Tips for First Time Sellers

By ForSaleByOwner

Across the nation, the housing market is setting unprecedented highs. It’s a great time to sell a house and get top dollar. And if you want to make the most money on what is probably the biggest investment of your life, consider selling your home yourself.

Many homeowners can save the traditional 6% that would go towards real estate costs. On a $350,000 house, that’s $21,000! That’s money that could be going into your pocket. All you need is some marketing know-how, an entrepreneurial spirit and the help of ForSaleByOwner. Here’s how it works.

Determine Your Asking Price

Using our Pricing Scout, determine your property’s worth. This tool gives you an estimated market value and summary of nearby comparable sales. Consider a “do it yourself” comparative market analysis to make sure you’re on target.

Prepare and Repair

Homebuyers have high expectations, and your property needs to wow to stand out. Check your property inside and out and identify problem areas for repair or upgrade, then prioritize those issues within your budget. This is also the time to stage your home for sale: de-clutter, clean and make it as visually appealing as possible.

Market Your Home

ForSaleByOwner can help you create a stellar marketing plan. You’ll want to review online listing options (including MLS) and decide which are best for you then write an appealing listing ad that highlights your home’s best features. Coupled with this, you’ll need to take great photos inside and out for your listing.

Check out the ForSaleByOwner listing packages and advertise your home to give it maximum exposure online. Don’t forget to share your listing on social media!

Schedule Showings

Sit down with a calendar and organize your showings schedule. Try to offer as many time slots as possible for buyers, and make sure your home is spotless and pets out of sight. Advertise your open house dates, share them on social media and make a plan for gathering feedback from visitors to improve future showings.

Negotiate the Sale

You’re getting close to selling your home! A buyer is interested and now it’s time to negotiate. Use our Find a Pro feature to locate a real estate attorney who can help you with all the paperwork coming your way.

In your mind, decide on a minimum price you’re willing to accept and if you’re going to negotiate online or in person. Update your comparative market analysis if your home has been on the market for a while, and come up with a negotiation strategy, including any concessions you’re willing to make.

Close the Deal

You’ve got an offer on the table. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the legal forms in our Real Estate Forms & Guides section, though your attorney will complete the paperwork and provide state-specific forms, disclosures and contracts. Contact your mortgage company to determine an exact payoff amount.

During closing, you’ll be working with your buyer’s inspector and appraiser. They may come back with an amended offer once. This is part of negotiations.

Once you’ve all agreed on concessions and price, verify all details in the contract have been met. Use our Find a Pro feature again to hire a title agency to close the sale and provide a closing venue. You and the seller should agree on a closing date, and make sure you have a plan for covering closing costs.

Once the nitty-gritty is out of the way and you’ve got a closing date, it’s time to take care of you! Hire a moving company, cancel your utilities and gather any warranty paperwork for the buyer. All that’s left is handing over the keys and starting your next adventure!

You can sell your home on your own successfully as long as you have the right tools, and we’re here to help you out! Learn more about selling through ForSaleByOwner, here.