If you want to sell your house by yourself, there are many things you need to know in order to get the amount you deserve. While taking this route has its benefits like setting your own terms and timeline, and saving on commission, it also has its fair share of challenges.
Nonetheless, many people go down this road every month. Once you get the hang of the process it is quite doable. This article lays down the steps for how to sell a house by owner.
Step 1: Identify your property’s fair market value
Determining your home’s market value will let you get an estimate of how much you can expect from the sale. When wondering how to sell a house by owner, this is the first and most important step. You can do this in the following ways:
Talk to a realtor: You can ask a real estate agent to visit your home and get an estimate. There are chances of getting a biased response here because they will want you to list with them.
Get an appraisal: An official appraisal of your property will give a more accurate and unbiased estimate. This may cost you around $500.
Educated guess: Conduct market research of similar homes in your vicinity and their sale prices. This will help you get a ballpark. You can also use online real estate valuation sites like Trulia, and Zillow, which will give an estimate quickly and for free.
Step 2: Prepare the house for sale
This involves taking a thorough look at your house from the lens of a buyer. It is only then that you will know which part of your house requires repairs or upgrades.
These changes, even if small, can make your house look more aesthetically appealing. However, avoid spending too much on projects that will not reap you any substantial return on investment.
You can also choose the option of selling a house as is. When selling a house as is, no renovations or repairs need to be done. This is more suitable for sellers who cannot afford to pay for the repairs or want to make a quick sale.
Step 3: Market your home
Once you have perked up your house or have decided on selling the house as is, the next step is to get your property out there for potential buyers to find. Here are some of the ways to get the word out:
Listing online: You can list your house along with its photos on real estate platforms like Realtor.com or Zillow.
Word of mouth: It is also advisable to ask your friends and relatives to spread the word on social media and in their circles.
Yard sign: Put up a physical sign in front of your home. While basic, this could be an effective tool to stir up interest in your property.
Host an open house: Keep your open house on Saturdays. Even if half your visitors are curious neighbors, they might keep your house in mind if someone in their knowledge is looking for a home.
Step 4: Wait
Sadly when selling a house by owner you have to be at the mercy of the market. So, in between showings and open houses, the wait could be long. If you haven’t been able to sell the house for a while, consider reducing your ask or making some more improvements.
Step 5: Negotiate
The wait is over when u finally get an offer. So congratulations. While it is great news, do not celebrate already. If the offer is below your ask, you might have to negotiate with the buyer. When selling a house by owner you will have to handle this rather difficult task yourself.
The buyer may also have additional conditions to their offer like asking you to cover the closing costs or making some repairs. The initial negotiations could be verbal, but once all the essentials are agreed upon the buyer will give a written offer. Keep a small supply of real-estate contracts in your state handy.
The contract should spell out each detail of the sale, including seller concessions, purchase price, closing date, and all the contingencies.
Step 6: Closing
The closing process is a legal affair. This means that you have to follow specific steps and get a title company and/or an attorney involved.
However, the biggest obstacle you will face during closing is your buyer’s mortgage. Always stay on top of all the developments happening with your buyer’s loan. Most loan approvals have certain conditions that should be met within a specific time. If the buyer is not able to satisfy even a single condition the mortgage approval can fall through.
We have touched all the necessary bases on how to sell a house by owner. Selling a house by owner is complicated but if you can make it happen, you can save a lot of money. This is why many sellers go down this route.