6 Steps For Selling A House By Owner
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and want to sell your home yourself, it’s time to think about what steps the process involves. With this road map in mind, you’ll be prepared to navigate the home sale process from start to finish – no agent necessary!
1. Determine The Market Value
Before you can get the right price for your house, you need to know what the market price is. Incorrectly pricing your home can negatively impact its ability to sell. Your house may be worth more or less than you think, so it’s best to consult the data to find out your home’s true market value. You can do this in a few ways:
- Request a competitive market analysis from an agent. This report uses data from comparable properties and known market trends to produce an estimate. This service is usually free and gives a fairly accurate estimate. Plus, you may like the agent and decide not to go FSBO.
- Get an appraisal. Like with a competitive market analysis, an appraisal creates a report from a licensed professional who looks at comparable properties. By law, appraisals are done by neutral third parties. This means your estimate won’t be affected by biases and will be the true value of your home.
- Make an educated guess. The process for determining a home’s market value is generally the same no matter who does it: Look at comparable properties online, consider any unique features in the home and produce an estimate. You can do this process yourself if you feel comfortable.
2. Prepare Your Home To Sell
Once you know the basic market value of your home, you can start preparing your home to sell. In this part of the process, you’ll decide what changes, updates or cosmetic fixes you’ll perform to make your home market-ready.
Preparing your home for the market can be as big or small of an undertaking as you’d like. Just make sure whatever changes you make increase your home’s value. Remodeling the basement may sound like a good investment, for example, but on average it only recoups about 70% of its cost.2
On the other hand, something as small as mowing the lawn or pruning bushes can increase curb appeal. Having curb appeal can increase your home’s value up to 7%, so be sure your home’s exterior makes a good first impression on buyers!
3. Market Your Home Listing
Now that your home is ready for the market, it’s time to get the word out. Marketing your home is one of the most important steps in the home sale process. After all, the more potential buyers who know about your home, the more likely you are to get the offer you’re looking for.
Over half of buyers find their homes through the internet, so creating online listings is a great first step. Create listings for your home in as many online spaces as possible, such as:
- The MLS database
- Social media platforms
- Online classified ads
- FSBO websites (jump link to FSBO website section below)
While only real estate professionals can create MLS listings, there is a work around. You can pay participating brokerages a flat-rate fee to create an MLS listing for you. It’s likely worth it – many agents find homes to show buyers through the MLS service, and about one-third of buyers find homes through an agent. Not creating an MLS listing for your home means you’ll likely miss out on a huge part of the market.
While listing your home online, be sure to get great photos of your home. It may take some additional time or money, but staging your home can lead to major benefits:
- 80% of real estate agents said staging helped buyers picture themselves in the home.4
- 23%t of agents said staged homes received offers 1% – 5% higher than non-staged homes.4
- Staged homes sell 33% – 50% faster than non-staged homes.5