Home sellers are a busy lot. They need to have their house listed and marketed. Many sellers are often preparing their homes for showings while simultaneously reviewing different neighborhoods and residences that they would like to live in.
Some people choose to list their houses as for sale by owner. This isn’t quite as popular as enlisting the aid of a real estate agent, but it can still be very successful. Your own understanding and input can make all the difference between success and failure in that venture.
Selling a home in Georgia can take time. Even if you have a highly motivated buyer, the sale may still not be finalized for several weeks or months. There are certain steps that must be taken in a logical order, several of which require the involvement of certain specialized industry professionals. You could even run into unexpected delays or other issues along the way. Patience, persistence and a proactive plan of action can help you accomplish your goal.
Here are a few things that you can do if you intend to sell your house as for sale by owner:
1. Have the house appraised. One of the very first things that you should do is to have the home appraised. That way, you can discover its fair market value. An appraiser will evaluate the property and come up with a determination of what the approximate market value should be. This should be in line with other comparable houses in your area.
2. Prepare for showings. You may want to do a little prep work before putting your house on the market. Getting your home ready for sale is a perfect time to conduct a thorough cleaning, top to bottom, inside and out. Leave nothing important untouched.
You can also stage your house yourself, or leave the job to professional stagers. Your home should look and feel warm and inviting. Open up blinds and curtains to allow natural light to enter rooms and move furniture around so that it’s easier to navigate. Keep family photos and other potentially sensitive belongings out of sight or reach from open house visitors. You can also tackle the repair, replacement or renovation projects that have been on your “to do” list for a while.
3. Establish a reasonable asking price. Your selling price should be affordable. It should also be comparable to other similar properties in your neighborhood. Spend some time beforehand researching homes that were sold in your area over the last few weeks or months. Find out how much each house sold for and how long each property was on the market.
This research will make it easier to set a realistic asking price. Setting a price that’s too low could result in having to review offers before you’re ready. On the other hand, having a selling price that’s too high could result in your house being unsold or on the market for several months at a time or longer.
4. List, advertise and market the property. Once you have a good asking price, it’s time to let people know about your home. You can list it on real estate websites and develop your own marketing materials. If you have social media accounts, you could opt to promote your listing on those pages as well. Look up a few existing MLS listings so that you have a good idea of what information to include. Your listing and advertisements should be succinct. Provide all of the details that buyers want to know, but don’t be too wordy.
5. Field offers and negotiate when necessary. It probably won’t be very long before the first offers arrive for your house. You can review each of them as they are received. Evaluate each offer carefully. You can reject them, accept an offer or ask a particular party to negotiate if you want. You don’t have to automatically accept the first offer that is made. Each serious offer should be weighed carefully before making any decisions.
6. Accept an offer when you’re ready. Once you’ve found an offer that’s simply too good to pass up, you can accept it. Both parties will then sit down together to negotiate a purchase agreement. Both the buyer and seller can add certain language or clauses that the sale contract may hinge upon. For example, the sale could be contingent upon the seller’s ability to purchase another residence or a home inspection. If the agreed upon conditions are not met, one or both parties may be able to walk away from the deal without the threat of legal repercussion.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages associated with listing your home as for sale by owner. Some of the more distinct attributes are:
Listing your home as for sale by owner – advantages:
– You can manage your own showings. Open house showings can work around your schedule, instead of the other way around that’s typically associated with homes listed by real estate agents. You can set up each showing in advance to ensure that any pets and other people who are currently living in your residence are not on the premises when showings are scheduled. You can also handle last-minute showing requests as you see fit.
– It can be less expensive. Acting as your own agent means that there’s no seller’s commission to worry about. However, you’ll still be responsible for paying commissions for the seller’s agent. You’ll also have more control over your own profit margin.
– You can create the listing you want. Most real estate listings are developed by realtors with some input from homeowners. When you list your house as for sale by owner, you have complete control over your listing. You can add as many or as few details as you want. You may even be able to modify your listing when necessary.
Listing your home as for sale by owner – disadvantages:
– It can take more time and effort. One of the main reasons why some sellers choose to work with a real estate agent is that they just don’t have the time or resources to list, advertise and market their own properties by themselves. You’ll have to spend considerable effort and take time out of your everyday activities to accomplish all of those tasks. Being a realtor can be an around-the-clock job that some people aren’t ready for.
– You may need to set a selling price that’s lower than anticipated. Most sellers don’t have the experience or knowledge that many veteran realtors do. They also have to fight for attention and deal with competing homes on the market. Sometimes in order to get noticed, a for sale by owner seller may also have to set a sale price that’s lower than normal just to get people to notice their property. This can be an effective tactic, but one that will probably impact your bottom line.
– Doing everything all by yourself can be expensive. Advertising and marketing aren’t cheap. You can expect to spend a few thousand dollars or more on professional materials that can help your house stand out. Even if you produce brochures, flyers and other similar items at home, you’ll still be spending money on materials that could be budgeted for other things.
It’s ultimately up to you as to whether or not you list your house as for sale by owner. You can sit down with a few real estate agents if you wish to get their advice. You can still list your house and hire a realtor later on if you so choose.
Once an offer has been accepted and a purchase agreement has been signed, it won’t be very long until the transaction has been completed. At closing, all remaining paperwork will be signed and filed. The buyer will be given the keys to your former house and you’ll receive payment for the net proceeds from the sale. That money will be yours to do with as you wish. It can be put toward the purchase of another home or other big-ticket item or just saved for later. Whatever you choose, you can congratulate yourself on a job well done! You sold your home! That’s something to be proud of. It’s time to look ahead to enjoying the next phase of your busy life in another location.
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