So, you’re considering selling your Raleigh home, and maybe you’re thinking, I’ve done this before. I know what to do. Make my home look nice, have a few open houses, take an offer that sounds appealing, sign some papers… I got this. Why would I pay thousands of dollars in Realtor fees for something I can do myself?
Congratulations; you’ve decided to sell For Sale By Owner and you’re gonna save some serious cash! Here’s everything you’ll need to do.
Find Everything That Needs to Be Fixed or Improved
Do a walkthrough of your home with an unbiased eye. What will buyers think when they walk inside? Will they notice that squeaking floorboard? Will they be deterred by the bright red paint on your living room wall? Will they find your kitchen dark and dingy? And the front yard—they’re gonna notice all those bald patches of grass, right?
Time to put on your FSBO Realtor hat and get to work. First, find all the stuff that needs to be fixed. Be detailed. Then fix it. Then, do a second walkthrough and find everything that might need to be… upgraded a bit. Think painting walls, updating your HVAC, your flooring, or your kitchen and bathroom tile, installing new hardware, maybe replacing your siding or power-washing, and definitely giving your landscaping some love.
Stage, Decorate, and Take Professional Photos
Next, put on your decorator’s hat and start moving your furniture, setting centerpieces, hanging tasteful art work, and taking down your personalized decor. It’s staging time. That way, your professional photos (taken yourself or by a hired photographer) will really stand out from the other listings on the Internet.
Accurately Appraise Your Home—With a Competitive Price
So… what’s your home worth anyway these days? You know what you paid for it, and you know what you want to get for it, and you did just do a bunch of repairs… Why not set the bar high and shoot for the stars? You can always drop the price if it doesn’t sell right away, right?
Not quite. Finding the right price for your home is crucial. Set it too low, and you’re obviously not getting the full value of your investment. Set it too high… who’s gonna buy it? And then even if you drop the price, it’s already been on the market for waay too long and is starting to look unappealing to buyers (there’s gotta be something wrong with it if no one’s bought it in 3 months, right??).
Market. Like. Crazy.
Okay, you got your nifty FSBO Sign in your front lawn. Sooner or later, somebody is sure to drive by and be enticed… If you’re lucky. Successful home sales typically take a lot of work, particularly in the marketing department. Reaching the largest number of buyers is your best chance of finding that right buyer, the one who’s going to pay the price you want for your home.
So be prepared to post, post, post… online, on Facebook and Twitter, flyers at the grocery store and the post office, brochures to all your friends and neighbors and coworkers. If you want to be like a real agent, you might even dedicate a whole web page to your home, take out ads in the newspaper or magazines, or even send out mail flyers.
Be a Host—And a Salesperson
Be ready to show your home, be the absolutely gracious host who takes coats, offers drinks and warm cookies, smiles, and shows guests around on a grand tour of their home’s features. Be ready for signs of distaste or even insults. Wrinkled noses, whispered remarks, pointed fingers. You love your home, but not everybody’s going to. Keep the smile going.
And be prepared to talk up your home. Talk about the great grocery stores or attractions nearby, how easy it is to jump on the highway and commute to work, how friendly the neighbors are, how there are great schools just a few minutes down the road. Sell your area, your neighborhood, your yard, and your home. Be ready to combat objections.
Be Available All the Time
You’re at work, in the middle of a meeting, and somebody who reallllyy wants to see your house calls (Omigosh they loved it SO much from the beautiful online photos you posted). But they can only come see it like, now. What do you do? Leave your meeting and run home to show your house around to a buyer who shows up late and isn’t really all that interested after all? Or possibly miss out on the perfect buyer?
Start Negotiations & Protect Your Best Interests
Hopefully you have some experience with negotiations, because after a month of mediocre open house turnouts, you finally got an offer. But the buyer wants you to fix the slightly leaky faucet in the upstairs bathroom and replace the bedroom carpet. Oh, and they’re trying to sell their house at the same time, so if that falls through, they won’t actually be able to buy yours. Can you negotiate your way into a situation that doesn’t involve you getting stuck with a bunch of repair costs AND the possibility of the sale falling through?
Read and Interpret Encyclopedias of Legalese
Selling a home is a lot of paperwork. Like, a lot. First, there’s the purchase and sale agreement (which outlines terms, conditions, and contingencies of the sale). Then, during escrow, you’ll be reviewing and signing buyer and seller contracts. And finally, at the close, another mountain of paperwork. Bring a few pens, your legal dictionary, and maybe your lawyer.
Kind of Ready to Give Up and Hire a Realtor?
At Triangle Experts, we do this kind of stuff every day! If you’re thinking of selling a home in Raleigh, give us a call and let us handle that long list of tiresome stuff for you. Learn how we can help you price, stage, list, and sell your home in the Triangle! Contact us today to get started.