Only about seven percent of all real estate transactions are for sale by owner.
That’s because the jargon around real estate and all of the steps a homeowner has to follow to sell their house seem intimidating, especially if it’s your first time selling a house.
Selling your own house doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and you can do it without a real estate agent.
If you’re looking to sell your house but worry you don’t know how to do it, keep reading for the ultimate guide on how to sell a house by owner.
How to Sell a House by Owner, The Right Way
Selling by ownercan be complicated at first, so you’ll want to make sure you’re following every step along the way.
You might be wondering how to sell a home by owneras quickly as possible, but you can’t rush the process.
Don’t try to do everything at once, because there’s plenty to do and you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
Prepare Your Home
Preparing your house for a showing might seem like one of the easiest steps, but it’s one of the most important tricks to selling your home.
When showing your house, you want potential buyers to not just imagine what it would be like to live there – you want them to feel like they could move in that second.
Clean your house very well before a buyer ever steps through the front door. You want the house to be thoroughly cleaned, so you might want to consider hiring a house cleaner to come in.
Decluttering is also crucial. Your home should look like a model home – you’re staging it, after all. Get rid of unnecessary clutter, or at least move your excess items elsewhere if they take away value from the space.
Set Your Price
When you set a price for your house, it needs to be realistic. Homes for sale by owner often get swept up in the owner’s personal value attached to it, but the real value of the home is what buyers will want to see.
Before you set your price, do research on the housing market and see what other houses in your area are selling for. The area and time of year greatly affect the price of your property, so stay up-to-date with the market.
Getting an appraisal on your home is another option to determine its value, but it is not necessary since the buyer’s bank will set up an appraisal regardless.
Draft Your Listing
When drafting your listing, you’ll need to gather any information about the house that you think is important for the buyer to know. Some factors to include are the year the property was built, the interior square footage, the lot size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, heating and cooling systems, and the parking arrangements.
You can typically find these details on dormant listings – listings about your property that are online despite your property not being for sale at the moment. Websites like Zillow and Trulia will often have these listings, and you can gather your property’s information from these sites.
You can include some of these facts in your listing’s description, which should also include an emphasis on the nicest qualities and features of the property.
Taking and posting good photos of your home with your listing is as important as the factual information for the property. Be sure to include plenty of natural light in your photos, take more photos than you plan to post, and use editing software to touch up photos you do choose to post.
Advertise on Different Platforms
You will want to advertise in as many places as possible to attract various buyers. One of the easiest and cost-effective ways is with a Multiple Listing Service or MLS. An MLS is a platform for real estate brokers in a given area to see each other’s listings.
Posting with an MLS gives your property the maximum level of exposure for a flat rate. When listing a house for sale by owner,having a platform like an MLS will give you the boost you’ll need. Learn more about MLS here and see if it’s the right option for you.
Show Your Home
There are two main ways to show your home: host an open house and schedule private showings.
Hosting an open house is beneficial because it allows a larger number of potential buyers to view your home with no commitment necessary, such as scheduling an appointment beforehand. It also allows buyers to approach you when needed, so no formal tour is necessary.
If you plan on hosting an open house, try to schedule it on a weekend when many people have the day off and plan to host it for a few hours so people can come and go on their own schedule.
Another way to show your home is by setting up private tours with only one potential buyer. Private tours are scheduled and are typically more formal, as you’ll walk through the entire house with the buyer. It also allows them to ask more detailed questions and raise concerns one-on-one with you.
Prepare to Negotiate
Any potential buyer is likely to negotiate with you on the price. Since you are representing yourself and your home, you must be firm on your price. Try not to settle below your absolute minimum price, but also try to work with the buyer as much as possible.
Find a Settlement Agent
You might know how to sell your house by owner, but there are some steps in the process that require third-party professionals.
Once you’ve set the price with your buyer, you’ll need to find an escrow agent to get you through the rest of the process.
Depending on your state, you will either work with a title company agent or a real estate attorney. Your escrow agent will help you with all finalizing paperwork and closing costs and should be your main point of contact.
Close the Sale
You must abide by certain federal standards, such as the Fair Housing Act, as well as any state regulations. Your escrow agent will help you to make sure you’re on the right track legally and will go over any remaining paperwork with you.
This is the most intensive part of selling your home, so make sure you listen to your escrow agent and close your house correctly.
Sell Your Own House With Confidence
Now that you know how to sell a house by owner, you are ready to get the ball rolling on closing the deal yourself. Go join the 7 percent of homeowners selling their houses, today.