Selling Your Home Series – Part 2 – FSBO Tips
In the first part of our home selling series, we discussed the pros and cons of selling your own home yourself, better known as For Sale by Owner selling. In this section we’ll begin to look at some tips for selling your home without the aide of a real estate agent. As with any do it yourself project, especially ones that involve an investment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, there will be a learning curve and doing your homework can make a big difference in the final results.
TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR OWN HOME (FSBO)
Even in the toughest market, there are things you can do to promote the healthy sale of your home. Home owners are still choosing to represent themselves when selling a home. It takes more effort and time, but these tips will put you on the road to a final sale.
It all begins and ends with the home. The “lived in” look won’t do when it comes to showing the house to potential buyers. You will need to make changes if you want anyone to be impressed with your cozy dwelling.
Start with getting rid of the clutter. Take an honest look at those piles of papers, box of toys, and bag of clothes. Don’t just hide them in the closet either. When I look at a house I want to see how much closet space there is. Hold a yard sale to move it all or donate the stuff to charity.
Boxing everything up and storing it in the garage is not a good idea either. Rent storage space to hold what you decide to keep so that it is not around for visitors to accidentally find. When the clutter is gone, it’s time for spring cleaning of the entire place from top to bottom.
Don’t forget the yard. As potential buyers get out of their cars you don’t want them to see clumps of brown grass and dead flowers all over the place. The yard is an extension of your home. It needs as much time and attention as the inside of the home. After all, buyers want the total package and they aren’t looking for a fixer upper. Hire a comprehensive lawn service if the yard has been neglected for some time or has serious problems.
Making repairs is a part of getting ready. Choose which repairs you will make. Major structural problems should be dealt with or they will become points of negotiation by the buyer in an effort to lower the selling price. Flaking paint and other cosmetic touches are inexpensive and will enhance the look of your home.
Use the money that you saved on the agent’s fee to beef up your advertising. If people don’t know that the house is for sale, they won’t come to see it. Marketing your home is the biggest responsibility of the person who sells a home on their own.
Start with the obvious. Get some signage in the yard. A sign lets people know that your home is on the market. It is also a sign to potential buyers that you are ready for visitors so make sure that the house is ship shape and ready to be seen.
The large majority of home buyers look to the Internet when searching for options. The Internet provides a quick way to set up parameters to your specifications. In a few clicks, you can see a listing of the homes for sale in your price range and desired area. For Sale by Owner sellers can take advantage of this trend to get greater exposure for their property.
A Secret tip to Advertise Your Home Online
Do a quick search for “home” or “condo” for sale & your neighborhood name. This will bring back a set of search engine results pages that you can use to advertise your house on. More and more people are looking beyond simple MSL online listings, so don’t neglect advertising your house on other sites.
Online listings include more information than the traditional newspaper ad, so use all of it. There is also room for pictures to be uploaded. Take five or ten flattering shots of the exterior and any special features inside the home. If you have the money, hire a virtual tour company to create a 360 degree movie of your home for the web listing. Besides being really cool, it is a useful tool.
The newspaper is still a good place to advertise locally. Although circulation is down in favor of Internet access to the news, people will usually buy the Sunday newspaper. Add a color picture to enhance your description. One tip: Try not to use too many abbreviations. People tend to think they are reading shorthand and will give up if it gets too cryptic.
As a last effort, try direct mailing. This is what is being done when you get those little postcards in the mail with the realtor’s picture on it and a photo and description of a home for sale in the area. You don’t need a realtor to do that, but you will need to purchase a mailing list. Choosing a list of people whose preferences run towards the kind of home you are selling will target the mailing and save money.
Next Up In Home Selling Series
Next week we’ll have part B of our FSBO tips where we’ll cover how to show your home properly, and negotiating the purchase contract.