After being a real estate agent for the last 20 years, I’m truly impressed every time I come across a homeowner attempting to sell their own home.
It’s a tremendous task for those lucky enough to accomplish it and I have much respect for anyone who attempts it. I personally would never sell my own home For Sale By Owner, but that doesn’t mean you should follow my lead. That’s only because I know what all’s involved and would rather not risk the sale of my largest financial asset in my quest to save a few dollars.
Whether you decide to list your home or not, you should at least know the basics of the home selling process.
We know it’s tempting to try to save the commission by selling your home yourself. Few people are comfortable in the role of ‘For Sale By Owner’, but you may succeed at it. Across the Atlanta metro area, only 2-3% of For Sale By Owners are able to successfully sell their own home, but that doesn’t mean you won’t beat the odds.
But before you undertake the monumental task of handling your own home sale, you should understand what it takes to sell a home in this market, for the best price in the shortest time, and achieve a trouble-free sale.
Here are a few tips that should help you:
Price Your Home To Sell
Don’t base your asking price based on what Zillow, Trulia, or any other website suggests. These are only estimates based on their computer models. In most cases, the actual market value of homes in your community could be totally different than the amounts they come up with. The only true estimate of a home’s value comes from comparing actual amounts that homes have sold for in your area.
To set a competitive price – neither too high nor too low – objectively compare the price, condition, and features of all similar area homes on the market right now, as well as those that have sold in the past six months.
Be familiar with the specific terms of each sale, since often the terms are as important as the price.
Prepare a net proceeds sheet to estimate how much you will actually gain from the sale. A prospective buyer will also need an estimate of buying costs so that they’ll know exactly how much they’ll have to bring to the table to purchase your home.
Research Pre-Sale Details
Be prepared with contracts and forms to handle your seller’s property disclosure, purchase agreements, mortgage payoffs, deposit receipts, buyer’s cost sheet, loan application, property profile fact sheet, closing and settlement statements, personal property exclusion lists, property survey, termite reports, and any other such matters. This will help a buyer make a decision on your home and satisfy many of the legal requirements involved.
Fix Up For Sale
Do a pre-selling walk-through inspection, taking note of all the repairs and fix-ups necessary to make your home stand out from the competition. Be sure to pay particular attention to those repairs that may be required from a potential buyer’s lender in order to qualify the home for mortgage financing. Please plan accordingly since nowadays nearly all repairs must be completed before you can sell the home.