Saving money by selling a house yourself is a tantalizing idea for many homeowners, but showing a property without the help of a real estate agent is not the easiest thing in the world to pull off successfully. You’ll have to handle all the paperwork and marketing yourself, of course, and you’ll even have to host your own open houses. If you’re thinking about cutting out the middleman, remember that where there’s a will there’s a way. But you’ll have to be prepared. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your listing is a successful one.
1) Know how to market. The biggest advantage of using a real estate agent is the exposure they give your home, so if you’re selling a house yourself, you’re really going to have to pick up the slack in the marketing department. In addition to listing your home in the local classifieds, you should advertise it on sites like Craigslist, as well as on dedicated real estate websites like Trulia. You might even want to consider making bulletins to post around town. After all, the more exposure your house gets, the better.
2) Don’t get emotional. When you’re selling a home on your own, it’s important to detach yourself emotionally from the house, even if you’ve lived in it for many years. Too many sellers mistake pleasant memories for real value, and consequently they list their homes for more than they’re actually worth. If you’re having a hard time setting an asking price, pay a professional appraiser to give you their opinion, and take that opinion seriously.
3) Keep the open house professional. Prepare adequately for your open house, if you plan to host one. Many buyers feel uncomfortable making critical comments around homeowners, so you should try to ease the tension by divorcing yourself from the situation as much as possible. Dress professionally, hide family photos and don’t tell prospective buyers that you’re the seller unless they ask.
4) Make everything picture perfect. When you’re selling a house, your real estate agent will typically point out all of the repairs and renovations that need to be completed before the home is ready to show. If you’re going it alone, you don’t have that kind of help, and so it’s best to err on the side of caution by fixing everything that could be perceived as damaged. Ask your friends and family to walk through the home with you and point out any problems they notice. Although you’ll have to spend a little money to get your house looking great, you’ll make it back when the home sells.
Selling a house yourself might be a lot of work, but these tips will make the process much easier. If you make sure to market your home effectively and treat all of your potential buyers professionally, you’ll be able to reward yourself with a handsome commission after all the paperwork has been signed.