Should I Sell My House Privately?
Let’s talk about the benefits of selling your house privately, as well as the downsides that might make you more inclined to sell with a realtor, through an investor, etc.
First of all, FSBO sales have the potential to save you money. You will save money by not paying an outside source like a realtor to market and sell your home. Not paying high commissions for an agent can cut back on your overall costs, and when you’re selling a home, any chance to save money can make a difference in your budget! Saving this kind of money tends to be the main reason people sell privately. You also have more control over the selling process, which means you have more control over your budget and what you’re spending money on, as well as less opinions that may be distracting you from what you most want. Along with that control, you will have the flexibility of working with only your own schedule, meaning you have to coordinate with less people and may potentially be able to meet with more people when selling.
Some of the aspects that make the benefits great also come with some downsides. While you will save money by not paying an agent of some sort, an agent or realtor does take care of a lot of jobs that you have to concern yourself with if you’re selling privately. With all of that control on the selling process, you also have more responsibility. These responsibilities demand more of your time and rely on your personal efforts. Having a middle man that’s trained and has a strong network can shave off some of the weight on your shoulders. It’s also helpful to have a third-party to evaluate and sell your house, so selling privately requires recognizing your home’s perks and flaws and negotiating the price fairly with potential home buyers.
How to Decide
Obviously, deciding how to sell is an important decision and “for sale by owner” home selling is a viable option. Remember that the FSBO route can take more time and effort, so it’s not always easy to sell your home quickly. The biggest things to keep in mind are how important saving money is for you in the long run, how much you know you can do by yourself according to your experience, and if you have the time and patience to attract and negotiate with the right people.
How Do I Sell My House Privately?
How do I sell my house privately, you ask? There are certain things you need to be aware of prior to committing to selling your own home.
If you’re up to the task, you can potentially save yourself tens of thousands of dollars in commission fees by not having a real estate agent as your “middle-man”. As already discussed, be sure to commit the right time, inclination, patience, and energy to properly understand how the process works and how best to market your own home.
How to Sell a House Yourself
If you have the confidence and commitment to undertake the sale process yourself, selling your own property can actually be simpler than you may think.
Here are some tips to consider if you're planning on selling your home yourself:
- List your house at a fair and competitive price
- Become apprised of the local market
- Market your property with signage, newspaper advertising, listing services, etc
- Understand and highlight your home’s selling points
- Be available to show your property
- Be willing to negotiate
- Be flexible with the buyer’s timeframe
- Seek proof of buyer pre-approval for a mortgage
- Hire a lawyer to handle legal matters relating to the sale
You also need to be comfortable allowing strangers who may or may not be legitimate buyers into your home. Make sure you’re doing the necessary research on the current market and its history to attract the right buyers for the right listing price.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Some of these tips are useful whether you’re using an agent or not, but especially if you are relying more on yourself. Keep these things in mind as you are making decisions on when and how to sell your house.
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations for the price, and don’t expect the asking price. It’s easy to get discouraged, but you also need to be realistic with your sell. Set a fair listing price based on your research and be prepared to negotiate.
- Don’t hide significant problems with your house. It’s best to be honest in your dealings, but you also need to be prepared for buyer’s inspections, and you don’t want to lose money and time scrambling to fix a problem or lose the relationship you’ve built.
- Try to avoid selling during winter months. People are more inclined to stay in and hunker down in the winter. Of course, you may be needing to sell soon and there will be buyers that need to buy soon as well. It simply tends to be easier to get a better price and showcase a more appealing house in other seasons.
- Don’t skip out on pictures—use plenty of high quality photos online to attract buyers. You don’t want buyers to hesitate to click on your house because they don’t know what they’re getting into. Keep up with competitors and show the best of your house online.
- Don’t forget to clean and stage your home properly. Especially if you’re having a hard time getting buyers in to look at your house, you want to sell an experience that makes them want to stay. Clean spaces, including how it looks and smells, will remove distractions and add appeal.