I have always asked this question a couple of times now: Can I sell my house myself? A lot of times(make that ALL the time), I get the same answer: Yes. Of course you can ditch the services of a real estate agent and save yourself the costs of their commissions. After all, their commissions that may amount in 5 to 6-digits (depending on how well your house sells or how popular your agent is) could well go straight to your bank account and fund your move to your next house.
However, selling your own house is no easy task. You’ll have to take care of everything – and by everything, we mean preparing your home for marketing, actually marketing your home, and dealing with a mix of pleasant and not-so-pleasant potential buyers first hand. Agents are trained to deal with these people and you are not so you have to be prepared for that.
If you are selling a condo unit, do the necessary changes to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Not that we are telling you to turn it into a controversial condo by going the distance because of extravagance, but just make it– tasteful and elegant. You get the drift.
Along with that, here are other steps in getting your house sold sans the real estate agent:
1. Get your house ready for the market. There are several ways to do this, including getting a home inspection, repair, and appraisal. You should make sure that your house would be attractive enough to the buyers. If you want to sell your house at a higher price, make sure it is devoid of visible damages and common buyer turn-offs. Repair what needs repair, replace what needs replacement, and keep the house clean to the minutest detail. When your house is in perfect shape, hire an appraiser. Everyone who has been involved in real estate knows this is included in the basics of property investment. Now that it’s your turn to sell, let the professional appraiser determine the price of your own house – they are more aware of the current market trends as well as the value of your house based on internal and external factors like your neighborhood, state, etc. This may sound like additional expense but trust me, inspection, repair (depending on the amount of repairs needed), and appraisal fees are still less than a real estate agent’s commission.
2. Build your marketing strategy and network. Get yourself ready to network with potential market. Tell your friends about it, tell someone at work about it, give out flyers, and talk to the local school district. Make sure you give out details of your house and your location and any important buyer turn-on points. How’s the weather in your region? How is transportation and general public safety? And how many schools are around you and how far is your house from these schools? Put your house online too – everyone is online, remember that. Do not simply rely on your listing.
It would also be very helpful if you connect with a local mortgage lender. This will help you in the next step – selling. They almost always have a ready set of buyers and they can easily recommend your home; after all, that’s still money for them.
3. Negotiate. When buyers are starting to pour in, always be ready to entertain. Be a good host and take them on a tour around the house. Tell them all they need to know about the home – how old it is, what kind of repairs it’s undergone, etc. There will be less than friendly potential buyers – this calls for your inner Martha Stewart. We’ve all been tenants at one point in our life and tenants have their rights and responsibilities, too(click here to read what they are). Always be gracious. When you find someone who is willing to buy, lead them to your partner-mortgage lender. Help them with the paper works and other specific things.
– Avery 🙂