Since it's my business to know as much as possible about real estate, I am familiar with the frustrations many homeowners encounter when they try to sell their home on their own, "For Sale By Owner". There are many things you should know about trying to sell your home without a professional REALTOR®.
- Potential buyers will offer less to "for sale by owner" because you're saving the commission by selling your property on your own.
- You will have substantial out-of-pocket costs that properties listed with a REALTOR® do not incur, such as advertising, marketing, and legal services.
- You may undervalue your house and lose thousands of dollars in net proceeds. Do you know the current value of your home?
- You may find yourself uncomfortable and inconvenienced with the burden of allowing strangers into your home.
- Unless you are an expert negotiator, you may give away more at the bargaining table than you would have paid in commissions with an experienced sales associate. In fact, research indicates that of the 9% of all sellers who sold their home without using a real estate agent, 44% knew the buyer in advance*.
Here are some tips when selling your home by owner:
There's a lot to consider when selling your own home "for sale by owner", so it can be easy to forget the real bottom line: the safety of you, your family, and your property. While the odds of being the victim of a crime when showing your home are low, there's no harm in taking a few precautions ahead of any in-person showings. I wanted to pass along some showing tips I always follow, from the National Association of REALTORS®:
1. Guard your information when marketing
Avoid using your personal phone number and email address, and keep your home address off any marketing materials you distribute to the public. This will help guard against identity theft as well as preventing random people from visiting your home at all hours of the day. For communication, set up a new email address for the sole purpose of communicating with potential buyers.
2. Screen as much as possible
When you receive inquiries through your ‘burner' email address, set up a call with the interested buyer. Get their name and phone number, and call them back ahead of any showing to verify that the number is legitimate. There's no shame in social media snooping to further verify the individual's identity.
3. Schedule strategically
Avoid scheduling appointments after dark. Keep blinds/curtains open and shrubs trimmed to allow your neighbor's maximum visibility. Don't allow your car to be blocked-in, in the event you need to make a speedy exit.
4. Keep valuables and financial info out of sight
Hide valuables like jewelry, cash, laptops, and other high-end electronics before showings. The same goes for credit card statements and bills that might contain financial information that could be stolen.
5. Share your showing plans
Share the contact information of the potential buyer with a friend or family member who won't be at the showing. Make sure to check in with them before and after each showing.
For Sale By owner, sell your home, Real Estate Safety