Selling it on Your Own

By: Kevin Bilberry

While most agents discourage the idea, making it out to be a huge and stressful ordeal, selling your home yourself can be a rewarding project, both personally and financially.

It is generally agreed that finding buyers is the biggest challenge when selling your home without an agent to represent you. Thanks to the many resources made available on the internet, marketing real estate to buyers has never been easier. Web sites like Craigslist and Kijiji are excellent for homeowners wanting to find buyers. In addition, there are a lot of web sites dedicated to marketing homes for sale by owner. These all allow you to submit a description of your home and photos. In order to attract interest, be sure your photos are flattering, and be as detailed as possible in your description.

Another major challenge is setting the price for your home. The best thing to do is get online, as well as out in your neighborhood, and look at what other homes are selling for. Compare your home to others in terms of square footage, number of bedrooms, yard size, home age, and other factors that help to determine the value of a home. Be sure to pay careful attention to the key details. If you have a finished basement, don't compare your home to a similar one with a half-basement, as that small details can be the difference of at least a few thousand dollars, depending on where you are and what other factors are involved. It may be best to go to a few open houses to get a good look at exactly what you are dealing with. An open house allows you to view a home without taking up an agent or homeowners time when you know you have no intension of buying.

Remember, those sellers that are working with an agent are actually getting less for their home when it sells, because a good percentage goes to pay the Realtor®. If you price your home in the same range as a similar home that is being sold by an agent, consider the commission you aren't paying to someone else to be your incentive to take your time preparing your home and marketing it properly.

Just like any other home on the market, those for sale by owner benefit from being well groomed. You should do the equivalent of giving your home a manicure, inside and out. This may include tidying up the yard, painting the outside or inside, and finishing up any minor repairs. It should definitely include getting rid of any excess clutter and giving your home a good cleaning from top to bottom.

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