Deciding to sell your house privately is a big step that requires the seller to do some serious planning and research, especially if you’re going to sell the open market. It can be a real challenge to sell your house without a real estate agent so it’s important to understand the entire process and what to expect. Once you understand the specific needs and requirements of your situation, you’ll be in a much better place to sell your house by yourself, whether you do it on the open market or sell as-is to a cash home buyer like Fair Cash Deal.
4 Tips To Sell A House Privately In Memphis
Decide Why You Want to Sell Your House Privately
When many homeowners decide to sell their house, they hire a real estate agent without really thinking about it. If you’re considering not hiring a real estate agent, you need to answer an important question for yourself: Why?
The most obvious reason that a seller would prefer to sell privately than to hire an agent is to avoid paying the real estate commission fee. Typically, a full commission of six percent is what real estate agents asked for, especially those working for the national firms in Memphis, Tennessee. That commission is then split between your agent (the listing agent) and the buyer’s agent. You are able to negotiate that fee, but you’re likely still looking at something in the range of five-to-six percent for the most part.
So let’s say you’ve agreed to a six percent commission with your agent. If you end up selling your house for $250,000, that means you’ll have to pay $15,000. To some people that might seem like a fair tradeoff but for others that’s a serious chunk of change to lose, especially when you consider the commission is paid out of your home equity. If you have a mortgage that you’re still making payments on, that commission will cut into the net equity left over after you satisfy it with the profits of the sale.
This is why a lot of sellers consider doing it themselves on the open market. But if the seller is under a time-crunch or is dealing with a house in disrepair, they also have another option to sell themselves without using a real estate agent. They can sell directly to a real estate investor or cash home buyer. A cash home buyer will buy a house in any condition, so need to worry about satisfying the whims of buyers or dropping a ton of money into repairs and renovations to increase the value. They assess the property, make you a fair cash offer, and then you can close the deal in a matter of days. No real estate commissions fees. You just get to sell the house privately and efficiently.
However, if you do decide to continue by selling privately on the open market, there are some extra steps you need to know.
Understand the True Value of Your House
If you’re going to sell your house without an agent on the open market in Memphis, one of the most critical steps you can take is to determine the actual market value of your house and price accordingly. Getting this wrong could leave your house on the market for months and cause you to rack up all of the costs you were trying to avoid.
If you price your house too high, you’ll scare off potential buyers and your house will sit there. If you price your house too low, it might cause buyers to wonder why, and any sale you make will get you less money than you could have gotten.
There are a few ways to determine the price you should be aiming for. One is to go online and use real estate valuation websites where home listings and home sales information exist. You can get a sense of your own property value as well as the value of homes nearby that sold recently.
You can also get a competitive analysis from a real estate agent. They will usually offer this service for free, though it’s done in service of hoping you’ll hire them as your agent, so be prepared to get a sales pitch and follow-ups.
You can also hire a licensed appraiser to come by and provide an estimate of your property value. This is likely to be the most accurate estimation possible and since it’s coming from a third-party expert it holds a lot of weight. Of course, you’re going to have to pay for this kind of appraisal report and that’s likely to run you between $300 and $500, depending on the person or company. It’s also worth noting that the buyer will not accept an appraisal paid for by you as part of the application process, so you will have to have a second one done later.
Get the Home in Good Shape to Sell
Now that you’ve got a sense of what buyers might be willing to pay, you need to take a step back and start looking at the house the way they would. While you might appreciate some of the home’s eccentricities or have learned to live with some of the issues, buyers are not going to be as forgiving.
Take stock of all the issues and problem areas that are worth considering. Think about what you would ask about if you were coming to tour this house because buyers will notice every flaw and concern. Go outside and look at your house from the street. Does it look inviting? Does it have a nice curb appeal? If not, consider how you can improve that. Put your ego in check and try to be rational.
As for what to do, consider making all of the minor repairs that you can. Don’t let a leaky faucet, sticky window, or busted door handle be your downfall. Tiny problems send big signals to buyers so try to avoid those interactions.
Also, consider touching up or even repainting rooms that could use a refresh. Perhaps the garage and any fencing could use a fresh coat of paint as well. Consider neutral colors as that lets the buyers see the room more generally.
Even if you don’t have time to do a major overhaul, make sure you declutter the house. Clean out closets, basements, and garages. Try to cut down on the memorabilia and mementos around the house in order to let things breathe a bit more. Don’t stuff everything in a random room because buyers will want to see that as well.
If you want to take it to the next level, hire a home stager to come in and sort your house out professionally. Of course, that’s going to cost you more money to do so.
Understand How to Market Your House in Memphis
One thing that real estate agents are usually good at handling is the marketing of a home listing. Since you’re selling on your own, that’s up to you now. No one will want to buy your house if they don’t know it’s for sale.
First and foremost, get a good yard sign out front in a high visibility spot. You want it close to a street where cars passing by will see it. Consider putting up a couple of spots if there are multiple high visibility areas.
Make sure you advertise the house online. A large percentage of buyers begin their home search online, so it’s critical that your house is listed on real estate websites that allow For Sale By Owner listings.
And plan an open house and or even a few. You should hold it on a weekend so that the highest number of people are available to come by. Try to start advertising at least a week beforehand with signs and flyers in high visibility areas. Make brochures or flyers that people can take with them from the house. And be sure that buyers have your contact information handy in case they have questions or want to start negotiating.