A home listed for sale by its owner without the assistance of a real estate agent or broker is said to be “ for sale by owner” or FSBO. There are four main things you need to do to sell your own home. They are:
Prepare your home to be sold. If you’ve ever seen a television show where real estate experts go into a home to give advice to homeowners on what should be done to make their home more attractive to potential buyers, then you know that often improvements need to be made before you begin to show your home. Giving your home curb appeal by improving the landscaping, making repairs to things such as fences or porches, or even painting the exterior of your home can increase the price you will get for your home.
You need to prepare the interior of the home, also. Make any minor repairs to things such as woodwork and railings. Updating kitchens and bathrooms is also recommended when trying to sell a home. The rule of thumb is that if you will get back the money you’ve spent fixing up a home by getting an increased selling price, the work is worth it. Even if you just break even, chances are you will have sold your home more quickly because of the work that was done.
Have a professional appraisal and home inspection done. Acquiring an appraisal and inspection serves two purposes. First, it helps you to set a fair and reasonable asking price. Second, it will alert you to any problems with the home that you were unaware of such as a cracked foundation that will turn up when the buyers have their own inspections done. It’s good to know about any problems before you go to sell the house so you can decide whether you want to get them fixed or simply alert prospective buyers to the problems.
Advertise and show your home. Put a large “for sale by owner” sign on the front lawn, advertise in the real estate section of local papers, and list your home for sale on the Internet. There are several sites that list FSBO homes. You can also pay a fee to have your home listed in the Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).You may also choose to host an open house, place a fact sheet in a box on your front lawn by the “for sale” sign, or distribute flyers about your house on cars in local shopping centers.
When you have a prospective buyer who wants to see your house, make sure your house is clean and decluttered before the showing. When showing your house, be prepared for every nook and cranny to be inspected and give the prospective buyer the freedom to check out every part of the home.
Make it legal. Ask serious bidders for a proof of a pre-approved or pre-qualified loan. Have the bidder sign a contract. Contracts and all other legal forms that you need to sell your home can found online or at office supply stores. Even though you can pick up all the contracts you need online or at the store, you would be wise to hire a real estate attorney to go to closing with you. The money you spend to make sure all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s are crossed is worth it to avoid the risk of having the sale come undone years down the line when you’re not expecting it.