The Options for Selling Your Home

The Options for Selling Your Home

Once you have come to the decision to sell your home you have three options, sell it yourself, work with a broker or sell to a “We Buy Houses” company.  There are advantages to each and which you choose will depend on the situation you’re in.  Let’s have a look at each options and which suits you the best.

Working with a Realtor

This is the most common option used in selling homes.  There are advantages working with a realtor, they get higher prices for your property and they will sell it faster than you trying to sell it on your own.  Agents understand the market, they have huge networks to tap into and they can help you stage and fix your home in order to get the best possible price.  The biggest disadvantage to working with a realtor is the cost.  Agents charge a commission on the final selling price and that is usually around 6%,  that can add up to thousands of dollars rather quickly.  Closing can take anywhere from 30 -60 days before you have your cash in hand.

Selling on Your Own

Selling on your own is advantageous because you don’t have to pay any agent commissions.  You also don’t have the connections or knowledge that an agent has either.  The marketing, pricing and everything will be completely up to you.  Closing the deal can still take up to 60 days and you may not get the same price an agent would get you.  Although selling on your own now is easier than it has even been and you can add your home to a multiple listing service on your own.

“We Buy Houses” Companies

These types of companies can have a less than stellar reputation and are often thought of as dishonest or taking advantage of unsuspecting sellers.  That’s not really accurate but there are pros and cons to working with them.  The let you know upfront that they will buy your house quickly and you can have your money in days rather than months but they are only going to buy it at a deep discount.

Before you dismiss this option out of hand think about your situation for a moment.  You won’t be paying agents’ fees, no seller concessions, you probably won’t have to pay closing costs, no inspections, you sell your home as is.  This is a good deal for you if your house needs lot of repairs that you can’t afford to make, you need cash right now and you want to get out from the responsibilities of taking care of your property right now.

How you decide to sell your house is a big decision that you shouldn’t take lightly, weigh the pros and cons and choose the best option for you.

Finding the Value of Your Home

Finding the Value of Your Home

When you decide to sell your house yourself the time will come when you have to set the price.  You will need to determine what your property is worth, that will help you set your price.  Pricing your house to sell means you don’t set the price too high or too low.  Finding the value of your home is one of the responsibilities of an agent so when you work without an agent you need to understand the market.  Researching home values in your neighborhood can help you set your price.  Let’s look at how to do that.

Looking at the “Comps”

What are comps?  Comps are comparable houses of roughly the same size, same features in the same neighborhood.  It is the best way of seeing what your home would be worth.  If you’re wondering where and how to find these listings, don’t worry there are plenty of free tools online that can help you.

Finding Your Homes Value

  1. Start by going to Zillow or Trulia to look at some of the recently sold properties that are like yours. All you have to do is to input your zip code and it will show on a map the recently sold properties.  You can filter the results even further so the number of bedrooms and square footage to get closer to the features in your own home.  Ideally you want about 6-7 listings to compare to.  Bear in mind that just finding the price doesn’t tell you everything about the deal, the seller may have agreed to do some repairs or agreed to a discount for one reason or another.
  2. Take a drive and go see these houses. Listings generally only highlight the positives of a home it doesn’t paint a full picture.  A house on a family friendly dead end street is far different than one with a highway in the backyard.  You won’t be able to get into the home but you can take a closer look at the neighborhood.  Look for things like curb appeal, where the schools and shopping are and other features of the neighborhood.
  3. Now it is time to figure out the value of your house and set a price. Choose two or three of the properties that are closest to yours and get an average price, you can take the price per square foot and apply it to your own home.

Setting a price or finding the value of your home is not the easiest part of selling your home on your own.  If it is within your budget you may want to get an appraiser to do all of this for you.

DIY Home Repairs You Can Take Care of Yourself

DIY Home Repairs You Can Take Care of Yourself

As a homeowner there are some pretty common repairs that you will have to deal with, many of them you can handle yourself without calling in a repair person.  Here are some DIY home repairs you can take care of yourself pretty easily.  You don’t have to be a handyman to take care of most of them and they will save you a small fortune in future repairs.

Avoid a Leaky Basement

Even small leaks in your basement can cause thousands of dollars in damage and leave you with mold in your home.  More often than not the problem is completely preventable and there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.  Water gets into your basement from outside your home and that’s where you need to eliminate it.  Start by adding extensions to your downspout so water drains away from your house rather than down the walls of your foundation.  Have your gutters cleaned regularly so they are effective.  Here is a guide on how to do that.

Find Your Shut Off Valve for Water

You absolutely need to know where the main shut off valve is and how to easily turn off the water.  If you ever get a leak or a burst pipe then knowing where the shut off valve is can save you thousands of dollars in damage.  You would be surprised at just how many homeowners don’t know where it is.  This one is a must!

How to Replace a Doorbell

How many times have you gone to someone’s home and the doorbell doesn’t work?  It’s really common and yet something that nobody bothers to fix.  If the idea of fixing your doorbell seems like too much work then replace it with a simple wireless model that runs on batteries.  You just mount it outside your door where you want it and put the bell somewhere inside your home and that’s it your done.

Re-Caulking the Bathroom and Kitchen

The caulking in your bathroom and kitchen gets dry and brittle over time and you will need to remove and replace it to avoid water damage.  You need to caulk around the toilet and tub and around sinks.  Removing the old caulking is probably the most time consuming part of the job.  You can take it off with a razor blade or a scraper, sometimes you can just peel it off.  Once you have the old caulk out then you need to clean the are to remove any dirt then wipe it with alcohol to remove any soap.

Always buy caulking that is meant for kitchens and baths so you keep the area waterproof.  You will need to pick up a caulking gun but that is relatively inexpensive at a hardware store.  After you apply the caulk wet your finger and run it across the caulk, it will push it into the crevices and give it a smooth finish.

These are just a couple of simple home maintenance tricks you can do yourself, there are plenty of others that are in your skill set.  Owning a home is a big responsibility and regular maintenance will save you a fortune in the long run.

Selling Your Home Without an Agent

Selling Your Home Without an Agent

When it comes time to sell your home one of the ways you can get more money from the transaction is to sell the property yourself.  Realtors can command anywhere between 3-6% of the selling price, if your home is priced at $200,000 then you will pay a realtor somewhere between $6,000 – $12,000.  That’s a lot of cash you could be putting somewhere else.  Before you dismiss the notion of using a realtor you need to know that selling your home on your own isn’t a cake walk.  Selling your home without an agent is a lot of extra work, but if you’re determined then here are some tips to get you started.

Setting the Price

Most people overestimate the value of their home but you need to pull your emotions out of the equation and look at the data.  You can start by plugging your home into Zillow to get a pricing estimate based on things like your neighborhood and the size of your house.  Trulia is another site you can go to to get pricing information on recently sold homes. You can also hire an appraiser to evaluate it for you.

Advertising

Advertising is far easier now than it used to be and it can all be done from a laptop in your living room.  You need to get your home listed on some of the more popular sites home buyers go to.  Start with your local Craigslist and from there you want to list on both Trulia and Zillow.  There is also FSBO.com and if you’re willing to spend the money you can also list it yourself on MLS.com

Writing the Ad Copy

Realtors do this for a living so they know how to put together a compelling listing, you may want to take some time to compose your listing.  You want to get some really flattering pictures of your home and you might want to consider a photographer.  You need to include the basic stuff like where, how old, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and whether you have done major work recently like a new bathroom.

Hurry Up and Wait

This is the hard part, houses don’t sell overnight.  That is the case in most markets, so don’t be surprised if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook.  If you have gone weeks without any interest then it is time to re-evaluate.  There could be two reasons that your home hasn’t sold, you need to fix your marketing or it’s the price.  You will have to change at least one of them.

Selling your house yourself is completely doable, but you will have to put in some effort.  Take your time and you will get it sold.