As outlined in other blog posts, there are many options for home owners today to sell their own home without paying a commission to an agent. That is indeed one of the main reasons many home owners decide to try to sell on their own. Paying a commission to an agent may seem like a pointless idea when you can pocket that money right? Keep the excess and not give away your hard earned money seems like a no brainer. Well, unfortunately 73 percent of the time is doesn't work out that way for home owners who find out the hard way that selling a home alone can be quite an expensive endeavor. Assuming you have already cleaned up your home and it is show ready... Here are somethings you should know before you go at it alone.
1. Be prepared to get your hands dirty
If you are going to handle all of the marketing efforts yourself... be ready to work for it. Printing out physical forms of marketing material like flyers, mailers, cards, etc. can add up quickly. Make sure you devise a plan before hand on how you are going to attract your target home buyer. Who are they? What age group is most likely going to buy your home? Make sure you know how to market to millennials who, according to Realtor.com, make up 43% of home buyers taking out mortgages by the end of 2018. This is the largest purchasing group in the United States.
2. Get a listing on the MLS
You can now pay the MLS for a listing spot for your FSBO home. This is a big step to getting your house out there to prospective buyers as most agents will now be able to see your home online. You can also use services like Trulia and Zillow to name a couple. Understand that by posting your home for sale online and paying for that spot doesn't mean you are going to have eyeballs on your property and offers are going to start flowing in. This isn't the case. A online listing is like a post in the ground. You need to captivate folks scrolling through the many many listings as they pass by yours. Expect to pay at least $1000-1500 in marketing materials and an online listing service if you are serious about moving your home.
3. Pay for Professional Photos and staging
This should not be overlooked. Even some agents pass on professional photos which is a critical mistake. Most home buyers and agents look on the internet first for possible homes they would like more details on. A written description doesn't cut it. They want to see pictures that feel cozy and bright. They want to see themselves in your home even before they take a step inside. Make sure to take the time and money to get photos taken of your home that will catch the viewers eye and ask for more. Do not over edit the photos. If your photos are over edited, home buyers will schedule an appointment but become extremely disappointed in reality versus what they saw online.
4. Price it right
It pays to have an unbiased professional opinion of value on your home. Many times it is hard to take your emotions out of valuing your own home because "no other home in the subdivision is like yours". I have valued over 1700 homes in the past 12 months alone and I can confidently say, that is very seldom the case. Have a professional look at your home, walk them through your upgrades and amenities, and let them give you a number. Whether you want to use it or not is completely up to you but it should help you understand value as well as the market around your home at the time you are getting ready to list. I am more than happy to help. My email is attached to this post. Shoot me over more information.
5. Plan for Agents. You may still pay.
Unfortunately when you list your home yourself, you will have agents calling you all the time. They will tell you things such as "I have a potential buyer but we need to see the place first." Sometimes agents do this just to get the opportunity to see you and pitch you on their services and "how they can do it better". Again, unfortunately there is no way to avoid this as when your listing hits the online pages, it is public knowledge. As a home owner it can be extremely annoying. Many agents will also ask if you would be willing to pay a commission if they brought in a ready, willing, and able buyer. Have a process and amount in place if that is the case.
6. Get a lockbox
Did you know that 84% of all homes sold today are on lock box? If you are allowing agents to show your home is it a good idea to get a lockbox. It is hard to schedule an exact time for your home to be shown to many different potential buyers. It is also a good idea if you are personally vetting potential buyers and you give a couple the go ahead to check out your home when you're not there. This is much more risky than having buyers be accompanied by an agent. I usually do not recommend home owners have their have shown to buyers that they do not personally know. However, having a lockbox on your home gives you the flexibility to have your home shown at your discretion.
As you can see there is a lot that goes into selling a home but I am confident you can get it done! I hope that you use these tips and pointers before you put your home on the market. The last thing you want it to do is sit there for weeks on end with no real action. Be prepared to get your hands dirty! Good luck!
If you have any questions, concerns, or inquiries please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to help. Thank you for reading.