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Selling your house on your own (i.e., sale by owner),
some things to consider.
When you are wanting to sell your
first or next house on your own, without the services of a real estate agent,
be prepared to put in a lot of work and effort to make sure your
house is sold in a reasonable time period.
Having said this, some of the aspects of selling a house on your own that you should keep in mind are the following:
Selling in a
seller's market, not a buyer's market. The type of market in which you are seeking to
sell your house
can make a world of a difference in the asking price
you'll be able to ask potential house buyers to pay for the
purchase of your house. There are basically two
types of markets: 1) a buyer's market, and 2) a seller's market,
as indicated above.
A buyer's market is a time in which the housing market becomes
so "overloaded" with houses--inventory--that there are far too
many houses on the market than usual compared to the noticeably
fewer amount of potential buyers seeking to buy houses.
So, with this high supply (i.e., a robust amount of houses) and
low demand (i.e., a relatively small amount of buyers) ratio,
you, as a seller, will be more inclined to make your house more sellable
than others by offering more enticements, such as significantly
lowering your asking purchase price and otherwise being more willing to
negotiate purchase terms than during a
as a seller, it would be more favorable not to sell your house in a buyer's
market, but instead in a seller's market, a time in which
the opposite occurs of a buyer's market: The housing market is
experiencing a significant reduction in the amount of houses
available on the market--inventory--at a time when the pool of
buyers seeking to buy has become a bit overcrowded. In such a
seller's market, with many more buyers and, thus, many more purchase
offers a seller can choose from for every house on the market, you,
seller, can usually afford to hold off on sealing a deal until your
demands, including price, are met.
Retaining a real
estate agent for just the preparation of a comparative market
analysis. While you won't necessarily retain an agent to
help sell your house, you should consider hiring one for the
one-time service of preparing a written comparative market
analysis of your house in relation to other houses on the market
in the area. As part of this analysis, you should expect
to see at least three comparable houses and their respective
asking or even actual sales closing prices so that you may make
an informative decision on what should be the asking sales price
of your house.
terms. You should become familiar with basic real estate language that will be brought
to your attention in the process of marketing and selling your
house, and some of the major terms are found in the
aspects and people you encounter in a house sales transaction
Scouting out the
competition. Drive around a few blocks in your area to see
other houses on sale in an effort to determine what such
property owners are doing to attract potential house buyers, and
perhaps even attend any scheduled open houses for a really close
look at your competition. Based upon what you have
observed, as may be applicable, incorporate their tactics as
part of your house-selling strategy.
house to go on the market; see the section on
preparing your house.
A major part of trying to sell your house will be marketing it
for sale. You've got to get as many potential house buyers
as possible aware that your house is on the market for sale.
To do so, you need to advertise wisely. The following are
relevant statistics based upon the research of the National
Association of Realtors (NAR) that provides invaluable insight
as to what advertising methods were the most effective in 2006,
which you should, in turn, correspondingly devote your
advertising funds towards in an effort to invest in advertising
that has proven to be the top means of reaching potential house
Top Five Sources for
estate agent: 85%
through the five sources.
property handout ("property feature sheet"). This 1-page
handout should provide a potential house buyer a concise summary
of what your house offers in which you should make an effort to
highlight positive attributes of the house and its surroundings.
It should encompass, at the very least, the basics, including
Picture insert of the house exterior;
Eye-catching descriptive phrase/headline (e.g., "Beautiful,
spacious townhouse found alongside a secluded lake");
Listing house sale price;
Number and types of rooms (e.g., Kitchen, 5 bedrooms, 3
Type of heating and cooling;
Whether a fireplace is included;
Whether a basement is included;
Whether a garage is included, and how many cars can fit in it;
Year house was built;
Latest tax assessment amount;
School information (e.g., name of area pre-school, elementary
school, high school, school school name);
Brief paragraph description of property; and
Your contact information
about 20 copies or more of this handout and have it available to be
given to each potential house buyer who arrives to see your house.
houses. You should schedule open houses to help provide
the maximum exposure of your house to potential house buyers.
In scheduling an open house event of your house, consider taking
the following steps:
For safety measures, have a friend or two join you at each open
Make sure you do not plan your open houses on days that are
holidays are on which major events are occurring (such as major
concerts, the day of the Super Bowl, etc.), as people are less
likely to see your house on such dates;
Make sure you advertise in your advertisements that you will
have an open house on certain days (for at least 2 hours during
each of such days);
Place an "Open House" sign out in the front of your house (and
if permitted by local laws, another "Open House" sign out at the
beginning of your street with an arrow pointing in your house's
Make sure to have enough property handouts (i.e., property
feature sheets) on hand to give out to those who come to your
Have every person who visits your house during an open house
sign in on a guest sign-in sheet that should be located near the
entrance of your house;
Make the house as inviting and opened as possible by opening up
blinds, curtains, drapes, etc., for your open house only; and
During the open houses, be friendly and not pushy, and
definitely do not make it a high-pressure environment.
While, according to the
NAR, having open houses places fifth in what best drives potential
house buyers to houses on the market, relatively speaking, it still
is a great means of showcasing your house that is a lot less
expensive than, say, showcasing your house in a 30-second television
The above are just some of the major aspects of
selling a house on your own that you should keep in mind and consider
incorporating them as part of your selling strategy.
Handyman Zone Team
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