My article is about how to sell your home without using a Real Etate Agent. You can sell your home by yourself and save money. This article will show you all the steps to follow in order to sell your home by owner and sale.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Things You'll Need
STEP 1 FIND A REAL ESTATE LAWYER
ByTheOwner.com recommends finding a real estate lawyer at the beginning of your selling process. Even though you will not need a lawyer right away, you will eventually need one. It is good to be prepared. Real estate lawyers differ in their area of expertise and their price. You will need to call around to multiple lawyers and discuss their area of expertise (how many closings they do per week or year) and how much they charge. Some charge a percent of the selling price and some charge a flat fee. Also mention that you are selling privately and that you will need them to look over the offer before you sign it. You need to find a lawyer who you can trust and one that you feel comfortable working with.
You should ask your lawyer the cost of having them preparing an offer with: your name, your address, your asking price, and your lawyer’s information. This way you can photocopy the offer and distribute it to all the buyers that visit your home. Having an offer prepared and ready for potential buyers, makes it easier for them to submit the offer to you. The easier you make it on the buyers, the easier it will be to sell.
STEP 2 PREPARING YOUR HOME TO SELL
You are certainly familiar with the well-known expression, “You do not have a second chance to make a first impression”. Having your home well prepared for potential buyers can make the difference between a quick sale at a good price or a slow sale after several price reductions.
Once more, be impartial and try to look at your house with the eyes of a buyer. What are its weaknesses and how do they appear? The potential buyers rely on what they see; a CLEAN house that is in order and in good shape is easier to sell.
Here is a list of items that help a home present itself better and sell easier:
This is the first area a potential buyer will see. Remember that buyers often visit the exterior before even calling you. Pay attention to:
Grass well maintained.
Remove all useless objects.
Clean everything (BBQ, pool…).
Clean any oil stains with a cleaning solution and a brush.
Move all useless vehicles or trailers to another location.
PLACING YOUR HOUSE ON THE MARKET
Replace missing or broken roof tiles.
Make sure the front door is inviting and repaint if necessary.
Replace all broken windows and screens.
Paint window frames, doors and any other areas as needed.
Remove all political signs.
INTERIOR SMALL DETAILS CAN CHANGE THE IMPRESSION THAT YOUR HOUSE WILLLEAVE ON POTENTIAL BUYERS WHO VISIT:
Deep clean your home, especially the kitchen and bathroom. Also
don’t forget to clean the windows and blinds.
Clear storage areas by removing all useless objects. This will be one
less thing you will have to do when you move! (Keep in mind that
movers charge by weight.)
Paint where needed and avoid less conventional colors. Often a simple
coat of basic white will be enough to make the room seem bigger and
brighter. This can also help to eliminate smoke or animal odors.
Deep clean the carpets and change them if needed.
Replace all light bulbs with maximum power ones to help give the
impression of a bigger and brighter room. This also presents a better
atmosphere in the room.
Make sure that everything works well in the house. (Toilets, doorbell,
Stop smoking in the house. Cigarette odor can even scare other smokers
from buying your home.
If possible, have your pets kept at another location during visits.
3. PLACING YOUR HOUSE ON THE MARKET
You are now ready to place your house on the market and when it’s ready, all potential buyers will need to be informed about it. There can be any number of people looking for a home in your neighbourhood at any time. You want them all to know about your home for sale. The goal is to attract as many buyers as possible. When you advertise your home you must consider the advantages and disadvantages of each form of advertising. The most active period of the sale arrives at the beginning of placing your home on the market. The objective that you want to fix yourself is to reach the maximum number of potential buyers in the shortest period possible. What interests you in your house might not be what interests the majority of people. For example, the proximity of the highway might signify quicker access to your work, however it might signify unwanted noise for a potential buyer. In your advertising, try to note all the aspects of your house that would make it appealing to everyone.
3.1. YOUR MARKETING PACKAGE
You will need an information package on your home to give out to all potential buyers. It is very important to give them information on your home and inform them how they can reference your home online and contact you with any questions. Buyers will come in and see your home, but you want them to leave with all the details so that they can go home, think about your home, and realize how great it is. ByTheOwner.com recommends providing all potential buyers with:
1 The feature sheet (these can be printed directly from our website).
2 The offer to purchase form with your price, name, and home information, and lawyer’s information (An offer of purchase is available on the ByTheOwner.com).
3 ByTheOwner.com brochure that shows buyers exactly how to find more information on buying and selling privately and an easy reference directly back to your website.
The next step consists of placing a “For Sale” By Owner sign on your property. You will want to project a quality image and invest a few dollars more for a sturdier sign with a better appearance; it can make a difference. If your home is in a residential area and not on a main street, you will most likely require additional directional signs to advertise and guide the buyers to your property. Directional and open house signs are very important. If there are 30 buyers going to an open house near you, you have to let them see that your home is also for sale. The goal is to make sure that everyone looking for a home in your neighbourhood, knows that your home is for sale. Imagine if someone bought the home around the corner, because they didn’t know that your home was for sale! Don’t let this happen.
It is extremely useful to put your home on the Internet when selling privately
for the following reasons:
It will take, on average, 30-60 days to sell your home.
You want as many buyers as possible to see your home.
You want to make it as easy as possible for a buyer to see your home.
You need feature sheets on your home.
You want to limit the time you take to sell your home.
You want to avoid useless calls.
Did you know that more than 70% of people that are looking for a new house use the Internet to find it and this percentage is continuing to rise? The Internet is an efficient and easy way to reach thousands of potential buyers. Other benefits include:
Comparatively low cost to an advertisement in the newspaper with the
same amount of information and exposure time.
Possibility to give a lot of information; which will pre-screen buyers and
result in targeted calls.
Flexibility, in most cases, it is possible to modify the advertisement at
WHEN CHOOSING A FOR SALE BY OWNER (FSBO) WEBSITE, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING
EXPERIENCE Choosing a website with a history of sales is very important. The longer the website has existed, the more people know about it. Websites with lots of testimonials and a history of sales is the one to choose.
Please see a sample of ByTheOwner.com’s testimonials at the end of this guide.
NEW LISTINGS People looking for a home tend to search for months at a time. They will only look at websites that have lots of homes for sale and lots of new listings. People tend to bookmark the website and check back every few days.
ByTheOwner.com averages 100-150 new listings each week.
VOLUME Also important is the number of homes already for sale on the site. If the site has many homes for sale, then there are lots of signs on the lawns and lots of buyers that know about the site. Great signs and lots of homes for sale: This is how a FSBO website gets traffic. The signs on the lawns are of utmost importance. If a website has 10-30 other active homes for sale in your city, then buyers passing those homes, will go to the website and see your home. These are the buyers you want!
ByTheOwner.com has thousands of listings and we are currently the largest FSBO website in Canada.
5.4. NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES
If you decide to advertise through these outlets, make sure your ad stands out in the crowd. Use an original title to grab a potential buyer’s attention. Pay particular attention on the advantages of your home and also try to write a clear and precise ad. Read some different ads from the preceding week’s newspaper and take note of what captivates your attention and why. What are the characteristics that attract you? What style is used? You can even test different ads to determine what works best. A general rule to keep in mind is to leave the impression in your ad that you are honest and trustworthy. Always try to vary your ads. New ads generate more activity rather than an ad that simply repeats itself every week; this ad will generally end up being ignored.
5.5. THE TELEPHONE
All the efforts that you put into the ad for your home have one goal: that interested people reach you and most of the time they will try to reach you by phone. It is also at this point that you will need to deal with the real estate agents who call and want you to list your home. You will need a phone with an answering machine and adapt your answering machine message so that people will feel like you are professional. Use a nice voice, mention that your home is still for sale, and indicate the asking price, the dimensions and number of bedrooms. Have a copy of your brochure close to the phone to help you organize your conversation. Note the names and numbers of the people who call you and ask where they saw your ad. This will help you determine which method has worked best for you. If you advertise on the Internet, you can refer them to the website so that they can see pictures of your home and obtain further details. If not, you can always ask them their mailing address and offer to send them a copy of your brochure.
SOME ADVICE ON ANSWERING THE PHONE
1 When someone calls your home ask, “Are you a buyer?” If the answer is anything but “yes” then you can choose to end the conversation immediately.
2 When someone calls your home sa
6.1. RECEIVING OFFERS
So your have done your research and educated yourself; you know the market value of your home; you have advertised correctly and you have had lots of buyers come to see your home; Now they would like to discuss price and put in an offer. It is here that your market research on the value of your home and your knowledge of all the other homes for sale comes into play. You can now intelligently discuss your home’s price because you have done your research. You can also educate buyers on why you are asking your price. You can justify with comparative sales, and explain why someone would buy your house for your price.
If you do not receive an offer, you will need to ask yourself why? Price, location, condition…
OFFERS ALTERNATIVE 1 – YOU PREPARED THE OFFER
You have had most, if not all, of the details about the sale prepared by your lawyer before you put your home up for sale. The buyers like your terms and want to buy. Your buyer can go to their lawyer and then have their lawyer look over the contract. The buyers can then sign the contract and return it to you.
ALTERNATIVE 2 – THE BUYER BRINGS THE OFFER
The buyers can elect to go to their lawyer and have an offer prepared according to their terms. You can then bring this offer to your lawyer for final approval and explanations. Then you simply need to sign the document to finalize the purchase of the property.
Both the buyer and seller sit down with a lawyer to negotiate the transaction. The lawyer will prepare the contract in accordance with your wishes. The other party will then take the offer to their personal lawyer to finalize the deal.
Low offers – Do not be insulted by low offers. Everyone wants to get a deal. Some buyers will try this to see if you are educated or not. You have done your research and you know the value of your home, so let them put in the offer and then explain why you will not accept this price and why you will accept a higher price.