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How to Sell a House Yourself

(A continuation of How to Sell a House)

By - 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 in writing.

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 to you.

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