FSBO: Checklist for Selling Your Home on Your Own
For Sale By Owner – it can be a scary prospect for any homeowner, but selling your house on your own is easier when you have the right tools and information. If you’ve already reviewed the pros and cons of engaging a real estate agent, and have decided not to use a real estate professional, this checklist can prepare you for the selling process.
Create a Transaction Timeline
It helps to have a timeline in mind before listing your home so that the process stays on track. Start by deciding when you want or need to be out of your current home. Next, check with the local realtor association to get the latest statistics for Days on Market (DOM). This will give you a rough idea of how long it will probably take to sell your home. Using the move out date and DOM, you’ll have a better idea of when to list your home.
Since you won’t have a realtor doing any of the work for you, it’s important to consider any major events that are on the horizon. You’ll also need to give yourself extra time if repairs need to be made before putting your home on the market.
Real estate transactions require a pile of paperwork that grows as the process goes on. You can save yourself a lot of time and headaches by getting everything organized well before listing your home. Gather together all of your real estate related documents:
● HOA Rules
● Tax Records
● Utility Bills
● Inspection Reports
● Repair Documentation
You will also need to create flyers, have the correct disclosure forms on hand as well as blank real estate contracts – because hopefully there will be a few interested buyers.
Find a Price That’s Right
The list price is critical if you want to sell your home quickly and for as much as possible. Listing the home too high can dissuade people from touring your home and shut out potential buyers. The result is often a home that sits on the market until the price is eventually reduced. This can not only throw your timeline off, it often means that the offers you do receive are low-balls because the buyers are using the long list time as a bargaining chip.
One pricing strategy is to get a professional appraisal, which can also be used to market the home. Or you can engage a real estate agent to run comparables for you and help you determine the fair market value.
Set the Stage for a Quick Sale
Most homes that are lived in need a little TLC and staging to attract the most buyers. Imagine the model homes in a new development – or better yet tour a few to see them firsthand. This is what you are competing with. If you want to get top dollar you’ll have to:
● Repair any damage or broken fixtures.
● Re-paint the walls a neutral color.
● Clean up the landscaping and front entry to maximize the curb appeal.
● Have a yard sale and make donations to get rid of all the clutter.
● Keep your home spotlessly clean.
● Replace outdated fixtures.
● Depersonalize – remove the majority of photos and personal items so that buyers can imagine themselves living in your home.
Professional home stagers aren’t cheap, but they are worth the added expense in competitive buyers’ markets. This is an ideal option for anyone that is trying to sell a vacant home. A study from the College of William & Mary found that participants thought staged homes were more livable than vacant homes. While this may not increase the price tag, it can help a home sell faster.
Invest in Real Estate Signs & Marketing Materials
Even the most Internet savvy real estate agents will tell you that home for sale signs are essential for marketing and selling a home. According to Realtor.org, 51% of home buyers use real estate signs as an information source. Custom yard signs can be found for as low as $3.52, which makes their ROI huge. Signs for homes that are worth considering include:
● Traditional “For Sale” signs
● “For Sale by Owner” signs
● “Open House” signs
Beyond quality signage , you’ll also need amazing photos that highlight your home’s best features, along with flyers with all the pertinent information.