Is It Hard to Sell Your House by Owner?

For sale home sign in Florida.

You’re ready to sell your home. However, you’re torn between doing it yourself or hiring a realtor. “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO, pronounced “fizbo” in the real estate industry) is often the route people take when they want to save on real estate commission. Real estate agents typically get paid 5 to 6 percent of the final sale price. Let’s say your house sells for $350,000. The commission would be $21,000, which gets split amongst the agents involved and their real estate broker or agency.

That’s a big chuck of change. It’s also one of the main reasons people choose to sell their house by owner. However, that route doesn’t come without its challenges, too. Nearly, 36 percent of sellers attempt to sell their home by owner, according to Zillow research. However, challenges that arise along the way cause them to hire a real estate agent at some point. When all was said and done, only 11 percent of sellers actually sold their home without a real estate agent, according to Zillow’s 2017 data.

If you’d like to count yourself among them, follow these tips:

Set a Realistic Price Point

Before listing your home for sale, you will need to do a great deal of research. You want to make sure you price your home competitively. The best way to ensure you choose the right list price is by looking for similar houses for sale or that recently sold in your area and checking their sale price. There are a number of online pricing calculators that will factor in things like the size of your home and the area it is in before arriving at a sell price suggestion.

Pay for Professional Photos + Videos

Roughly 87 percent of home buyers depended on photos to help make their decision, reported the Washington Post. And that was before COVID-19. Heightened concerns about safety have elevated the need for compelling photos and videos that tell your property’s story online. Real estate agents often hire professional photographers and videographers to cast properties in the best light possible. If you can swing that financially, hiring a professional photographer and videographer is advisable. Alternatively, you can use your mobile phone to produce photos and videos.

Stage Your Property for Prospects

If you’re not in a huge rush to get out of the house and you have some cash to put toward staging it, make some minor updates to highlight the home’s strengths. You’d be surprised how different your house may look after a heavy-duty cleaning and some refreshing (think new paint or professionally-cleaned floors). You’re sure to get a better asking price if your home looks more appealing to potential buyers.

Here’s what to focus on first:

  • Remove Clutter. The first step is to sort and dispose of all clutter. Take a hard look at each room and remove any furniture or objects that might make the room look small or dark. Be aware though, you may discover much-needed repairs once the mess is cleared, and that means the added cost of contractors.
  • Professional Cleaning. Consider hiring a professional cleaning company who can get to all of the nooks and crannies in your house. (Can you remember the last time you dusted your baseboards? Yeah, we can’t, either.)
  • Improve the lighting. Update any light fixtures and overhead lighting to include at least 100 watts for each 50 square feet. You should also take advantage of the natural light, too. Simply move any furniture that’s blocking windows out of the way.
  • Clean up the landscape. Your yard is part of the first impression prospective buyers will have of your property. Avoid leaving cardboard boxes out in your recycling bins unless it’s trash day. Fix any broken fencing and apply a fresh coat of paint. Make sure your lawn is regularly mowed, weeds are pulled and tree branches are cut back. There are plenty of lawn improvements you can make without a professional landscaper if you have the time. As long as the yard is in decent shape and everything is well maintained, then it will be ready for the sale.

Leverage Social Media to Advertise

You could have the most beautiful property on the planet — priced to sell — and it would still sit on the market if it’s not effectively advertised. Real estate agents often leverage social media to promote their listings — and you can, too. Social media channels (including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) are great places to let people know you are selling your house by owner. Try to post as many photos as possible to give people a real sense of the house. You can also post a walk-through video natively on Facebook and YouTube. Posting about your home multiple times a week can attract buyers in a short amount of time.

Post Your Property on Free Listing Sites

Some sites allow you to list your property, even without a realtor. You might consider looking into some of these options to get the word out, beyond your own network. Additionally, make sure to put up a sign in your yard that you’re selling your property by owner. Include an email address or phone number on the sign so they can reach you to schedule a showing.

Be Patient

Selling your house without a real estate agent requires a great deal of time and patience. It could take several months (or longer) before you are able to find a buyer for your property. If you need to sell your home quickly or are limited on time, you might consider another alternative.

The Buy Guys pay cash for single- and multi-family houses, townhouses, or apartment properties “as is” in Florida, Georgia and Texas. In as little as five minutes, we can make you a cash offer using our advanced buying tools. Once the contract and the title paperwork are complete, you can expect to receive payment in 10 to 15 days, via money wire. The only thing left for you to do? Celebrate.

For a free, no-obligation estimate, call (888) 204-7603 or fill out this form on our website.

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