By Colin O'Leary
October 22nd, 2018
Home buyers and sellers are empowered today like never before. New technology has disrupted nearly every industry, including the real estate industry. Some homeowners are choosing to sell their house without the help of a real estate agent. It's easier to do today than it was 10 years ago due to technological advances and access to information on the internet. Still, it's not an easy task and can be very time-consuming.
Each year many homeowners will try to sell their home on their own. Some are successful, others end up listing with an agent after unsuccessful attempts to sell on their own. According to a statistics from the National Association of Realtors, approximately 89% of all home sellers in 2016 did so with the help of a real estate agent.
If you are the ambitious type and want to try to sell on your own, here are some tips to help you maximize the value you can receive when selling on your own. I've put together a list of 5 things you will need to do in order to successfully sell your home without a real estate agent.
1. Pricing your home
The biggest mistake a homeowner can do is to overprice the property. Home buyers are more educated and more sophisticated than ever before. They are not going to overpay for a home, no matter how great the marketing is. When you work with a real estate agent, they will provide you with a comparative market analysis that is tailored to your specific market. This report is used to price the property.
The comparative market analysis takes into account recent past sales, listings in-contract, and active listings for comparable properties. This information can be found online but must be analyzed correctly or it can affect the sale of your property. For example, if a seller overprices the property, it could sit on the market for months or even years. If a seller under prices the property unwittingly, it could end up costing a lot of money.
2. Hire a professional photographer
When a seller lists the property with a real estate firm, they are provided with professional marketing services. This usually includes professional photos and a floor plan at the minimum. If you decide to sell the home on your own, be prepared to pay for professional photogrpahy for the home. It's important that the property is properly advertised, which includes professional photography and a floor plan at a minimum. Listings with bad photography are often overlooked by potential buyers which can result in the property selling for less than it should.
3. Marketing the property to potential buyers
If you are a home seller and want to get top dollar for your property, be prepared to spend money on marketing expenses. Some homeowners think they can stick a sign in front of the house and sell for top dollar by catching a lucky drive-by buyer. Others think that they can simply place an ad on Craigslist and receive top dollar for their property. This strategy will only limit the quality of offers you will receive on the property. It could cost you big money in the end.
When you list with an agent, the property is usually heavily marketed on multiple websites and print publications that reach thousands of potential buyers. In addition, when you list with an agent, the property is displayed on the local MLS (Multiple Listing System). The MLS system is used by thousands of real estate agents to share listings on a daily basis. These agents are working with potential buyers for your home. When you sell on your own, you will lose out on this potential market.
If you decide to sell the home on your own, be prepared to spend money to market the home to reach as many buyers as possible. This includes listing the property on as many websites that allow For Sale by Owner listing's as possible. Generally speaking, if you want to get maximum value for the property and not undercut yourself, you need to do everything you can to try to reach as many potential buyers as possible.
4. Showing your home
If you decide to sell the property without an agent, be prepared to deal directly with potential buyers. When potential buyers are knocking on the door or calling you, how do you know if they are actually qualified to buy your property? There are plenty of people out there who will waste your time. Some buyers who come to view the home may not be able to afford. Others may have not yet been approved for a loan yet by a bank.
Real estate agents usually act as the buffer between the home seller and potential buyers. A good agent will make sure that your property is shown to only qualified buyers. If you decide to list the house on your own, be prepared to show the property on your own. Be prepared to deal directly with buyers and the banks to make sure your buyer is qualified. It's important to make sure you are only showing the property to qualified buyers so you are not wasting your time and energy.
5. Educate yourself on the negotiation process
So you decided to sell the house on your own and now you found a potential buyer. You already made sure that the buyer is qualified to purchase the home, either with a bank loan or with all cash. What do you do now when you receive an offer? What if they are multiple offers? Do you accept or counter-offer? The way you respond is crucial. If you make the wrong decision, it could end up costing you a lot of money.
When selling a property on your own, it's important to understand the mindset of potential buyers for your home. Some buyers actually prefer to deal directly with sellers. Some buyers think they can get a better deal by going directly to the seller, rather than having to negotiate through a real estate agent with expert negotiation skills. Sometimes its true, especially if the seller has under-priced the property unwittingly. It's important that you educate yourself as much as possible about the negotiation process before decide to list the property. If you make the wrong choices it can cost you big time.