When you decide to sell your house, your first thought may be: I need a real estate agent. But hold your horses - take that route and you will have to pay a commission fee.
Commission fees raise the price of a house by approximately 6%. For a property worth $250,000, the commission fee is $15,000. Money you could use for your new home or for moving expenses.
If you want to keep that 6% and are willing to put forth some effort, these ten steps can help you accomplish your goal:
Get a Handle on Your Property Value
Step 1: If your house needs major repairs, do them now. Step 2: Find a reputable residential property appraiser to evaluate your house and tell you its current market value based on its construction, location and condition.
Set Your Purchase Price
Step 3: Talk to a lawyer about the documentation required.
Step 4: Discuss how the sale will affect you with your mortgage banker and accountant.
Step 5: Show a real estate agent pictures of your house and find out how much home buyers are willing to pay for it. Now set your true purchase price and emotionally say “good bye" to the house.
Prepare for the Sale
Step 6: Create “curb appeal" to get house hunters through the front door. Landscape your front and back yard, fix the driveway and any other defects. Paint your house and clean the gutters if necessary.
Step 7: Get rid of everything you don't need to live in the house everyday, keep the basic furniture to show the use of each room. Step 8: In each room repair, paint and clean the walls, ceilings and windows until they sparkle. Use a neutral light color paint, remove or replace worn carpets, refinish worn wooden floors. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Arrange the furniture to show the use of the room and photograph the outside and inside of the house to show all its features.
Advertise The House
Step 9: Use word of mouth, print and Internet advertising. Upload your pictures and full description of your house and use the virtual tour feature. Post your “For Sale" sign on your lawn, with your Internet website address and your contact number. Record your listing information on your answering machine.
Close the Deal
Step 10: Screen buyers; get names and verify phone numbers, insist on mortgage pre-approval letters before scheduling a house tour. Clean the house thoroughly on the day of each viewing, lock up your personal valuables and board your pets with friends. Create a homey atmosphere - bake cookies, light candles and open the curtains for natural light.
When buyers arrive, give them property disclosures, show them the basics and leave them to explore. Be prepared to negotiate and accept the best offer. Once the buyer has their financing, talk to your attorney to arrange the closing of the sale.
For more information on selling your own home check out the authors website at FSBOmarketing.com