It can be a challenge to sell your house yourself. But thousands of people do it every month. And once you know the process, it’s actually very doable.
The single most obvious reason to sell your house yourself–is to avoid having to pay the real estate commission. The typical real estate commission is six percent of the sale price.
That’s why home sellers often attempt to sell their homes without a real estate agent. It’s simply a matter of cost.
Below are 5 important things to consider when selling a house yourself:
Step 1: Determine the fair market value of your home.Price the house too low and you’ll walk away with less cash on the sale than you should. But price it too high, and the house can sit for months without selling.
You can use online real estate valuation sites like Zillow.com (search using Zestimate) and Trulia. However, keep in mind that they are ONLY estimates.
You can hire a licensed appraiser. This will give you the most accurate estimate of the value of your property. You can also use the appraisal as a basis of valuation when negotiating the sale price with the buyers.
Step 2: Prepare the home for sale.You'll want to walk the house yourself and think of it in the eyes of a buyer. Ask yourself, "If I were going to buy this house, what wouldn't I like about it?" Consider the general appearance. Does it have good curb appeal? Does it feel right? These observations will be critical in the successful sale of your home.
You might also consider making any minor repairs. That includes leaky faucets, windows that stick, or electrical switches and lights that don’t work properly. Touch-up or repaint any rooms in the home that need it. Keep in mind that buyers favor neutral colors. Declutter the entire home, including closets, the attic, basement, and the garage. Make sure the entire home is clean and fresh smelling. You can also look into a home staging company to help with this if you cannot do it yourself.
Step 3: Market the home for sale.1) You'll need a good yard sign.
2) Create sales flyers or brochures in Word to give to people who look at your home or those that might show interest.
- Include interior/exterior photos - Address of the property - Contact info. (phone/email) - Property specifics: sale price, room count, description of the neighborhood & school district, etc.
3) Advertise the home online.: Zillow.com, HomeFinder.com, Facebook, Craigslist, etc.
4) Host an open house
- Best done on Sat/Sun - Advertise the open house well in advance (1 week or more) - Set up signs on major roads near the home leading people in.
Step 4: Negotiate the saleThe buyer probably come in with an offer that’s below your asking price. If the initial offer is not acceptable, you’ll have to go back and forth. Once you agree on a price, the buyer will submit a written offer. Therefore, make sure you have some real estate contracts specific to your state available. You can find these by doing a web search.
The contract must include every detail of the sale, including the purchase price, closing concessions, items that will be included in the sale, the closing date, and the location of the closing. The contract should also include contingencies.
The closing will usually take place in an attorney office or title company.
Step 5: The ClosingThe closing process will be handled by a closing attorney or title agent. Most of the work will be done by the closing agent, but you may need to provide certain documents. It is important that you are always available to complete any requests as soon as possible. You'll also want to maintain contact with the buyers between the time of contract acceptance and the closing.
The biggest obstacle in most transactions is the buyer’s mortgage.
Most mortgage approvals have conditions that must be satisfied between the time of approval and closing. If the buyer is unable to meet even one, the loan approval can be withdrawn.
Selling a house on your own rather than with an agent can be complex. But, if you follow each detail and dot all i's and cross all your t's, you can save thousands of dollars. Many have had a lot of success selling on their own, so can you!