Relying on real estate agents to sell your home has decreased in popularity over the years. While the convenience of working with a real estate agent is great, many sellers are shying away from having to pay commission. This begs the question: should you sell your home by yourself?
There can be huge benefits to doing so, but there are a number of factors to consider. Take a look at what’s all entailed in going the FSBO (for sale by owner) route.
Homework & Pricing
Figuring out your listing price is a critical first step. Priced too low, your home won’t get you your money’s worth. Too high, and you might struggle to sell—it’s like the Goldilocks of real estate; you want your listing just right! Do your homework by looking at similar listings to your own home, in your area, to get a general idea of selling prices. An online valuation calculator can also help you find a reasonable estimate. To go a step further, find recent neighborhood comparable sales (“comps”) within the last year by visiting your county’s courthouse or record office.
As a reminder, real estate agents are not appraisers, but they do all of these things (and rely on their own expertise) to come up with a good listing price. Additionally, a pre-inspection can provide some insight to pricing your home appropriately. Look into hiring an appraiser if you want professional guidance.
Preparing & Staging
You’d probably lose interest in a home listing that had few photos, or photos that showed clutter and grime. If your home’s listing photos aren’t up to par, you’ll miss out on potential buyers.
Preparing and staging your home are crucial to your FSBO home’s appeal. Here are some things to keep in mind when readying your home for its closeup with the camera!
- Declutter. Tidy things up and clean like company’s coming over.
- Landscaping. Mow the lawn, trim the bushes and trees, consider planting some flowers for even more appeal.
- Update. Those things you’ve wanted to upgrade but haven’t? Now might be a good time. Even a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.
- Highlight. What are your home’s best features? Focus on these when photographing your home, and make sure they’re especially primed and polished for the camera.
One more thing: Taking photos of your home on a smartphone will not cut it. Use a professional camera and editing software, or hire someone who can really help the beauty of your home stand out.
When setting up showings, it’s best to set showing hours on your own schedule—that way you won’t be waiting on someone to show for three hours or have people over at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday. You can set up an open house and include the time and date of this in your FSBO home’s marketing. You can also respond on an individual basis, but again, it’s best for you to say “Between ___ and ____ work for me on Saturday, when should I expect you?”
An interested buyer will set up a home inspection. A home inspection helps the buyer negotiate your listing price and/or make sure certain things get fixed. As a seller, it’s recommended that you get your own inspection (pre-inspection or otherwise) so that you can compare notes and advocate for your price.
Lawyers & Title Companies
There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into closing on a house. If you choose to sell your own home, there’s a lot to be said for working with a real estate lawyer. While you can find paperwork for selling your house online, working a real estate lawyer adds a sense of relief and reassurance—you know your bases are being covered.
Even if you’re able to do every single thing in the FSBO home selling process, there’s one thing that can’t be DIY. You’ll need to work through a title company or agency to safeguard your transaction. These are relatively easy to find, and they will walk you through the final steps of selling your home.
As you’ve probably gathered, selling your own home is a detailed and lengthy process! It can absolutely be done, but you can also rely on the professionals to make your FSBO home sale easy. RealtyHive can help FSBO clients with marketing, pricing, and even an auction. Or if you end up wanting to work with an agent, we can steer you in the right direction with your area’s most trusted real estate agents. Contact RealtyHive today to make your home selling process a breeze!