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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.
3 min Video: How to List Your Home on the MLS by Owner
4 min video: Learn How to Submit & Review Offers on Houzeo
#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 distributes 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% of 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 an FSBO. So regardless of how fair you think commissions are, they are based on the 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. Consider À la carte Services
With respect to all the above 4 tips to sell your home fast, this might be the most crucial one. There will be some moments when you’ll just scratch your head and won’t know what to do!
For such scenarios, we recommend you to go for a la carte services. There are some real estate agents who provide limited services or customizable contracts, you can collaborate with them while still retaining complete control over your selling process. You may hire these realtors for only a specific purpose, for example – to show the buyers around the property or negotiate on the offer price at the time of closure.
You can invest in a la carte services and hire a professional agent or a virtual assistant who has experience in real estate dealings to handle the buyer’s inquiries. This will ensure that you have time for your daily work and no stress of negotiating and sweet-talking with the buyers.
It could be intimidating for you to handle the legal procedure while closing the house deal and also with each state, the real estate transactions and legalities differ and this makes it essential to get a real estate lawyer onboard to handle the legal procedure of your property dealing.
FSBO Tips to Sell Your Home FAQs
What makes a home sell fast?
Follow these five simple steps to sell your home fast. (1) Hire a top real estate agent or a flat fee realtor to assist you in marketing your home. (2) Set a competitive price. (3) Decide when is the best target date to sell your house. (4) Make the necessary minor improvements. (5) List your home on a local MLS with Houzeo.com.
What is a list price?
In real estate jargon, a list price is the estimated gross sale price of a real estate property when it’s live on the market. The list price doesn’t mean it’s your sale price. Its main purpose is to drive traffic and get more attention to your property. Most agents perform a comparative market analysis to determine the most competitive offer based on the other list price marketed surrounding in your area.
Do I need to get professional photos to sell my property?
Yes. Photos are one of the most vital marketing elements of your listing. Pictures paint a thousand words. Hiring a photographer will help highlight the best features of your home. Through wide-angle shots and quality resolution of your indoor or outdoor area, buyers will flock to know more about your property.
How can I make buyers buy my property?
There are 5 essential factors that can help drive more traffic and market your property fast. (1) Make sure your list price is competitive. (2) Upload quality and professional photos. (3) List your property on local MLS. (4) Offer a reasonable and competitive buyer’s agent commission. (5) Add your contact info on Zillow.com. To get you started on listing your home, try Houzeo.com to save thousands of dollars.
How do I list my home for sale in local MLS?
First, log in to Houzeo.com and use your e-mail, Facebook or google plus account. Click “Sell a Property” on the dashboard and fill out the address. Select a listing pan and Houzeo’s IntelliListin Management System will make listing home easy and quick. Upload photos set a price, and sign your MLC contracts—it’s that easy, and your home will be on the local ASAP in no time.
How to sell your for sale by owner fast?
If you’re wondering how to sell your FSBO property fast, here’s how you can do it. (1) Plan ahead. Pick a marketing strategy to market your property and negotiate. (2) Invest in a photographer to upload professional photos. (3) Do minor repairs or improvements. (4) Schedule your showings that are convenient for your buyer. (5) Set a competitive home price. (6) Declutter and clean your house properly.
How long does it take to get my listing on the MLS?
After you’ve submitted your property info and all details on Houzeo, your home will go live on the same day or the next business day. The MLS system will manually enter the listing that takes extra two business days to process and activate.