How do you successfully list your home “For Sale by Owner”?

Working with a real estate agent is very common when a person decides to sell a home, but it’s also possible to enter the real estate market with a sign that reads, “For sale by owner.” The process of selling a home without the assistance of an agent takes some research, but with enough preparation any homeowner will arrive successfully on the other side of the sales process.

For homeowners who are first-time real estate sellers, the following projects offer the best chance for real estate success.

1. Talk with an agent

Even if a homeowner ultimately decides to sell a home on his own, speaking with a local real estate agent is a perfect way to gain insight into the sales process. Speaking with a real estate agent is also a great way to decide whether going the solo route is feasible or not. Sales statistics from the local area should help a homeowner to figure out the time that might be involved in selling a home, and whether a real estate agent might offer a faster successful sale.

2. Stage the home well

A home buyer needs to see the potential associated with a property, and it’s hard to do that when the home is cluttered and filled with trinkets and doodads collected for years by the homeowner. Professional staging companies are one option to de-clutter the home and make it appear fresh, but a homeowner should be able to sweep through the house and do a tolerable job of arranging the home nicely.

Staging a home sometimes inconveniences a seller if he or she still resides in the home, but less clutter means the spaces within the home will look bigger. Size always benefits a seller. If there’s just too much clutter to hide, renting a storage unit during the sales process is worth the few hundred dollars it will cost to get the junk out of the way.

3. Research the competition

Pricing a home for sale requires knowledge of several factors including the price of comparable homes in the area, sales levels for similar homes, and the condition of like residences. A homeowner might think his home is worth a million dollars, but the local market might have other opinions. Pricing a home appropriately generates better interest in the property when the residence is placed on the market.

Going to open houses in the area for several weekends before placing a home on the market offers valuable information on how competitors are staging those homes, and the condition of nearby residences.

4. Price the residence smartly

After visiting local open houses and keeping an eye on the local market fluctuations, a homeowner should have a solid idea as to how a home should be priced for quick sale. If a homeowner decides to list his home $50,000 above the nearest competition, there would need to be a good reason as to why a buyer might consider paying so much more for that residence.

Numbers to consider when deciding upon a list price should include houses that recently sold in the area, and whether they sold for more or less than the seller’s asking price. If homes consistently sell for less than the asking price, it might be worth boosting the asking price to ensure a reasonable sale amount.

5. Use the internet

A seller’s best tool in today’s real estate environment is the internet. No other resource comes close to the value offered by an extensive online listing. Providing potential buyers with as much information as possible provides the best chance that someone will make contact to schedule a viewing of the property. In addition to extensive information provided in the home’s standard online listing, it’s also a terrific idea to make a YouTube video of the home (and its neighborhood), and create a Facebook page dedicated to the house.

Selling a home as the owner of the property requires a lot more effort than sticking a sign in the front lawn to let everyone know the home is for sale. Smart homeowners must also consider modern sales tools like the internet, and all of the benefits granted through a strong online sales pitch.