Before you start, you want to get emotionally ready. I would suggest you remove yourself from attachment of this house at the very beginning of the selling process. Do not let your emotion get in the way of presenting and negotiating the deal. You may be stressed out financially and you want to leave everything about this house behind, or you may love your house so much you are not ready to part with it and move on. You want to be emotionally neutral and look at the house from your buyer's perspective.
Without the emotional attachment, you would have an edge over professional real estate agent, because you are most knowledgeable about the product you are selling, you know the location like the back of your hand, and you are passionate about selling your product. You have everything that makes a great salesman. No offense to real estate agents, but a few of them do play the numbers game and some of them are not entirely honest. They do little in a way of marketing and promoting your house, and they are patient and wait for the seller getting tired and throwing in the towel, and dropping the price lower than necessary, and they wait for the uninformed, tired and inexperienced buyer to come along. Bottom line, they wait for the deal to come to close by itself, without putting in much effort. But as a seller, you are different. You are motivated and passionate, and you are willing to put in time and effort. That makes a lot of difference.
Now, let's come up with a price. Pull up a list of houses for sale in your area within one mile radius. They are your competitions. Be careful with under represented houses in your area. You know them when you see one: house that never sells with overgrown weeds, and crappy sign in its yard; house with glaring mistakes in their MLS listing, either the error with the sizes of the lot, the number of the room, the foundation, or the ALL-CAPS or misspells in their description; house with crappy photos in their MLS listing, out of focus, too dark and poorly lighted, not using proper wide-angle lens, not covering all the selling points. All these signs point to a seller that does not care, is distressed, or an incompetent real estate agent. You should adjust their asking prices upward by 5 to 10% when pricing your own house.
I would like to point out it is important to price it right the first time. Otherwise you will be wasting your valuable resource, and time. And you will get tired and unmotivated. And you listing will become stale, and you neighbors with say things like, "Oh, that house has been on the market for a while", which may turn off a lot of prospective buyers.
Repair, cosmetic touch up, and house staging. If there is major repair needed, you may leave it to the buyer. Give the buyer the option to have himself repair the say, roofing or foundation, and get a discount at the price, or you can fix them yourself. A lot of buyers would like to have the option because they know someone in the home repair business. Don't spare any money on cosmetic touch up. They cost little, and they make the house so much nicer and give the buyer the impression that the owner has been taking care of the house all along.
Make sure the house is uncluttered when you stage an open house event. Refrain from hanging large, loud pictures on the walls. Remove large house plants, because they make the room seems small. Make sure the house smells nice. You all know the pie baking trick. The aroma makes the house feel like home. Do not over do it and turn your house into a bakery though. I personally like to have a radio on. Tune it to classics oldies, or jazz music in low volume. Music helps distract buyer from any unpleasant noise. Very few will dislike those musics that is why retail stores play them.
Now, let's talk about marketing. If you are serious about selling a house, get your house on MLS! All major house shopping websites have MLS data feeds. Major search engines will pull up those listings as well. Do a search on a for sale house, and see what listings are showing up on your browser. Many independent FSBO sites simply can not compete with the volume and size of MLS. MLS is the established central data depositary for real estate industry. It has been around long before websites, and Internet search engines. Most buyers first do a search on MLS through any one of its affiliated websites, or on Realtor.com, and make a visit to those houses to get a feel of the neighborhood. Other FSBO websites, including Craigslist, most likely are not their first stop or primary venues.
Understandably, some agents do not do FSBO MLS listings because there is little money in it for them. Buyer agent will ask for commission even if you do not offer one though. Buyer agent has been house shopping with the buyer for a while, and they know a lot more about the buyer than you do. I would suggest you pay buyer agent, and pay him/her well. Yes, you can have the buyer agent negotiate a fee with buyer themselves, but that could be awkward, and not the way it is usually done. The fee should not be revealed until at the closing time, when it shows up as a line item buried in a pile of documents. It is most effective that the buyer does not know the exact fee, otherwise, the buyer may get a feeling that the buyer agent is not in their interest, and it becomes harder for buyer agent to put a deal together.
As more and more buyers are negotiating a deal directly with seller without an agent representation, you may want to get to know the real estate laws a little bit more to protect your interest. Make sure you disclose properly and adequately, and have a title office do the conveyance. All the papers and standard contract forms are available on the Internet. You can choose to have a closing agent/attorney to take care of business for you for a small fee. I will leave closing out in this article.
|There is only one regional central MLS in each city or metropolitan area. Your house will be listed on that MLS, the real deal!|
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|We empower you, the seller! You take full control of presenting your property. You will meet with prospective buyers, and you will stage your own open house event in the most creative way you can think of!|
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|Cancel or withdraw your listing at any time without penalties! Take the listing off market so you can start afresh? Absolutely yes, you can!|
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