Houses for Sale

How To Sell Your House Privately (Private Sale)?

If you’re ready to sell your home, you may choose to sell your house privately. Known as a FSBO (“For Sale By Owner”), private sales are chosen by owners for more control over the selling process and potentially a higher return than with a realtor involved.

FSBO sales don’t require the assistance of real estate agents, but do require homeowners to do a fair amount of work to advertise the property, set a fair price for the home sale, show the property, and more. Let’s take a look at several steps homeowners can take to successfully handle the home selling process by themselves.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Unless you are planning to sell your home “as is” and don’t have property in the home that you’re willing to lose, then you will have to take action to prepare the home for a private sale. The following are some common ways to do so:

  • Clean the interior and exterior of the home. Any signs of neglect can drive down the closing cost or turn off potential homebuyers.
  • Neutralize the property. This includes removing all personal possessions that you can if you are currently living in the home; for unoccupied homes, remove everything or hold a garage/estate sale to clear out the property. Paint everything in the home to light, neutral colors (like white or gray) to give the home a more spacious look
  • Landscape the property and manicure the lawn for an attractive appearance.
  • Create curb appeal by putting on a new coat of paint (i.e red front entranceway doors are more eye-catching) or planting fresh, colorful plants in the front yard.
  • Address any lingering repairs or updates to the property within your budget and time constraints. If you don’t have the ability to do so, be prepared to subtract these costs when a seller addresses these issues.

Setting a Fair Price for Your Home

Now that your home is ready to sell, it’s time to set a fair sales price. To do so, you’ll have to do some market research by reviewing listings of recently-sold homes in your neighborhood that match your home’s attributes. This includes property size, location, bedrooms/bathrooms, amenities, and so forth.

Cross-reference listings, including recently sold properties as well as those currently on the market. If you want to expedite the sale, you can choose to undercut these prices; if you don’t mind waiting for a higher offer, you can set the home at a comparable price.

Another method is to contact your country property appraiser’s office. They can provide you with the price of recently-sold properties in your area, giving you a realistic measure of how much buyers are realistically purchasing property for. If homes are selling below their listing price, price yours accordingly.

Additionally, private home sellers should consider hiring professional help when coming up with a fair price. An experienced appraiser can help you determine your home’s market value and answer any questions about the current buyers market. Similarly, hiring a home inspector can point out needed repairs and ways to spruce up your home to attract more buyers - a must for those selling an older home that might not be up to current codes

Getting the Word Out

Advertising a private home sale requires being in touch with various networks and the using a variety of methods.

To do so, you will have to take attractive pictures to show off the property to buyers. You also may want to create walk-through videos and other media that more accurately portrays you’re home in a positive light.

Once you have these materials gathered, it’s time to place your home on various outlets. These include:

  • Zillow
  • Craigslist
  • Using a broker or a flat-fee service to access MLS (Multiple listing Service)
  • Word of mouth
  • Newspaper ads
  • Creating a website advertising the property
  • Put up for sale signs in front of the house and in nearby street corners with high traffic
  • Create a flier and post copies of it at local businesses.

Schedule Viewings of the Home

Once the home is advertised, you will begin to receive offers and requests to show the home. You can choose to schedule the viewings individually or as a group, which is best performed as an open house.

Negotiating the Sale

Once you’ve gathered a couple of offers, it is time to choose the best one and finalize the sale. Often, this is the one that is closest to your homes asking price and the fair market value. However, you may want to use your intuition to choose another buyer, especially if you feel that an offer might not be approved by their lender or that they may try to lower the price further.

Closing the Sale

At this point, most real estate experts suggest finalizing the sale with a real estate attorney. A real estate attorney is well-versed in your local laws and can guide the process of closing the sale without potential legal obstacles such as providing full disclosure. A real estate attorney also serves as a third-party, resolving any potential issues that may occur. To save on costs, contact several real estate attorneys to gather information about their fees, services and experience level before making a final decision.