Selling your own home can be a lot of work, but the extra percentage you won’t have to pay to a realtor and the flexibility to be in charge of your pricing and marketing are huge advantages. If you’re looking to cut out the middleman, you should understand the entire process before you commit – and you should be comfortable with the latest modern tools for maximizing your profit and minimizing your hassle.
Prep Your Home
Once you know that you’re ready to sell your home, it’s important to make it as appealing to potential buyers as possible. The longer a house is on the market, the more its value is going to depreciate, so making a good first impression is important – and that means demonstrating what your house has to offer now rather than what potential it has.
Whether you’ve moved out or you’re still living in the home, you’ll want to make the interior neat and tidy and possibly arrange your existing layout to really show off the house’s best qualities. You’ll want to pay just as much attention to the outside. The lawn is the first thing many prospective buyers will see of your home, so making it look as idyllic as possible is crucial. Also, consider bringing in a professional photographer to capture both the inside and outside of your home. It could mean the difference between someone making a visit to your house or disregarding it entirely.
The biggest advantage realtors have is their network of connections. But the rise of the internet has provided the private seller with a rich variety of marketing channels that are cheap or free. You might be surprised at how much mileage you can get from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and there’s still something to be said for simply putting a “For Sale” sign out in your yard. And all it will cost you is the price of the sign.
But you’ll want to be sure to list your home on a site that specializes in homes for sale by owner. Platforms like HomeLister may cost you a little bit extra, but they can cast the net wider – and the price you’ll pay will be significantly less than an agent commission. And since you don’t have to pay until your home sells, there’s little inherent risk in spreading your marketing reach as far as possible.
Evaluate the Financial Situation
Just because someone is interested in buying a home doesn’t mean that they’re going to be able to afford it, but the process of applying for and then actually receiving a mortgage can take a long time. If you line up multiple prospective buyers who each have issues getting their finances in order, that can cost you a lot of time and cause you to lose the window of opportunity for a high-value sale. Ask for a mortgage pre-approval letter before you move forward with any commitments or paperwork, but also take the time to evaluate an applicant’s situation. The conditions of their loans can show prospective warning signs and help you understand whether or not an applicant is worth your time.
And while taking the agent out of the equation can save you some money, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get professionals involved. An attorney can help avoid any tricky legal situations and make sure that your finances are in order, and the few thousands of dollars you’ll pay for them will likely be a fraction of what you’d pay an agent. They can even offer you much of the same advice that you’d receive from a realtor.
Larry Alton is a blogger and passionate writer at knowledgesworld.com. He loves cooking and is fond of travelling.