Before taking the leap to sell your home yourself, it’s a good idea to spend some time educating yourself on each aspect of the real estate selling process.
Consider Everything that an Agent Does
The real estate agent performs many jobs: researching the value of your home, listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service, knowing buyer trends, posting online ads, showing the house to buyers and other agents, conducting open houses, negotiating with buyers, organizing paperwork, dealing with the title company. While you can do some of these things yourself, others, such as posting on the MLS, you cannot do yourself.
How to Hire the Right Listing Agent
Ask for Help from the Experts
Network with friends and real estate agents to find a good lawyer, title company or escrow company to help you with closing. In some states, attorneys handle closings while in other areas of the country, it’s customary for title companies or escrow companies to do closings. Use them as a resource for the legal forms you will need such as the sales contract, the property condition disclosure notice and addendum forms. Make sure to review these documents thoroughly and ask questions.
Staging for Sale
Learn the best strategies for preparing your home to show, how to show it, how to handle questions and negotiations. When you opt to do it yourself, you are the owner and chief salesperson. It’s up to you to get your home looking fabulous, prepare a sales flyer, and brush up on the key selling features of your property. Decide on your bottom line price, what price you’ll start with and what incremental prices you are willing to negotiate. Making the sale is up to you.
Market your Home
Take top quality pictures to use in print and online ads. Purchase “For Sale By Owner” and “Open House” signs. Be prepared: Not only will you receive calls from buyers but also from agents looking for sales leads. They will want you to list with them or at least be willing to let them show your home. If you are willing to allow an agent to show your home, be ready to negotiate a reduced commission.