When you are looking to put your house on the market there is one of two ways of going. You can do it by yourself privately or you could sell it through an agent. Both have their ups and down as life always does. But this article I am writing for the benefit of those of you who would like to put your home on the market privately and sell it yourself, often called For Sale By Owner or FSBO. There are a number of things that you need to take into consideration when selling your home by yourself and I will go through a few of them in here. But just remember that you will be doing this by yourself. But if you’re smart you can always get the advice from a Real Estate Agent without committing yourself to anything.
You may be wondering how do I come up with the price.
The answer is simply…
Research, research and more research. If you price your home too high it won’t sell, too low and you lose out. Real Estate agents have a keen eye for the local market, so their advice is crucial in setting a realistic price. Get a few price quotes, and then compare prices in your street and be brutally honest about the condition of your property. Don’t be tempted to increase the price just because you like your house – you’re making your job of selling harder.
You may also ask where do I advertise. In short you need to advertise everywhere you can. After all, you are entering the market cold, whereas the agent has a file full of people interested in buying.
Advertise your property in a good-quality local newspaper. If you place an advertisement in a national daily or a Sunday newspaper that has a good property section, make it stand out from the crowd – the majority of classified ads will be from agents and make boring reading. Use a photo if possible. Try and get into all the property magazines your budget can allow. Remember advertising in the papers is not a cheap exercise and you will not be getting any subsidy from the Agency so make sure your paper advertising is effective.
Property websites are fast becoming popular and offer you a wider audience than the traditional methods. The best websites to go on are the ones getting all the traffic. So go for the main stream ones and bigger ones. These include www.trademe.co.nz and so on. If you can afford it take a feature package. These are effective so you need to make the most of it. Try and put as many good photo’s of your house on the page as possible and have a great descriptive about your property. HERE IS A TIP… When writing your advert go outside then walk in and around your house. Remember why you bought the home and what you have liked about it living there. Then you have the body for your ad. Use the emotion you feel. The more emotionally attached you can get your buyer the better.
A “For Sale” board
Most buyers are local, and you don’t want to miss out on important passing interest. The best advice I can give for this is invest $60 dollars or something and get it professionally made with a photo or two. Keep the message simple – put down the viewing message whether its view by appointment or open home and your mobile telephone number should be enough. There are size restrictions for boards and restrictions to where you can put them up. But another TIP – Look at what the agents are doing around you. Copy and replicate what they are doing. They should know the rules. But if you’re still unsure go to your local council and find out.
Targeting your local area is another way to drum up interest in your house. If your PC skills are not up to much, get some help from a small printing company. All you need to do then is to provide the text and photos and you’re away. Get a whole heap of these made up and then deliver them to the area you live in one night. Might give you a good opportunity to get out of the house for an hour.
What do I say about my house?
Be honest and informative in your description. Measure the size of rooms accurately and avoid the making your home sound better than it is but do not make it so people won’t come through the door. It is an offence for estate agents to mislead in describing a property, so you should follow the same rules. Say if your home is leasehold or freehold and the length of the lease. Think about what attracted you to the property when you bought it. And use that emotion as I said before to encapsulate your audience into having to go see your home.
What happens next?
Be professional and prepared. A mobile number on your advertising gives you a little more security. When you get calls, have your questions ready. Do they know the area? What exactly are they looking for? Do they have a property to sell? How quickly can they move? How long have they been looking? Do they have finance in place? What time do they want to view? What are they buying it for? This gives you vital information about any potential buyer and how serious they are, before they come round.
How do I arrange viewings?
Have someone with you when giving viewings. You then have a valuable second opinion on the potential purchaser. Have any relevant paperwork to hand: Rates bills, service charges, any planning permission statements, certificates for major works such as damp proofing. This proves to the purchaser that you are serious about selling. Take a telephone number and do a follow-up call with the viewer. Feedback is important and gives valuable clues to the strengths and weaknesses of your property. Remember these people do have a serious interest in your property so any feedback that they give you is vital t your campaign. If they give you feedback that your price is to high take note and adjust it if need be. These people are the market and the market is the only one that will buy your home from you and with the market in a downturn period you have got to be on your game more than ever with your price.
The step above can take a long time or a short time frame. Depending on where you are in your campaign if you get an offer you need to look at it seriously. But when you do get that offer there could potentially still a long way to go. Your previous research should have given you the information on the local property market to know what a true price for your house is. Be realistic, but don’t be cowed. Remember that many offers that go through real estate agents change several times. I have a post on another page that details how to negotiate with a buyer. Here is another TIP. Always negotiate your offer on paper. Never verbally agree to anything as the buyer can walk away and leave you in the dust, and for the buyer being on paper means that they are more emotionally attached to the whole process as it’s actually right in front of them.
Once you agree on the price and the paper work is up to date you can take this to your solicitor and your job is basically done. If there are conditions in the contract you need to make sure that you work with your buyer to get these unconditional. Once the contract is unconditional you have sold and you can now crack open the bubbly and celebrate.