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Be Cautious When Selling Your Home Yourself

Selling your home yourself may appear easy.  But it’s more difficult than you think.  Some questions you need to answer regarding selling-it-yourself are:

  1. How do you arrive at the right selling price?  The key to arriving at the right selling price to to evaluate the market key indicators of the market on a national, regional and local level as well as the market data for your area. It is important that your prejudice as the owner of the house does not get in the way of an honest evaluation of market value of your home.
  2. How do you advertise that your home is for sale? Many For Sale By Owners put up a sign and post on an internet website.  However, these are only two of the methods you can use to attract buyers.  Consider advertising on Craigs List, Set up a facebook page and advertise your home on facebook, create a single property website, put together a virtual tour among other marketing methods. The key is to be wherever the potential buyers are.
  3. How do you screen potential buyers?  Be prepared to screen buyers before they come into your home.  You cannot be afraid to ask the important questions.  Find out if they are pre-approved for a mortgage and who did the pre-approval as some pre-approvals are better than others.  Do they have a home to sell?  If so, be sure their current home is under contract before you consider them as a buyer for your home.
  4. Are you aware of he complexities of financing? Be sure to educate yourself on the various types of mortgages, Interest rates, points, terms, appraisals, point of sale inspections, and title insurance.  If you are not sure, find someone who can help you.
  5. Can you be objective in negotiations?  One of the hardest things to do as a For Sale By Owner is to negotiate the best deal for yourself.  Negotiation with a buyer can be difficult if you are not used to negotiate an emotional transaction.  Don’t take offense if something is said to you or about your home. Don’t be offended if the buyer makes a lower offer.  The buyer knows that you are not paying a commission so they want to save that money themselves.  Have a good understanding of the buyers goals and your goals so you can negotiate a win-win transaction.  When it comes time to negotiate repairs, use common sense as to what repairs you should agree to and be prepared to walk away if the buyer is trying to take advantage of you.
  6. Are you aware of the paperwork involved?  Be sure you have a good understanding of the requirements to complete a successful sale for your home in your area. Find out what disclosures are necessary.  Review the agreement of sale in advance and be sure you understand it, know how to fill it out and can explain it to the buyer.  Look into any local point of sale inspections so you know what you may be liable for from your township.

Selling your home yourself could potentially save you some money.  Just be sure that you are not doing all of the work and taking all of the risk but not really saving any money.  My best advice to go into the process fully educated, eyes wide open, and be ready to deal with all of the challenges that may come along.

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