Photo: Unique Homes
With homes selling at an anemic pace and prices dropping to pathetic levels—real estate hasn’t plummeted this badly since the Great Depression—anything you can do to save on your sale will be well worth it.
Skipping the real estate agent is one way to save big.When you sell your home on your own, you can lower the asking price by six per cent, or even better, pocket the commission that would normally go to a realtor.
If you’re trying to sell your pad for, say, $150,000, you could save yourself $9,000.
Now, the thought of going out on your own may make you feel uncomfortable, but if you follow these guidelines you could be as good as gold:
Know Your Market
Study your local real estate market. Find out about recent sales activity and see what else is out there in your neighbourhood. You must be familiar with your competition.
If you have doubts, ask a realtor to see your place and give you a comparative market analysis. Realtors do not charge for the service—they’re hoping you’ll eventually change your mind and have them represent you. They might even provide some good tips to fix up your home.
Set The Right Price
Once you understand the market and know about the worth of your home, make sure to be fair when pricing it. Sellers over-pricing homes is the number one reason they don’t sell, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Sellers too often name a number based on need, ego or greed, says the association. In these troubling economic times with so many houses on the market, this means a lot of competition, so it would be best to discount your home enough so it’s considered a bargain.
After you come up with a reasonable price, think about pushing your home into the market for buyers to notice. Taking out ads in the local newspaper can be quite effective, or you might want to consider throwing down to join a listing service. ByOwner.com, for example, will keep your home on the site until it sells and charges $300 to $400 per listing.
Some services also offer packages that include signs, fliers and other goodies.
Make A Good First Impression
Realtors say the number one thing that turns buyers away from a home, besides a greedy asking price, is clutter. Many times, sellers leave personal affections hanging and other items on shelves.
Buyers prefer to view something staged, almost like a hotel room, that seems like no one has lived there before. Go for a neutral decor and colours, and rent a storage unit if you need to clear your stuff.
Know When to Accept an Offer
Sellers often wait around for something better, but the number you want might never appear, especially in this real estate market. Don’t let your house sit on the market forever—it gives buyers a bad impression.
Still, make sure to screen people when you start serious negotiations, especially with banks being so hesitant to lend. Ask for a pre-approved mortgage letter from the buyer.
If a buyer wants to close in 30 days, make it happen. Move to your mum’s house and throw your furniture into your friend’s garage.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.