7 Steps to Selling a Home Privately
Selling your property on your own isn't as difficult as most agents make it out to be. It does take some time and effort, but the benefits are real. Thousands of people just like you do it every year. In fact, experts suggest that about one in four homes are sold privately. All it takes is a little know-how.
Follow these seven steps to successfully sell your house:
Setting Your Price:
One of the most important activities in selling your own home is pricing it properly. Most home buyers use price as a key factor in determining which homes they want to go see
To set your price, check around your neighborhood / community for comparable homes for sale. Get familiar with how other similar homes are priced. If you'd like a little more help in this area, the alternative to determining a price on your own is to use a professional appraiser. The initial cost of an appraiser is still much less than the end cost of commission. It's important to revisit your pricing strategy from time to time using all the available information you have.
Choosing PropertyGuys.com, your listing will automatically be sent to buyers that match your profile once it is added to the system. As your listing starts to get online visitors, be sure to check your Price Change Notifier to see if there are any interested buyers that fall around your asking price.
Use your online Property Report to track the number of views, number of bookmarks, days on market, visitor trends and Price Change Subscription. Our customized alerts will help you get notified whenever a buyer asks a question or submits an offer on your listing.
Preparing Your Home to Sell:
It's important to make a good first impression so you have to make sure your house is ready to show. Clean the yard. De-clutter the house. You'll want to walk through all the rooms to make sure they are presentable.
Remove any distractions that prevent visitors from focusing on home. Some home sellers go as far as depersonalizing the home (removing pictures and personal preference items) so that potential buyers can see themselves living there. Be prepared to discuss your home's best features.
Showing Your Home:
Once your house is on the market, you'll start getting calls. Have a plan for when people call to set an appointment to see your house. Get their name, phone number and set a time for them to come by and look around.
At the showing, make sure valuables and other confidential items are put away so the potential buyers are free to walk around. Try and keep the number of people in the house to a minimum. Give them some time and space to look around on their own, but be available for questions. Gather receipts for heating costs, taxes, past repairs, or renovations; buyers interested in the house will want to know these details.
Negotiating Your Sale:
You'll want to have a real estate lawyer ready to go once you start entertaining offers. If you are new to selling privately, getting familiar with some common language such as deposits, conditions, adjustments, closing dates, etc., might be a good idea. Remember, you would need to get the services of a real estate lawyer to help close the transaction no matter what method you chose to sell. This is not an added expense to selling privately.
Consider all offers. An offer can be accepted, rejected or countered. You choose how to respond but it's important to remain focused on your bottom line. Don't take any offers personal. Buyers generally are looking out for their best interest; you need to look out for yours. As the seller, you may decide not to counter if you think that the buyer is not serious enough to continue negotiations.
For those that might be unfamiliar with negotiating, we have The Offer Maker® tool to help the direct exchange of information from the buyer and seller. The Offer Maker® is easily accessible by buyers from your PropertyGuys.com listing. It will help you and the buyer come to a mutual agreement on the basics.
Reaching an Agreement:
When the foundation of an agreement has been reached, exchange the names, addresses and phone numbers of the lawyers involved (i.e., your lawyer and the buyer's lawyer). Get the buyer to have his lawyer draft up the details of the purchase and sales agreement (what you negotiated together, independently or through The Offer Maker®) and have them sent to your lawyer's office. Putting this responsibility on the buyer will help gauge the seriousness of the offer.
Your lawyer will contact you to review the agreement. If there are any questions at this point, your lawyer can amend the agreement and send it to the buyer's lawyer office to review. This process will continue until all the details are correctly account for within the agreement.
Closing Your Sale:
Once a deal is reached, you and the buyer must agree on and include a closing date in the purchase and sale agreement. The closing date is the day that you get paid for the property and turn the deed and keys over to the buyer.
When selecting a closing date, it's important to keep in mind any conditions that may exist on the sale. You'll want to provide enough time for any conditions to be met. The date also needs to allow time for lawyers to do their titles searches and calculate the adjustments.
Once a closing date is set, this is the date you need to have all your belongings out of the house and have it ready for the new owners to move it. The buyer will be performing a walk through on this date to ensure the house is in proper condition.
Celebrate (an optional step, but a lot of fun!)
You've just sold your house on your own and made more money by keeping the commission. We knew you could do it. Enjoy the extra money!
We've included a bonus step...
What is a Private Seller?
Private sellers are homeowners who have decided to sell their own house and pay themselves the commission, instead of using a real estate agent. They're smart people who want to save money.