When selling your house by yourself is a popular trend, but without the guidance and experience of a licensed real estate agent you are going to face additional obstacles. From their buying power with advertising, to knowing the right angles to display your home to a buyer, not why you love it, these are things you now need to consider.
But that doesn’t mean you cannot sell your house by yourself (although we do always recommend you contact a licensed real estate agent for some of the reasons above.). You just need to be extra conscious of what a licensed agent would do, especially when it comes to listing your house and taking photos.
Below you will find ten effective ways to help you sell your own house fast.
Take photos of the property, not the items you love with it.
Don’t focus on what you love about the property, focus on the structure and land instead. Your goal is to help the potential buyer discover the entire property and your photographs need to do this.
For example, you know the story behind the amazing custom door or shutters you had hand crafted, or the unique feature you scrimped and saved for, but they’ll possibly be pulled once the house has a new owner.
Instead of focusing on the features you love, focus on helping the potential buyer discover the entire property. Start by making your photo show the pathway leading up to the door which creates flow. The flow helps the potential buyers eyes look at the entire structure because there is movement around the image and not a specific feature that you personally love.
Set A Realistic Price Point
Remember, you will value your house higher than what it is worth.
It is built into our nature as people who are attached to our homes. This higher price point will likely turn off potential buyers and extend how long it takes to finally sell your home. You may end up needing to lower the price in the long run anyways.
Don’t be scared to price a bit lower than what you want.
If you can get multiple offers, you hold the power and can get the buyers to counter each other if they really want your home. This bidding war can result in you getting more than you expected and would have listed your house for. Your goal is to get people into your home and make an offer, not price the highest and hope for the best.To price your house, start by:
- Researching how many homes that are the same size and age as yours are for sale in your area
- Look at Zillow, Redfin and other websites to see the price of similar homes in your neighborhood
- Compare your amenities, the age of the house, and how much work will be done when looking at these houses
- Calculate an average based on the above and use this as a starting point
But keep in mind that if every home has a back patio, and yours needs repairs or work done, this lowers the value of your home compared to theirs. The same goes for you being in a better school district if the neighborhood is split. If the school is a selling point, you may get more money.
Write About the Experience of Living There and The Space, Not Why You Love It or Your Own Experiences
Instead of talking about why you love a specific room or part of the house, write about the experience the person will have living there.
Don’t say: “One of my favorite things is sitting on the back patio and enjoying the sunset with friends”. This is about your experience.
Do say: “You’ll love relaxing every evening with stunning sunsets from your back patio”.
Don’t say: “This nook was a perfect escape from city life where I read and relax”.
Do say: “This room features a corner nook that can be padded for a seating area to escape city life. It is also perfect for storing books, placing plants to bring life to the room, or whatever your imagination can think up.”
Plan Extra Budget for Marketing & Advertising
Normally your real estate agent spends their own money to bring people to your home. Posting to free and classified sites is hit or miss strategy and probably not going to be effective for you.
To get real traffic you need to pay for space where you will get qualified buyers to come to your home. But you won’t always find potential buyers with the first round of ads.
Plan to buy multiple ad spaces. You should also budget to keep them over multiple months because your house might not sell immediately. By purchasing multiple months at once you will be able to negotiate a better rate for the ad space.
Power Wash Sidewalks, Patios, Walkways and Driveways Before Taking Photos.
Dirty or stained walkways and spaces are a huge turn off and mean more work for the new owner. Hire someone or rent a power washer and clean anything dirty or stained before you take your listing photos. Then clean them again before the first open house. Not only will everything look cleaner, it is one less hassle for the new owner.
Remove All Signs of Pets
Dog houses, stakes in the yard, or other items which show you have pets can be a big turn off for potential buyers.
Whether it is allergies or they imagine the house will smell like cat, dog, or rabbit, you may stop a serious buyer from looking at your home. To someone else, a pet means extra bills having the house cleaned to rid it of allergies and “pet smell”.
Eliminate Kid Structures Too!
If there is a swingset or signs of kids, make sure the selling point of the property is proximity to elementary schools or other amenities young families will want. Not families without kids and high schools.
You have memories of your children playing, but a swing set is not appealing unless the people moving in have little children. That jungle gym now becomes an extra expense and hassle they have to get rid of.
If a selling point is an elementary school or a neighborhood with parks, daycares and younger families, then talk about how new the swing set is and make it an asset and benefit. But be careful because this can backfire easily.
Set Clear Times For Open Houses
Open Houses are one of the most important tools you have to sell your home. But make sure you are clear and concise. If people have trouble finding when and where your open house is, or how to get in contact with you if they’re lost, you may miss out on a potential buyer.
(Pro tip: Do not let anyone in late. If you are by yourself, this could be someone planning on attacking you. Stay your ground. Your open house hours are the set hours. Nobody before and especially nobody after.)
Make sure to include:
- The days and times you’ll be doing an open house
- The exact street location which can be clicked and opened in a map from a phone
- A phone number the person can call you on if they’re lost or running late
- Directions from major surrounding areas
- Ways to identify your home if others look similar (a balloon or sign out front)
- The dial up number if there is a call box
Have Adult Friends & Family With You
This one isn’t technically for your listings, but it is one we feel is very important.
Inviting strangers into your home is dangerous. Have friends there to help and monitor activity. Make sure you are never alone in the house while strangers are there. Before your friends leave, do a full walk through with them and make sure all people have left.
Do Not Hide Flaws or Repairs That Need Done
The goal is to sell the property like it isn’t your home. Don’t hide the flaws or be embarrassed by them. They will be discovered as inspectors walk the property.
If flaws like scratched floors or cracked baseboards are discovered later on, this will lower the price and cause you more frustrations.
This isn’t going to be your home so nobody will be judging you. Let these flaws be found. You’ll be able to sell the house faster and have less chance of a deal falling through at inspection.
Remember, your goal when you sell your house by yourself is to create an environment that a potential buyer can picture themselves in and want to purchase. Take your own emotions and biases out of the process and you may be able to move your home faster.