How to Sell a House Yourself
(A continuation of How
to Sell a House)
By Steve Gillman - 2006
Okay, if the previous pages didn't scare you away from the
idea of going it alone, here's a look at how to sell a house
yourself in order to (you hope) save the commission you would
otherwise pay a real estate broker. Are you ready for a time-consuming
and frustrating process? You might be. And to be honest, in the
right market, it may make sense to save the commission and do
it yourself - if you know what you are doing. So if you do try,
use the tips here to do it right, and to avoid common mistakes.
Understand Home Value
Here is your short review of the pages on pricing your home:
It's not what you think your house is worth, and it doesn't matter
how much you put into it. The value is only what it's worth to
potential buyers. See what they've paid for similar homes before
you decide on a price. Do the market analysis - don't just guess.
Try To Be Objective
Get your most honest and open friend to walk through the house
with you. He or she will see problems you didn't even know were
problems. "Sell" the home to him, telling him all the
benefits of buying your house, and get his honest opinion of
your sales technique.
Make A Plan
Make it a thorough plan. What will your kids say to those
who call? Where will you close? Will your documents be prepared
by an attorney? Plan well, and it will all go smoother.
Start Making A List
What needs to be repaired, cleaned, changed, or removed? Always
do the most obvious things first. More on this in coming chapters.
Prepare Your Sales Pitch
List any questions buyers might have, and be ready with answers.
Prepare comparison sheets showing other home sales, so buyers
can see the value in your home. Make a map showing nearby stores
and libraries, etc. Sell the benefits, not the features. Never
say "near stores." Instead, say "You can walk
to the store in five minutes." Don't just say "garage."
Try "No chipping ice off the windshield in the morning."
Put Crucial Information Your Advertising
Include the square feet, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms,
the address, your telephone number, and the price. If you leave
out the price, some buyers just won't call, plus you'll waste
time with others who shouldn't be calling.
Listen To Buyers
One mistake you may make when you try to sell a house yourself,
is to get defensive about your home. Listen to the criticisms
of buyers, and resolve them or ask how important the issue is
to the buyer. In other words, try to learn a little about selling.
Have Forms Ready
You don't want a buyer to say, "I love the house. I'll
get an offer form somewhere tomorrow and then I'll be back."
He might see another home he likes before then. Have copies of
an "offer to purchase," or "purchase agreement"
form ready. In real estate it is only legally binding if it is
Have A Clear Sales Agreement
Be sure it's understood by both sides. What happens, and when?
What if the buyer doesn't get financing? What's included with
the sale? When will the buyer take possession? Who pays the closing
fee and the transfer tax? More on this in later chapters.
Make Closing Easy
Choose a closing company before you even have an offer. Have
documents ready to sign. Prepare answers to likely questions.
This will probably be the largest financial transaction in your
buyer's life, so make him comfortable.
Use these basic tips, and you'll be doing better than the
average seller when you sell a house yourself. Read the rest
of this book also, of course, to more fully understand the selling
process. There are many things you need to do to sell your home
with or without the help of a real estate agent. And if you do
decide to get help, pay attention to the next few pages...
The book continues here: The
Best Real Estate Agent - Some suggestions that might be new