Steps to Selling Your Home Yourself
- Set your asking price based on the selling prices of similar homes in your neighborhood. What is the single biggest reason FSBO homes fail to sell? Setting a price far above what similar homes are selling for in the same neighborhood.
- Research on the internet can help you determine the right price.
- Estimate how much cash you will get from the sale after the mortgage and other bills are paid.
- Decide if improvements are needed to get your asking price. Our page To Improve or Not To Improve? That Is the Question can help with this decision.
- Prepare the Exterior and Interior of your home for viewing by prospective buyers. How to Enhance your Home can help.
- Get a set of real estate sales contracts and disclosure forms (OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples and Grand & Toy carries these).
Fill out a blank sales contract and a set of disclosure forms, and make several copies (if a Buyer agrees to your price you want to be ready to get his signature).
- Consider a professional inspection; one way to prepare for what a buyer’s inspector might say about your home. This step can also alert you to potential problems with your home and allow you to fix these before you begin showings.
- Arrange for a lawyer. It is best to obtain a lawyer with experience in real estate. You will need them to review any documentation before signing, hold any deposits or down payments and to handle the actual closing of the transaction (transferring the title).
- Designate the days your home will be available for viewing by prospective buyers (the weekend plus one other day so you can realistically have the house looking its best for prospective buyers.).
Internet Advertising is becoming a must. There are many sites available that can help with this process. Again, research is essential.
- 80% of homes are purchased by people who already live or work in the area so write an ad for the real estate section of your local newspaper's weekend edition. Include the web address of your internet ad.
- Potential buyers should never leave without a 8 ½ x 11 inch flyer that describes the house and includes your asking price, phone number, and the web address of your Internet ad if you have one. Make about 200 copies. Staple a weather resistant envelope to your lawn-sign or mail-box-post and fill it with flyers.
- Make or purchase a large "For Sale By Owner" sign and place it in your front yard.
Plan and execute an "Open House" for prospective buyers. See our Open House Information page for tips.
Negotiate with all serious Buyers. Get the Buyer's signature on a contract and give him or her a set of disclosure forms. Forward all documentation to your lawyer for review before committing to anything.
- Arrange to be home when Buyer's inspector and appraiser come to examine your home. Entertain, smile, schmooze!!
Once you have a clear home inspection and all documents have been signed, forward everything to your lawyer to handle the closing.
CONGRATULATIONS! You have just sold your home!