Are you ready to take on the challenge of selling your home yourself? Well, Houzeo.com will make it easy for you to succeed, given that you follow the advice below. We’ve worked with hundreds of sellers and several brokers to come up with the top 5 things every For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homeseller needs to do to succeed in selling their home themselves. Let’s begin.
Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State Seller Disclosures?
#1. Ensure Your LIST PRICE is Competitive
Most sellers think that the LIST PRICE is the same as the SALE PRICE of the home. And of course they want the most for their beloved asset – so many go in with an optimistic list price. This is exactly the wrong way to go about it.
The purpose of the LIST PRICE is to DRIVE TRAFFIC to your property. It is not the SALE PRICE! If you believe your home is worth $500,000, and your market research shows two similar properties listed at the same price – many savvy agents will recommend you go in with a $480,000 list price. Yes that’s 4% less, but this doesn’t mean you’ll sell your home at $480,000. It means almost everyone interested in those two other homes will come to your listing first. You’ll likely sell faster and get multiple offers – and chances are if your property is really worth $500,000, you will get that or more because now you have so many folks interested. Do not underestimate the power of a “highest and best” call for offers.
#2. Get Professional Photos Taken by an Experienced Real Estate Photographer
I can’t stress this enough. Photos sell. Plain and simple. In today’s world of mostly online marketing, your home is only as good as your listing. And photos are one of the most important parts of your listing.
Hire a Pro. The $299 or so a professional photographer will charge pales to how marketable these photos will make your property. A good professional will know how to bring out the features in your home and hide the downsides, bringing more online traffic to your listing and more foot traffic to your property.
A professional real estate photographer will also use a wide angle lens and know exactly the resolution that looks great across major online platforms including Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Redfin.com. You’ll be surprised how many sellers submit portrait pictures taken via their iPhones. These pictures show up distorted on Realtor.com and these sellers lose thousands of dollars because they didn’t hire a pro.
Also along the same lines, assess if Staging is right for you. If your home is upscale or has unconventional spaces, consider staging it. Staging defines spaces and provides a sense of utility, depth and scale to potential buyers. This in turn helps them imagine their own life in your property.
#3. List on Your Local MLS
There’s no other tool as important as the MLS for the For Sale By Owner for 3 reasons:
- Many agents set up auto notification emails for their buyers when new homes show up on the MLS. You want to be on this list.
- Most local MLS’ distribute to Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and several other brokerages/portals. This is important exposure for your listing.
- Finally, MLS allows you to offer the buyer’s agent a commission.
Although it’s true that you can get on the MLS only via a real estate agent or broker, gone are the days when access to the MLS meant you had to pay thousands in agent commissions. Houzeo.com will get you on the MLS quickly and easily, and only for a small flat fee! Our Flat Fee MLS platform is one of the most advanced ones out there and gives you full control of your listing.
#4. Offer a Competitive Buyer’s Agent Commission
By some accounts over 90% of buyers are represented by agents. Platforms like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia will direct unrepresented buyers to their “Premier” agents as leads. That’s how they make money.
So almost all inquiries to your property will be from buyers represented by agents. If you don’t offer a fair commission to the Buyer’s Agent, most agents will skip showing your property and instead show others where they are being compensated adequately.
You’re already saving the Listing Agent commission by listing on Houzeo.com. Trying to skimp on the Buyer’s Agent commission will likely result in fewer (or no) showings, lower sale price, higher Days-on-Market (DOM), and increased stress. Realize most of the comparable sales you used to assess your property’s value included both sides of the commission.
A better strategy is to offer a little higher commission than what’s the norm in your area. For example, in Los Angeles, 5% total commission is the norm with 2.5% going to the Listing Agent and 2.5% going to the Buyer’s Agent. If you’re doing a For Sale By Owner, offer 3% to have your listing stand out. You can always revise the commission till you get a written offer, but a higher commission will incentivize Buyer’s Agents to show your property.
Finally, realize that although you might think that commissions are generally unfair, your goal is to sell your home, maximizing proceeds and minimizing stress. Buyer’s Agents will have to do additional work when dealing with a FSBO. So regardless of how fair you think commissions are, they are based on a norm. And from a Buyer’s Agent point of view, they’re earning their commissions.
We recommend you offer 2.5% to 3% Buyer’s Agent commission in most areas. If you’re in a 7% state, we recommend 3.5%.
#5. Add Your Contact Info on Zillow.com
When it comes to providing exposure to your property listing, Zillow is the big kahuna. And if you’ve done everything right in tips 1 through 4 above, your listing will get immense exposure.
But like most other real estate platforms, Zillow will not allow your contact info on the Zillow listing if it’s via the MLS. Any unrepresented buyers are directed to Zillow’s Premier Agents as leads. You can direct some of these unrepresented buyers to you. Here’s how:
- Once your Flat Fee MLS listing goes live via Houzeo.com, claim your home on Zillow.com
- Edit the “What I love about this home” section, adding details only you know and love about your property
- At the very end, add this statement: Can’t wait to go check out this home? Call or text (917) xxx-xxxx or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t wait to follow execute on these steps? Log on to Houzeo.com today to get started with your Flat Fee MLS listing!
Keywords: National Association of Realtors, open houses, home buyers, fsbo list, home sold, save thousands of dollars on real estate commissions