The Keys to Selling Your Home by Yourself
- Competitive Pricing
- Marketing / Exposure
- Legal Details
Of the many jobs a Realtor® has, these are certainly the most helpful and most important. If you're selling your home without the help of a professional, here are some tips:
What if you price your home too low? You should sell it quickly, but how much money are you leaving on the table? How much did that sale "cost" you because of a low selling price? What if you're priced too high? You may not get any lookers at all or if you do, they'll buy a nearby home that's priced more competitively.
As a "FSBO,' you must do the same homework an agent might do. Find comparable homes that have sold or are for sale nearby. Take market conditions into account. Consider the timing of when a home sold. Be sure to compare apples to apples and adjust pricing based on a home's age, condition, features, neighborhood amenities and more.
Even many professional Realtors® think that a sign in the yard and a listing in the MLS is enough to sell a home. Are you trying with just a sign in the yard, a newspaper ad and a posting in Craigslist? Sometimes that does work. Most often, it doesn't.
Marketing a home is about putting it in front of the greatest number of potential buyers. 90% of buyers use real estate websites to find their home. How many websites is your home on? Those buyers want to see professional photos, virtual tours and more, just to decide if they'll visit a home in person. 300,000 people every Sunday read the Indianapolis Star, including everyone who's in the market to buy. Are you reaching those buyers? Is your home visible on broadcast TV or on YouTube (the second-largest search site in the world)?
If you're selling by yourself, the key is putting your home in front of every possible buyer, wherever they may be looking.
Of course, the right time to sell a home is when you're ready and a buyer is ringing the doorbell. But there are times when there are more buyers out there. And there are times when there's more competition going against you. Any can make a huge difference in how quickly you sell your home and for how much.
There's a reason you don't see fashion shows in a Walmart. There's a reason the nicer restaurants don't slop your food on a plastic plate. There's a reason your Lexus dealer has a leather couch and Starbucks coffee in their waiting room. It's called staging.
If your home is priced like a Big Mac, you can present it like one. But if you want top dollar, you need to present it that way. Make yours a "show" home. Staging helps the buyer see your home as theirs, imagining their furniture and family living there.
One of the most important responsiblities a Realtor® has is to ensure that all the t's are crossed and i's are dotted. Most people who sell their home on their own enlist the help of a lawyer to guide them through the process and make sure there are no headaches (lawsuits?) later on.
If you've decided to sell your home, best of luck. It at any time you change your mind or simply need advice, I'm available to be your information source.