Do you want to sell your house without paying a commission to a realtor? And why should not you? With the median house price in the USA at $223,000 in 2006, a 7% commission is $15,600. This may be equal to 50% of your appreciated house value. But, selling your house using a realtor is hassle free because the realtor does all the hard works. A realtor also provides a marketplace for your house where hundreds of potential buyers participate. However, if you want to pocket that extra chunk of money that would have otherwise gone to the realtor, you have to do the hard works, including marketing your home. Follow these simple strategies to fatten your pocket.
The first strategy is to price your house accordingly. How do you do that? Don’t tag an unrealistic price to your house because you had replaced those old kitchen cabinets a few years ago or you have stopped your roof from leaking. Your house is not worth more than the market value of comparable houses in your neighborhood. Go to www.zillow.com to get an instant valuation of your home. Type in your street address and the zip code, zillow.com shows a “zestimate” of your home value and the actual selling prices of all the houses in your neighborhood. Zillow.com’s “zestimate” value is only a guide. You need to do more digging at zillow.com to figure out the actual price of your house. One way to do this is to check the assessed taxes of all the recently sold houses in your neighborhood and their selling prices. Comparing the assessed taxes of your house with that of the recently sold houses, you will be able to figure out the market value of your home.
What did you do when you bought your home? You hired an inspector to point out problems in the house you wanted to buy. Hire an inspector to find problems in the house you intend to sell. Any potential buyer of your house is going to do the same thing. Take proactive steps to discover problems in your house and fix them before a potential buyer finds them using a home inspector. You can immediately take care of the small things like sealing all cracks, fixing leaking faucets and electrical wiring issues, etc.
The appearance of your house from the outside and the inside is the most important selling point. So, take care of it before the first potential buyer drives by your house. If you are selling the house during the peak summer “house purchase season”, regularly mow your lawn and keep it neat and trimmed. Also, don’t forget to water your lawn regularly and take care of all weeds. If your house has a vinyl siding, wash the outside of your house using soap and a pressurized water jet. If your wood sidings require a fresh coat of paints, paint it. If you have not painted the inside of your house in the last five year, do it now. Remove all clutters from the basement, family room, kitchen, counter tops, and closets. Tidy up all the closets and put excess furniture in a rented storage room.
Using a good digital camera, take plenty of pictures of the outside and the inside of your house. Write down details of your house, e.g. number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage size, number of stories and square footage. Also mention items that appeal to today’s home buyers like a separate formal dining area, an island or breakfast area in the kitchen, whirlpool in the master bedroom, etc.
For marketing your house, use a variety of methods. Use paid websites like fsbo.com, realestate.yahoo.com, or completely free web sites like freeadposting.com or classifiedsforfree.com, etc. to list your house with pictures and details. Use classified ads in your local newspaper or speciality publications dedicated for real estate buy and sell. Use signs in the free bulletin boards of your local supermarkets, grocery stores, churches, work places, etc. And don’t forget the word-of-mouth. Tell all your friends and folks and request them to tell their friends and folks about your house. Print a few hundred business size cards with a few details of the house and urls of your house listing in the Internet along with your email and phone number. Give few of these cards to all your acquaintances and request them to pass those cards to their acquaintances.
When it is the time to close the deal, use a title company, A title company will make sure that all legal entities get all the legal papers of your house sale. Also, a title company helps you go through the legality of selling a house. The legal aspect of selling a house is more complex than anything else. Make sure that you don’t break the laws in the process of selling your house.