If you've decided to forego the listing agent and sell your home yourself, you're probably looking to save some money. Aside from being responsible for marketing your home, there are other mistakes you want to avoid in order to make your FSBO a success. Here are four golden rules every seller must follow when selling their homes without an agent:
Get the Price Right
It's easy for homeowners to overvalue their homes before listing it for sale, particularly if you've made some recent improvements. Not everyone will love the fact that you've converted your carport to an entertainment room, or that you've made your entire backyard a swimming-pool oasis. These are not bad additions, but they do affect the market value of your home.
On the other hand, some homeowners make the mistake of undervaluing their home, particularly if it's a new home and they haven't lived in it for very long. So how do you avoid getting your listing price wrong? There are a couple of ways to go about this.
First, check out other homes for sale in your neighborhood. Attend open houses and see how they compare to yours. Talk to some agents and ask them how they come up with prices. There are also several popular websites that give free "appraisals" on what your home is worth. Lastly, you can pay for a professional appraisal, which might come in handy if you get to the negotiation stage and a buyer is trying to offer much less than what you want.
Take High-Quality Photos
Your phone works perfectly fine for taking pictures of birthday parties, family reunions, and sporting events. Most smartphones today even come with built-in software for special effects. But while those photos are suitable for sharing on social media, they really aren't good enough for showing potential buyers how beautiful your home looks on a real estate website.
Most buyers will be looking at pictures that have been taken by a professional, and amateur photos taken with a smartphone simply can't compete. Professional photographers know how to get the lighting just right, and they know how to angle the lens to make a small room look big.
A good photographer can also give you tips on how to stage your home for the pictures, which involves de-cluttering as well as adding certain items to make the space look more appealing.
Studies have shown that homes that are accompanied by professional photographs sell faster and for more money. Remember, a good picture can get that buyer through your front door. And that's what you want.
Be Ready on A Dime
When a potential buyer wants to see your home, be ready to show it. One common mistake that FSBO sellers make is showing the home only when it's convenient for them. But you need to remember that a potential buyer may be looking at five or six homes in one day and making a decision before nightfall. Putting them off even one day could mean losing the sale.
Learn How to Show Your Home
There are definite dos and don'ts when it comes to showing your home to potential buyers, but ironically enough, the best advice is to not show it. In other words, let your potential buyers show themselves around your home while you wait outside or leave. They're not likely to discuss things they don't like if you're hovering about or in the next room. Other tips for making your home showing a huge success include the following:
- Leave all doors open.
- If you have a fireplace, use it.
- Make visitors feel welcome with snacks, drinks, soft music, etc.
- Make sure every room is clean and well lit, including closets with lights.
- Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for the average person.
- Use water fountains to create a relaxing ambiance and to drown out any potential neighborhood noise.
- Avoid scented candles and air fresheners as some people are allergic to scents.
- Leave note cards near the snack foods where buyers can leave feedback or ask questions and leave an email address, etc.