How to Sell Your Own House
Congratulations! You've taken the first step toward selling your own home! But now that you've found us what is next? Well, you've got a lot of work ahead of you, but at the end of that road you will find satisfaction and substantial savings as you hand the keys to the excited, new owners.
To move further down the road to by-owner selling success you need to represent yourself and your home well to the buying public. To help you we've created this handy selling checklist. Combine this with the tips and tricks below and you will be on your way to joining the thousands of successful by-owner sellers.
We encourage our driven sellers to try our Flat Fee MLS product. If the results are not satisfactory we offer free upgrades to our agent supported, zero commission Super Seller product. As always, the Xome Concierge is always a phone call away should you have any questions.
Set your price:
Do not underestimate this step. Setting too high or low can yield you unfavorable results. Set too high and the house will sit on the market, leading to price drops and the interpretation on the part of buyers that there is something wrong with the house. Set the price too low and if a bidding war does not ensue you could end up either selling for less than you wanted or not selling at all, thereby risking your ability to re-list at a higher price. Also, most internet home searchers use price as a filter, setting it in increments of $25,000. For example, if you wish to receive $200K for your home you should list it for $199,999 so you fall within the filter set by the home searchers.
Prepare your home:
Put yourself in the buyers' shoes. Leaky faucets, running toilets, burnt out lights, signs of pests, pet smells, dirty and stained carpets, these are just a few things that give potential buyers pause. Don't give anyone who enters your home reason to believe it has more faults than it actually does! Make small repairs to clear up their concerns. Once you've made the repairs take the time to remove large pieces of furniture, unused clothing and shoes, valuables, knick-knacks, and excessive family photos. Removing items will make the home feel much bigger and removing personal touches will help buyers imagine themselves as residents in the home.
There are many professional real estate photography companies who price their work from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. For an optimal on-line response professional photography is always advised, but most home owners can get most of the way there with a good camera and some know-how. Since you've cleared the clutter and thoroughly cleaned the home taking quality photos should be a snap. Find the angles and times of day that best highlight your rooms. Taking photos from the corners or even from outside a window can make rooms feel much larger and more appealing than they actually are. Long hallway and stairwell shots, particularly if they have natural light are typically well received. Every good photo tour contains a few outside shots, so be sure to capture some exterior images, highlighting outdoor eating and entertaining spaces possible. When uploading your photos always remember to lead with your home's strengths.
List your home:
Now that you've prepped the home and taken photos listing is a snap! Our Flat Fee MLS package has what you need to list your home and best position you for selling success. Host an open house: Since few buyers transact sight-unseen you'll need to let buyers tour the home. Since you've made simple repairs and thoroughly cleaned the home you should be ready for this. The home must be clutter free. This includes closets, cabinets, playrooms, and more. Some people find clutter stressful and if a potential buyer is stressed by your house they will not move forward. Remove pets for a few days to ensure there are no lingering pet smells. Also, don't forget to remove or secure valuables. Finally, make a game plan for your open house. Lead with the best features and work to make potential buyers feel at home. If it's in the fall, winter, or early spring don't be afraid to start a fire (in the fireplace), bake some cookies. If you are selling in warmer months have a few appropriate beverages on hand so your viewers can leisurely take in the outdoor spaces and really imagine themselves there.
If you look to be in a multiple offer scenario pick a date to review and hold to it. Once the date comes sit down and read through what each seller is offering. Are they a cash buyer? Do they need to sell a home to buy yours? Have they been pre-approved for the purchase amount? Once the finance questions are addressed what is each buyer requesting? Are there contingencies? Do you have to agree to post-acceptance inspections? All these things matter and the highest offer may not be the best or most likely to make it to close.
Retain legal and title help:
Residential real estate lawyers can be found nearly everywhere and frequently for reasonable, flat rates. Be sure to speak to a few and make sure you are comfortable with the representation you choose. Regarding a title and escrow company, there are a small handful of nationwide companies. They have similar services and similar pricing but still, call around before making a decision.
We know this looks like a lot, and it is, but you have a partner in the Xome Concierge at your side throughout the process. If at any point you want to switch over and retain the services of an expert, local real estate agent at no cost or commissions to you the Xome Agents and the Super Seller package are standing by.