NEW YORK, April 27, 2009 – With distressed sales accounting for half of all home sales, many home sellers are finding that traditional sales are competing with discounted prices offered by foreclosed properties and short sales in their local area. To help home sellers attract buyers and compete against the discounted prices offered by distressed properties, ForSaleByOwner.com offers the following tips and advice:
Skip the Agent: Housing has lost more than $6 trillion in value since 2006, and hiring a real estate agent can cost as much as another 6 percent of the home’s sales price. Selling “by owner” will allow the seller to save that money while also marketing the home at a competitive asking price. The National Association of Realtors also recently found that “by owner” sellers actually sell quicker and for closer to asking price than agent-represented sellers.
Price the Home Correctly: Home sellers need to price their home according to today’s market and not based on the high price that a neighbor might have received a few years ago. Using a combination of an online appraisal and a licensed home appraiser will help today’s seller price the home accurately based on recent sales activity.
Market the Home More Effectively: Traditional home sellers have access to more marketing channels than distressed properties, since not all distressed properties are found on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), popular websites like Realtor.com or by owner websites like ForSaleByOwner.com. Traditional home sellers, including for sale by owner sellers, can market their properties with these resources to reach a larger audience of buyers than financially distressed homes.
Keep the Home in Top Condition: Foreclosed homes are typically in disrepair and are in need of some repair or renovation due after having been left vacant. It can easily cost a new owner tens of thousands of dollars and months of work to get the home back in shape. A home seller should stage their home to give it the appearance of being in “move in” condition. The house, as well as all closets, should be kept clean and free of clutter to create the appearance of a more spacious home. Sellers can make their home stand out by doing things like landscaping the front yard to improve curb appeal, replacing worn-out carpets and old appliances, applying new paint in key interior rooms, and tackling other minor home improvement projects.
Offer a Quick Closing: An advantage of being a conventional home seller is being able to offer a quick closing, often an advantage for buyers who wish to move quickly. Distressed properties can take many months to reach a closing date. Sellers should be prepared to offer a 30-day closing date to attract buyer who wants to move quickly.
Qualify Interested Buyers: Nothing is more discouraging than spending weeks with a prospective buyer, only to learn that he or she is unable to obtain a mortgage. To avoid such situations, make sure that your buyer is pre-approved for the loan amount necessary to finance the purchase of your home.
Get Help with the Paperwork: For a couple of hundred dollars, a local real estate attorney or a title company will craft and review all contracts between you and the seller, and ensure that you are adhering to all state and local disclosure requirements. Remind buyers that while a real estate agent isn’t needed to buy real estate, that they should get an attorney and/or title company to handle their paperwork.
ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s leading “by owner” real estate website. Since 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has saved home sellers more than one billion dollars by providing premium Internet marketing services, MLS listing services, property pricing reports, real estate guidance and information, downloadable legal forms, as well as live customer support, to help customers independently sell their own homes. The company offers a wide range of listing packages at varying prices that provide advertising, information, tools and resources to empower people to sell their homes themselves. In contrast, a person selling a $300,000 home through a real estate agent would be charged a 6% commission fee and pay approximately $18,000. Prospective homebuyers can browse property database, available at http://www.forsalebyowner.com, at no charge.