Mistakes to Avoid when Selling your Own Home:
by DIY Realty

Owners who've sold their homes without a real-estate agent say it isn't difficult once you've mastered the basics. You need to price it correctly, make sure enough people know it's for sale, understand what paperwork is required, and be able to negotiate with potential buyers.

Tips for a Successful Sale:

So does the prospect of saving money on commissions appeal to you?  DIYsellers say if you decide to sell your home on your own, knowing the following sales tactics will increase the likelihood that it will sell easily and swiftly at the price you want.

1. Your home must be priced correctly. You can't just pull a price out of thin air. It may be either too high or too low. Consider getting an independent real-estate appraisal or get your hands on a local market report which will show the actual SOLD prices of comparable homes in your area. You can have this information ready to show buyers who question your asking price.

2. You can get the price you want. Some buyers assume that owners selling homes themselves should deduct the amount of an agent's commission from their asking price. DIY selling experts disagree. They say that homes sold by real-estate agents have prices that are marked up to cover their commissions. Whether you sell it or an agent sells it, a property is worth what it's worth. You make money by not paying the commission, not by discounting the property.

Some DIY sellers think they need to start with a high price and then lower it during negotiations. But if their initial price is too high or isn't based on the home's actual worth, they typically don't get it or can't sell their homes. Sellers should ask for a little more than what they want.  For instance, if your home is appraised for $400,000, and you'd like to sell it for that amount, start by asking $410,000. Then, during negotiations, if a buyer makes a $390,000 counteroffer, and bring them back up to the price you want.

3. Enough people must know your home is on the market. You can't just put a sign in your yard and expect buyers to show up, especially if your house is located off the beaten track. Have a plan for marketing your home to a wide audience.

Another option is to advertise in local newspapers or on real estate internet sites. If there are several other homes for sale in your area, then chances are that the buyers driving around will contact you as well.

4. You must be aggressive about sorting out who the unqualified buyers are.  If you accept an offer from an unqualified buyer, you'll delay the sale of your home and need to start the sale process over again. But you can prevent this by asking potential buyers to contact a lender and become prequalified before accepting their offer and taking your home off the market. If a potential buyer claims to be prequalified just be sure that they have the finance approval, meaning a lender has examined their finances and believes they can secure a loan for a certain amount.  Also, just be aware that some buyers have so many conditions attached to their loan approvals that they can't get financing for certain homes.

5. You can show your home at your convenience. To avoid the headache of having to straighten up your house and show it at a time which is convenient for a real estate agent and a potential buyer, you can decide on which days and times of the week you want buyers to view your home and take appointments for only those times. If you are going to have an open for inspection – be sure to advertise that time on your website listings as well as the sign out in your front yard. This way you can attract more buyers during your inspection times!  

6. You can't be in a hurry. It takes time to sell a home yourself, as well as with the help of a real estate agent, but be patient. Otherwise you may not get the price you want or you'll be tempted to give up.



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