Let’s face it! Real estate agents are middlemen who usually earn more than they deserve. The typical real estate agent will earn 5-9% of a home’s final selling price which translates to a lot of money when you consider the fact that you can do all the work yourself. Furthermore, it’s always smart to cut off middle men when you can. It is however important to note that selling your house yourself is easier said than done. It is however possible when you are prepared and equipped with the right information. With that said, let’s get right into it and discuss the most important tips that should help you in selling using the traditional FSBO method.
Tip 1: Fully internalize the reason/s for wanting to sell your home yourself
This is by far the first and most important tip to consider when going at a task like such as this one by your lonesome. There are many reasons why a home owner may want to forego using a real estate agent. The main reasons revolve around commissions. As mentioned above, real estate agents take a substantial amount off the final selling price of a home as commission. This can hurt a home owner’s bottom if there is any to be made at all; especially in a slow market.
Many home owners also consider selling their own homes because they don’t see the value offered by real estate agents. You may also choose by owner because you can’t seem to find a good real estate agent in your search. Understanding your reasons for opting against using a real estate agents is the first step to successfully selling FSBO, because it helps you keep your goal at the forefront of your mind. You need to convince yourself that you are ready and willing to stay in this for the long haul from the start, otherwise you will always resort to hiring a real estate agent when things get tough. In a nutshell, selling your home on your own should be a worthy cause, one that you are willing to undertake to the end no matter what.
Tip 2: Understand the role of a real estate agent
FSBO is all about playing the role of a real estate agent, which is perfectly legal IF you are selling your own properties. To do this perfectly, you need to understand what good real estate agents do for their clients from the get go. Real estate agents get paid to list and market homes/property as well as facilitate the buying/selling process. Although this might sound like a simple job, it’s usually challenging when you don’t know where to start.
Real estate agents list houses in many platforms like ListHub so that their listing can actually get seen by potential buyers. They also conduct other marketing activities such as placing advertisements, issuing fliers etc. Real estate agents also showcase their inventory regularly to the public, which involves activities such as hosting open house events. They also negotiate on behalf of their clients, handle all the legal requirements of real estate deals as well as facilitate any other processes involved in real estate buying/selling i.e. inspections, renovations etc. It’s impossible to successfully sell your house on your own if you don’t understand the above roles played by a real estate agent and purpose to play them to the best of your ability.
Tip 3: Know your home’s unique selling points
This is another crucial tip to consider. Every home is unique in its own way. To be able to sell your home fast and for “top-dollar”, you need to understand what makes your home stand out. You can ask yourself questions like:
- why did I buy this home?
- What do my friends and family members love most about my home?
- What makes your home special and/or different from my neighbors?
Unlike most home owners, real estate agents are really good at identifying a property’s selling points. As a result, you have to dig deeper.
The main aim of doing this is to make sure you highlight these selling points when marketing your home. If your home is adjacent to a lake, larger than neighboring/similar homes, has recently been updated, near social amenities and/or located in a silent and serene environment among many other things, make sure you identify and include these key factors when marketing. Knowing your home’s selling points is the best way to showcase the value of your home to potential buyers. If you don’t know what makes your home valuable, no one will be willing to make you an offer, none the less, buy your house.
Tip 4: Present your home perfectly
This should go without saying. You must focus on making you house as attractive as possible to stand a chance of selling it successfully on your own. It’s important to note that no one wants to buy a dirty home, an ugly lawn, an old roof etc. In fact, it doesn’t really matter how many selling points your home has if your home has a poor presentation. You can start by ensuring your home’s structure is sound i.e. the roof, walls, foundation, windows, doors, perimeter wall and gate are in perfect shape.
A home inspection can help you find out what renovations you need to complete. After that, you need to deep-clean your home which encompasses all aspects of cleaning from bathroom, bedroom and living room cleaning to garage, basement and backyard cleaning. In a nutshell, your house has to be sparkling. Home buyers love clean homes. They also love neat homes so you must also consider landscaping, repainting, rearranging the interior etc. Point blank, your home must look like a new show-house even if you are currently living in it. This is very important because it makes potential buyers imagine themselves in your home.
Apart from every aspect of your home being outstanding from the gate to the backyard and basement, you should also intend on making your home neutral if you have it in your budget. It’s worth noting that different people have different tastes. As a result, you need to avoid displaying personal collections/décor. For instance, you should remove personal photos. You should also replace bright colors with neutral ones. Remember that potential home buyers aren’t there to admire your personal tastes and preferences but to see themselves in your home.
Tip 5: Price your home competitively
Price is also an important factor for any for sale by owner to consider. This is given the fact that potential home buyers are always looking out for the best deals. Pricing you home slightly lower than your competition is always a great strategy. It is however important to note, that you have to come up with a competitive price after doing professional valuation. Get one prior to pricing your home, so that you can accurately price it.
Furthermore, you can price your home after accurately estimating your what your home is worth and comparing those figures with the values of similar homes in your area and then considering factors such as cost of renovations, home improvement projects etc. Ideally, you home should cost less than similar homes within your area for you to be able to sell your home fast. Potential buyers should believe that they are getting more than they are paying for.
Tip 6: Don’t forget to use social media
Social media is undoubtedly the most powerful marketing tool today given the fact that people visit social media sites more than any other sites today. Social media sites like Facebook have over 1.5 billion active users monthly. When you combine this statistic with other statistics from social media sites like Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc., it’s easy to see why you can’t afford to ignore social media when marketing your home. Besides having a vast reach, social media sites also have powerful targeting tools.
You can find many real estate communities on social media. You can also place targeted ads on social media, track the progress of those ads, post pictures of your home, contact info and so much more fast and easy. Although traditional FSBO listing websites are still useful today, social media marketing is more powerful. Furthermore, many traditional real estate listing platforms have a social media presence today. Social media marketing is also cheaper than most forms of marketing today despite being more powerful. As a result, you stand to get a better “bang for your buck” when you market your home on social media.
Wrapping It All Up
Contrary to popular belief, the actual process of selling a home isn’t the most difficult part. Instead, you should consider on making your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Reaching potential buyers is equally important. This calls for thorough preparation, identifying key selling points, pricing your home competitively and using powerful marketing tools like social media.
It is also important to understand why you don’t want to use a realtor in the first place as well as the role they play for you to be able to play that role perfectly. Once you do this, you shouldn’t have a problem selling your home successfully on your own. Real estate contracts are usually standard in most places so you shouldn’t worry too much about paperwork. Furthermore, you can always hire an agent to handle the paperwork only at a flat fee which is way cheaper than having a full-time agent to handle the entire process.