Monday, September 6, 2010

Selling Your Home Yourself


If you ask anyone who has ever tried to sell their home
themselves they'll tell you that from the moment the "For Sale by
Owner" sign goes up, the phone begins to ring. Unfortunately,
many of those calls will not be from prospective buyers, but
rather from real estate agents looking to obtain your listing.
Obviously the idea of not having to pay a commission to a real
estate agent is attractive to any homeseller. But because of all
the issues involved in the process, selling a home on one's own
can be challenging, as many homesellers will attest to.

The key is to be properly prepared. If you are not, your home
could remain on the market longer than you expect because you are
not attracting and getting offers from qualified buyers. This
can be a point where many homeowners become frustrated and
consider giving up their dream of selling their home themselves.
However, there are sellers who accomplish selling their own
homes, very well. You can be one of them.

This article has been specially prepared to help homesellers,
such as yourself, understand the elements involved so you, on
your own, can sell your home quickly and for the most amount of
profit. To help you prepare, here are 10 inside tips that you
should be aware of before you make the decision as to whether or
not this is the right approach for you.


1. Price it Right.
Correctly setting your asking price is critical. Setting your
price too high can be as costly as setting it too low. Home
prices are determined by fluctuations in the marketplace, not by
your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth.
In order to establish a realistic price for your home,
objectively compare the price, features and condition of all
similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones
which have sold in recent months.

It is also important for you to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today’s market. Carefully budget
your selling costs and prepare a net proceeds sheet to calculate
your best estimate of what you will take away from your home
sale. Prospective buyers may also request this kind of analysis
of buying costs.

2. Prepare Your Home for Sale.
First impression is crucial. Make sure your home makes a
positive statement by carefully inspecting all details and
viewing it through the objective eyes of a buyer. Don’t gloss
over needed repairs and fix-ups, as your prospective buyers
won’t. Your job is to ensure that your home stands out favorably
from the competition.

3. Prepare Yourself With All Necessary Legal Documentation.
Not surprisingly, there are many important legal contracts and
documents which you must assemble, complete and understand. A
partial checklist of forms that you will require for prospective
buyers and for legal documentation is as follows:
* Seller Disclosure
* Purchase Contract
* Mortgage Payoff
* Loan Application
* Deposit Receipt
* Property Profile Fact Sheet
* Buyer’s Cost Sheet
* Closing & Settlement
* Personal Property Exclusion List
* Property Survey / Plot Plan
* Seller's Statement of Representation

4. Market Your Home Effectively.
Beyond the sign you will put on your lawn, you should find
effective ways to spread the word about your home. Local buyers
can be reached through the newspaper, but this is only a small
part of the market you are after. Be sure you include the many
buyers who could already be working with a Realtor®. To locate
them, target as many top agents as possible in your market to see
if the criteria of their buyers matches that of your home's.
Because out-of town buyers are also an important target, you
should create a strategy to reach these people as well. Above
all, you should be very service-minded and make it easy for
pre-qualified buyers to view your home. Ensure there is always
someone available to answer the phone, pick up messages promptly,
and be ready to give qualified prospects a tour of your home as
soon as possible.

5. Remain Objective During a Showing of Your Home.
Keep emotion out of the sale of your home, and the best way to do
this during a showing is to remain physically in the background.
If a prospective buyer says something negative about your home,
it is better to counter-balance this point of view by
illustrating the positives rather than becoming defensive.

6. Pre-Qualify Your Prospects.
Don’t waste your time entertaining buyers who could never afford
your home. Research their financial steadiness with respect to
job security, salary, debts, liabilities and credit standing.

7. Negotiate Effectively & Knowledgeably.

There will be many details to resolve before a sale can be
considered final: price, terms, inspections, possession date,
buyer concerns and objections. Make sure you fully understand
the contract you have drawn up so you can in turn explain details
and ramifications to the buyer and make any amendments to the
sale that are necessary. The contract you use should be
thoroughly examined by your real estate attorney. Some real
estate brokers may be willing to help you do this. While this is
going on, manage the buyer’s interest in your home so that it
doesn’t wane during negotiations.

8. Know Your Buyer.
Your objective during negotiations is to control the pace and set
the duration. Try to determine what your buyer’s motivation is.
Does he or she need to move quickly? Do they have enough money
to pay your asking price? Knowing this information will give you
the advantage in the negotiation because you will know up front,
what you will need to do in order to get what you want.

9. Don’t Move Out Before You Sell.
Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that
is vacant. It looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing.
It could even cost you money. If you move, you’re also telling
buyers that you have a new home and are motivated to sell fast
which can, of course, give them an advantage at the negotiating

10. Know Why You're Selling and Keep it to Yourself.
The flip side of "understanding your buyer" is to "understand
yourself". Your reasons for selling will affect everything from
your list price to how much time and money you will invest in
getting your home ready for sale. Your motivation will help you
determine what is more important to you: the money you walk away
with, the length of time your property is on the market, or both.
Different goals will dictate different strategies. As someone
who wants to sell without a real estate agent in an effort to
save the commission, it is likely that money is one of your
primary considerations, (see below). Whatever your reasons,
however, it is very important to keep them to yourself so as not
to place yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiation table.
When asked, simply say your housing needs have changed.

How to Assess Your Net Gain

To analyze whether or not you will end up ahead by choosing to
sell on your own, consider the fact that most buyers do use a
real estate agent because it doesn’t cost them anything for this
service (i.e. the seller pays the agent’s fee). Be cautious as
buyers, investors and speculators who seek out For Sale by Owners
are typically those in search of a bargain. The low-ball offers
from these types of buyers will often net you much lower in the
long run. What you will have to judge for yourself is the

1. Be as prepared as possible with your marketing, negotiations,
evaluations, showings and all legalities.

2. Consider what it will cost you to effectively market your home
and assemble all necessary materials from the "for sale" sign to
any contracts?

3. What price will a buyer offer you as a For Sale by Owner minus
the costs identified in point 2 above. Is this net price higher
than the price an experienced agent could net for you minus
his/her commission?

Consider the fact that home sales handled by licensed real estate agents tend to result in higher sales prices, and weigh your options. Private sale can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to sell your home. Just make sure you've done your homework!


...but if you decide to leave the details to a professional, please keep me in mind!

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