While it is always recommended to work with a real estate agent during the selling process, some elect to sell their homes themselves. Although this can be and has been done plenty of times before, usually the time, energy, and effort required to make the final sale will negate any benefit gained from going this route. As a potential seller here are a few of the tasks that you will have to face during your selling process:
Knowing your property
Become familiar with the facts of your own property such as property taxes, zoning, lot size, and square footage, if you are not already. Also, look through the terms of your existing loan if you have one and consult with your lien holder as necessary.
Researching the current market and property laws in your area
How much are other properties that are similar to yours selling for in your area? What are the terms of those sales? What property disclosure laws do you need to consider when selling your property?
Setting the price
Once you have researched the facts about your own and similar properties in the area a realistic price needs to be set. Remember that a high price may signal to potential buyers that you are not willing to bargain and turn them away from the sale, while a low price may signal that something is wrong with the property and also turn them away from the sale.
Determining financing alternatives for the potential buyers
Contact the lenders in your area to find out what the financing options are for potential buyers. You want to be informed on this topic before the buyers ask, or your lack of knowledge on the topic may turn them away from the deal.
Performing a thorough walk-through of your property
Look for any items that need to be repaired or replaced on your property. Be sure to look at it through the perspective of the buyer and the inspector. Items to consider may include windows and doors, electrical and plumbing systems, roof and gutter condition, or flooring and carpeting to list a few
Knowing your neighborhood
Most prospective buyers will want to know about things such as the local shopping, parks, schools, available transportation, etc. Be prepared to answer those questions.
Establishing a marketing budget and plan
One of the first things to consider is the budget that you are willing to work with in terms of advertising your property to prospective buyers. Things to consider include advertising costs, signs, attorney and other professional fees, and any other fees typically paid by the seller such as surveys and inspections. You will also need to set a plan that would be the most cost effective option for you to reach both local and out-of-town potential buyers.
Preparing and Scheduling for an open house
After advertising and hopefully reaching your prospective buyers, you will also need to prepare your property for an open house. Usually these are scheduled on the weekends, however not all sellers and buyers are the same and may have a different schedule that they have to work with.
Other things to consider during this step are creating a fact sheet about the property for the prospective buyers to take home and keeping a list of the potential buyers so that you may contact them later for a follow up of the sale.
Once an offer has been made, it is time to negotiate
Be careful when negotiating with a potential buyer as you never want to get angry or make it seem that you are overly eager to complete the transaction as those may be considered red flags by the prospective buyer.
Getting your forms in order and negotiating the final sale
A number of forms are required for the legal sale of property in any state. Be sure you understand all of the forms before signing them. Be aware you will also have to negotiate the final sale as well which includes items such as price, inspection contingencies, date of closing, date of possession, among other things and come to an agreement in writing with the buyer. A final walk-through will also need to be performed with both the buyer and seller present to determine that the property being conveyed meets the expectations of all parties involved.
Make arrangements for the home you will be moving to
Unless you have already made arrangements for your new residence, you will also need to become a “buyer” for a new property while simultaneously being the “seller” of your current one. If this is the case, it is highly advised to schedule both transactions to be as close together in time as possible as you need to be moved out before the new owners take possession of the property.
If this seems like an overwhelming process, allow me to help. Contact me to get free information on how to get started on the home-selling process.
Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is a real estate franchise company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports the Fair Housing Act.
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