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Home Selling Yourself Without A Realtor in Ten Easy Steps

Apr 1, 2008
When it's time to sell your home, selling yourself makes the most financial sense. Why pay a real estate agent $4000 or more to show your house when you can do it yourself for half the price or less? Below are ten easy steps to home selling that you can do yourself:

Home Selling Yourself Tip #1. Get your house ready.

Clean up your house, inside and out. Make sure that your lawn is trimmed, and the landscaping is neat. If the house needs repairs, this is the time to make them. Repaint, or give it a good wash. Inside, remove as much personal clutter as possible. Put away collections and pictures, take decorations off the walls and empty closets.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #2. Research prices in your neighborhood.

The single most important factor in determining how fast your home will sell is the asking price. It should be within a few percentage points of other homes in your neighborhood. Check at the county clerk's office for recent sales of homes in your neighborhood to get an idea of what homes in your neighborhood are selling for, then set your asking price within a few thousand dollars.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #3. Look into a flat listing with a local realtor.

Even if you're selling your home yourself, you can make use of a local realtor. Many real estate agents offer what they call a 'flat fee listing' for homeowners who are selling their homes on their own. The purpose is to get your home listed on the Multiple Listing Service for your area in order to increase the exposure that your home gets. The fee is generally a flat $250-$300, or a small percentage of the final price, depending on the agent.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #4. Get a good photographer to take pictures of your home.

When a realtor is handling your property, they'll engage a photographer to get the most flattering pictures of your property possible. If you're selling your home yourself, don't skimp on the 'frills'. The photographs that show your house to prospective buyers are the single best investment that you can make. If your house looks good in the pictures, people will want to see more.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #5. List your house on several internet 'selling home yourself' web sites.

Shop around for the best deals before listing, but don't go just by price. It's far more important to check a little deeper. Search for other homes and realtors in your area, and choose web sites that have a fairly good representation of homes for sale in your neighborhood or city.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #6. Use those pictures to help in selling your home.

The more prospective buyers can see of your home before they pick up the phone, the more likely it is that the calls you get will be from 'serious' buyers. Make sure that you include photos of your home's best features and major selling points.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #7. Be prepared to offer incentives when selling your home yourself.

Since you're not paying a realtor, you may be in a better position to absorb part of the closing costs, or offer to buy points for a prospective buyer to help them get the loan they need to buy your house. Other non-cash incentives may include details like including the gas grill and patio furniture as part of the deal.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #8. Get all your warranty information together.

As you get closer to selling your home yourself, make sure that you have all the paperwork that your buyer will need to take over the house. Collect warranties on the heating system, furnace, cabinets, and any other repairs or major investments that you've made.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #9. Have your home inspected.

Having your home inspected by your own inspector can save time when you're selling your home yourself. It may preclude the need for the buyers to pay for their own inspection if yours is recent and comprehensive.

Home Selling Yourself Tip #10. Retain a lawyer experienced in real estate law to help you through the fine points of selling your home yourself.
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