Saturday, May 26, 2012 / by Lance Christmas
How To Sell Your Own House
First and foremost, you need to educate yourself on how real estate transactions happen. There are online guides and plenty of books on the subject at your local bookstore. When you decided to sell your own house, you are considered a FSBO seller [for sale by owner]. This FSBO market is growing like mad, which means you can find form contracts and agreements ready made for your particular state.
A second thing to realize is real estate laws are generally governed by states, not the federal government. This means the particulars of real estate transactions in your state may be different from those in another state. You should look for references related to your state, not nation wide advice. Nonetheless, here are a few universal pointers.
1. Determine the price of comparable homes in your neighborhood. This is going to give you a very good idea of what you can ask for your house when you put it on the market.
2. Objectively look at your home and make a list of things that need to be fixed. Selling a house often comes down to the details. Buyers are making a big investment, so they are going to be very picky about little things.
3. List your house online with photographs at a site like FsboAmerica.org.
4. Post flyers or ads in your local property listings magazines.
5. Put a sign on your lawn indicating you are selling.
6. On the sign post, put a box with flyers describing your home and the asking price.
7. Hold open houses for buyers to view your house.
8. Clean your house before all open houses. Add fragrant flowers to rooms, mow the lawn and so on.
9. Get rid of your junk through a garage sale and the trash. This includes cleaning out the garage and basement. Everything should be pristine.
10. Create a documented record of all the improvements you’ve made to the home to show potential buyers.
11. Become conversant in the offer, counteroffer process.
12. Develop a clear understanding of what happens during closing and make sure you’ll be able to take care of your part.
13. Figure out what you plan to do when you sell the house, to wit, are you going to buy another house and when will you move?
While these guidelines will take you a long way, it is important you understand the specific laws of your state. Once you have those down, the process typically goes fairly smoothly. Considering you’ll save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in real estate commissions, any bumps in the road will be more than worth it.