate that something is wrong with it. Not good!

3.  Get a Pre-Sale Home Inspection

Most buyers will have your home inspected and may find issues that require repair. It’s a good idea to think about getting a  home buyer inspection before putting your home on the market which scan save time as well as making your home stand out on the market as ready for move-in.

4. Setting an Appropriate Commission for the Buyer’s Real Estate Agent

Selling your home without an agent doesn’t get you completely off the hook for real estate agent commissions unless your buyer is also opting to work without an agent. If you want to attract the attention of buyers who are working with a real estate agent, be sure to offer a typical buyer’s agent commission for your area – generally about 2.5-3 per cent of the sale price.

5. Market it correctly

Since nearly all buyers start their home search online, they are used to checking out MLS as a preview to actually choosing which properties to see in person. Consider listing on the Multiple Listing Service as this method sells more homes than any other method. If a buyer’s agent finds a buyer for your home, you would only pay one commission

Make sure you have multiple photos with your listings and that the photos showcase your home at its best. The internet can be a big help in marketing a property. Community marketplaces like Kijiji and Craiglist can also increase exposure. Sites Comfree.com , Property Sold.ca and Owners.com (U.S.) for example, allow a seller to post a listing to gain Internet exposure

6. Make Your Home Available

Selling your home is always a hassle, and FSBO sellers have it even worse, since they don’t have a real estate agent to show their home when they are not around. Make sure you are as available as possible to show your home to potential buyers and to real estate agents who are previewing homes for their customers. It’s really in your best interest.

7. Make Sure Your buyer Can Afford It

One of the most common problems that a for sale by owner will run into is getting to closing only to find out that the buyer couldn’t afford the house causing them to start the selling process all over again. Working with a buyer who is preapproved for a mortgage will remove some potential surprises from the closing process

The Bottom Line

The main goal for most FSBO sellers is to save the commission money that real estate agents earn. Carefully avoiding seller errors can go a long way toward ensuring that a home sells quickly and for a reasonable price while allowing the sellers to keep that commission fee for themselves.

To Your Investing Success!

Jane

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