How to Sell a House By Owner
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Homeowners looking to sell might be wary of realtors' high commission. If you are up for the challenge, it is possible to sell your house without the assistance of a real estate agent, but it will take some extra work.
Real estate agents are responsible for listing a house, marketing it to potential buyers, hosting open house events, and handling negotiations. Realtors are experts in the buying and selling market, but much of what they do can be handled by the homeowner. Here's how to sell your own house.
The price is (or should be) right
Step 1: Do your research to determine your home’s value. Consider all of your home’s amenities and features, but don’t make it an emotional decision about the value of your home. Find a fair price that will help your home sell, and use online tools to help you decide on a number.
Step 2: Compare the valuation to other similar homes, and homes in the neighborhood. Once you have a general idea about the value of your home, it’s a good idea to compare it to the value of other homes in the neighborhood.
You should also be looking at home of a similar size and style to see what they are selling for.
Deep clean and stage your home
Step 1: Thoroughly clean your home before taking the next step. You’ll want your home to be in top shape before you take photos or host an open house.
Thoroughly clean the kitchen and bathrooms, dust the baseboards, and clean out drawers and appliances. Shampoo the carpets and touch up any paint on the walls or ceiling.
A clean, neat home will attract more potential buyers than a messy one. Appearance is of the utmost importance when trying to sell your home.
Step 2: Remove your personal belongings and reduce clutter. If you browse home listings you will often see clutter-free homes without family photos or miscellaneous knick knacks on the walls.
Before trying to sell your home, you will want to remove all of your personal touches and belongings, and stage your home for sale. Reduce clutter as much as possible to make your home more presentable.
List your home and start marketing
Step 1: List your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Realtors have access to the MLS, but homeowners can still list their home for a fee.
While you might initially balk at paying hundreds of dollars to list your home, you’ll do well to remember that this is just a small percentage of what you would be paying a real estate agent.
Step 2: Print or purchase marketing materials for your home. Flyers, signs, and brochures can help potential buyers find your home and learn about its features.
Be sure to list popular amenities like stainless steel appliances, open floor plan, finished basement, or large windows. Provide brief information about the neighborhood and nearby parks and schools.
Host an open house event
Step 1: Advertise for the open house in your neighborhood with signs or an ad in your local paper. Avoid planning the open house during a major sporting event or holiday weekend when people might not be able to attend.
Step 2: Create a welcoming environment. Make sure your house is still clean and clutter-free, and welcome people into your home with light refreshments and plenty of flyers or brochures about the house.
Be ready to answer any questions and give details about recent repairs or updates.
Invite offers and close the deal
Step 1: Negotiating is part of the process, so don’t be afraid. You’ll be reviewing offers submitted via contract. You can make revisions to the offer or contract and return it to the buyer throughout the negotiation process.
Ask friends and family for advice as needed, particularly if they’ve recently gone through the selling process. Negotiating can be overwhelming, but it is important to take the time to settle on a price that you will be happy with.
Step 2: Accept an offer and sign a contract. Once the negotiations have taken place, and you’ve agreed upon the terms of the sale, all that is left is to sign the contract. Be sure to comply with the laws in your area and seek help as needed.
Selling your house without a real estate agent can be a long, arduous process, but if you have the time and energy it is possible to maximize your profit.