How to Sell Your House by Yourself (For Sale By Owner Tips)

    Looking for a 10 step optimized guide on how to sell your house without a real estate agent? Jeremy McHone shares how YOU can utilize the process & strategy he uses to sell your home.
    Step 1: Determine The Asking Price
    Step 2: Photos & Video
    Step 3: Online Exposure
    Step 4: Open Houses
    Step 5: Social Media
    Step 6: Showings
    Step 7: Offers
    Step 8: Escrow
    Step 9 & 10: Repairs & Appraisal

    The first thing to do when it comes to selling your home as a for sale by owner is to determine the price of the home. You can do this by utilizing websites like Zillow and Trulia. You can also go back through tax records to search for comparable homes. A good rule to use is to start with homes within half a mile radius and 20% of the square footage that have sold in the last 6 months. You will need to account for differences between your home and the comps. Things such as views, extra rooms, lot size, road-noise, can all affect the price. The key here is to think like a buyer. Look at what other homes a buyer can get for a similar price and make sure that your hoe is compelling. Because, if it isn’t compelling, then it isn’t selling.

    The next step is to take photos of the home. It is a good idea to hire a professional photographer and videographer for this. You can do it your self, but you will want to make sure you have the proper equipment and software. You will want to consider buying a drone for drone footage as well. Make sure the professional you hire specializes in real estate photography, it is very different from wedding or other types of photography. The 3d walkthrough will also help buyers get a feel for the home and are good for your SEO on websites such as Zillow. Remember that 44% of buyers are finding their home on the internet, and these pictures are what makes them decide whether to schedule a showing or not.

    Next, you will want to put your home on as many websites as possible. The Mls syncs with Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, etc. You will have to take some extra time to put it on all of the websites. You can sometimes pay for sites to syndicate to many of the major sites. Make sure that you include the benefits of the home that the photos may not convey in the description as well.

    It is a good idea to offer compensation to the agent that represents the buyer. Otherwise, the agent will expect the buyer to compensate them. This will result in it much more out of pocket expense to the buyer, and therefore a lower offer. If you only work with buyers that do not have an agent, you will primarily be working with investors that want to low ball you so they can resell the house for a profit.

    The next thing to do once your home is on all of the major websites with professional photos is to host an open house. This is a great way to get buyers in the door. You will want to buy as many signs as possible. You can get away with 25 as a minimum. Try not to get the generic signs, instead have some custom made with bright colors so your home stands out. Also, have a full-size sign put in the front yard (unless your HOA doesn’t allow it). There are companies that can do this for you once you have the sign made. For your open house, it is a good idea to advertise it on all of the websites, and on social media as well. For this, you will want to create a business page, so you can put some money behind boosting the post.

    Once the day of the open house rolls around, make sure to have it catered or offer some kind of food and drinks to make it more inviting (and to keep people there longer0) Also be sure to keep the temperature appropriate and to have some music playing.

    You can also reach out to your neighbors to see if they know anyone interested in moving into the area.

    Now that your home is on the market, expect a ton of calls. Probably 99% of them will be agents trying to get your listing. It is up to you if you want to show your home yot every agent that calls, but just know that many of them will really be there to try to get your listing and don’t have a buyer. Also, expect some very low offers. People approach for sale by owners how they approach garage sales, they expect a deal.

    Once you receive an offer, it is time to negotiate. The more negotiation experience and local real estate knowledge you have, the better. If you don’t have any, you can try reading some negotiation books to help you prepare ( but nothing replaces experience). Once you come to terms, make sure you read the contract completely. Once you accept an offer, it is difficult to back out as a seller. There are a lot of fees and concessions that a savvy agent can burry into the contract. It is a good idea to hire a lawyer to double-check the contract and make sure you understand what you are agreeing to.

    Next, you will have to hire an escrow and title company. I can give you some referrals if you’d like. You will need to make sure you hold the buyer accountable for their timeline. You will also want to make sure you correctly prepare all disclosures (and there is a lot). I highly recommend hiring a transaction coordinator to help with this. It is very time consuming, especially if you have not done it very much. There is also a lot of room for errors and omissions, which can leave you legally exposed.

    Expect a request for repairs and be able to negotiate that as well. If the buyer is financing the purchase, you will have to accommodate an appraisal also. Be prepared to bring some comparable properties to the appraisal and be prepared to explain all of the benefits and upgrades to justify the price.

    Once you get past all of that, you are well on your way to getting your home sold. If you would like more advice or you have questions about selling your home, give me a call at 619-971-0791 or email me

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