When selling a home, the usual practice is to hire a real estate agent to handle the task of listing the property, marketing it to potential buyers, facilitating showings, and acting as an intermediary when negotiating and closing. In exchange, your agent (as well as the buyer’s agent) will take a small percentage of the sale price as their commission.
For the most part, this cost is worth the convenience that comes with hiring a listing/real estate agent. But if you aren’t keen on letting go of what could be a substantial portion of your equity, you can actually sell your home on your own. Below are 5 tips to do just that.
Before listing your home on a multiple listing service (MLS) or even the local newspaper, make sure you understand it’s fair market value (FMV) first. Contrary to popular belief, your home’s price is entirely dependent on how much buyers are currently willing to pay for it—not the price it was sold to you and not how much time has passed since you first moved in.
The simplest way to get your home’s FMV is to look at comparable homes (also known as comps) in your neighborhood. Look for homes with the same number of bedrooms and baths, and price your home accordingly. Take your time with this step. You don’t want to price your home too high only to lower it after failing to generate interest—this will make it seem that something’s wrong with the property. At the same time, pricing too low can mean losing the opportunity to maximize your home sale.
The MLS is easily the most comprehensive list of property listings in the country, available to Realtors, listing agents, and in some places, even to buyers. While listing a property requires a licensed real estate agent, for a “flat fee” of a few hundred dollars, some services will allow sellers to list FSBO homes on the MLS. This ensures that shoppers on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, and Homefinder can find your home online.
Aside from listing your home on the MLS, you can always go old-school by putting up a “For Sale” sign on your lawn, hosting open houses, handing out brochures, and putting up ads on Craiglists, Facebook, and online discussion boards. There will be some expenses when marketing your home on your own, but the real cost is the amount of time and energy needed to go DIY.
As mentioned earlier, you can hold an open house to advertise your home. Most real estate agents will have connections with people who can spruce up a home for a fee, but with a bit of research and elbow grease, anyone can stage a home properly.
Every property has something going for it. Whether it’s the location, size, a renovated kitchen, a new HVAC system, or number of bedrooms, try to understand what it is that makes your home special. This will prove useful when writing ad copy for websites and brochures. Look for similar listings on Realtor websites and Craigslist to get a sense for how real estate agents advertise homes.
If you don’t have time for these tricks, you can still sell your home to an investor like Blue Hen Homebuyers. As a home investor, we buy all kinds of homes, regardless of their age or condition. Call our offices today at 910-802-2222 to learn more about how we can help you.