ForSaleByOwner Home Seller’s Workbook: How to Get Started

By ForSaleByOwner

Making the decision to sell your home is a feat in itself. You’ve weighed the pros and cons and have decided to move elsewhere. You’ve also made the important decision to sell your home yourself rather than use an agent.

Congratulations! You are well on your way to a successful sale. Here are all the steps you’ll need to take to get to the finish line.

Preparing To Sell

Preparing to sell your home starts with setting realistic expectations. The average home in the United States takes 120 to 150 days to sell. The average time varies based on market conditions and price points. Use the internet and talk to friends and family who have recently sold their home to determine a realistic timeframe to shoot for.

You’ll also want to set aside a budget for selling your home. Use page four of our Home Seller’s Workbook to tally up line items for closing costs, advertising, staging and more.

Finally, make sure you have your paperwork in order. There are several vital forms you need to complete a home-selling transaction, including:

  • Sales contract
  • Disclosure
  • Counter offer form
  • Homeowners association documents (if applicable)

Find detailed information about all the above forms in the Home Seller’s Workbook starting on page 5.

Get Your Home Show-Worthy

The best way to know where to start focusing your energy within the house itself is to bring in a professional inspector. Since almost every home sale transaction requires an inspector’s report, having the inspection done up front will ensure no surprises pop up later.

Once your inspection is completed, you’ll be left with a list of items that need your attention. Pick the most important ones to address. This is also an excellent time to start the staging process by de-cluttering — think of it as getting a head start on packing!

Price Your Home

The first few days after you list your home are the most crucial, as interest will fade as time passes. That means listing your home at the right price is one of the most important things you do. Be aware that overpricing and underpricing your home are equally dangerous. There are two crucial pieces of information you can use to ensure your listing is properly priced:

  • Property valuation
  • Professional appraisal

You can find more info in the Home Seller’s Workbook beginning on page 17.

Start Advertising

The goal in advertising is to make potential buyers curious about your home. Spend some time brainstorming about which features to highlight — is there a spectacular view everyone remarks on or intricate woodwork trim that you fell in love with? Don’t go overboard. Only include the most relevant information to highlight.

After writing your property description, you will also need to take photos of the home. You can find a full list of our photo tips on page 21 of the Home Seller’s Workbook.

Working With Buyers

Once your home hits the market, you can expect to start receiving calls and inquiries. It’s important to keep your home in showing condition at all times. Make sure the house is clean and organized. While it’s appropriate to offer a tour of your home, you need to give buyers their space to look around. Feel free to ask them for feedback afterward, but try not to to take any constructive criticism personally.

Dealing With Offers

Depending on how you look at it, an offer can be exciting or intimidating. There are several things you can do once you receive an offer, including accepting the deal or making a counter offer.

It’s important to keep thorough records of everything and put it in writing instead of relying on verbal agreements. We recommend the use of an attorney to help with the contracts. Find more info in the Home Seller’s Workbook.

Close The Deal

Once both parties have agreed to an offer, there’s still a lot of work to be done. From finalizing contracts to the home inspection to the appraisal, we break it all down for you in easy-to-understand language in the Home Seller’s Workbook. Our free resource will walk you through every step of selling your home — you’ll be hanging up your “sold” sign before you know it!