Selling a home is a lot of work. There are many decisions that need to be made, and there are usually several people involved in the process. It’s not something that typically happens overnight.
Some people choose to sell their homes themselves. There are various reasons why people go this route. There’s a good chance they won’t have the connections and years of experience that seasoned realtors have, but they may feel they can save thousands of dollars in realtor commission costs.
Selling a home in Texas by yourself will require some due diligence and patience, but your home can still be sold in a timely manner.
Here are a few steps that you can take if you decide to list your home as for sale by owner:
1. Calculate your home’s fair market value.
The first step is one of the most important ones. Take some time to research what similar properties in your area are selling for.
Look at the neighborhoods, the number of square feet and other data. You can also hire an appraiser to estimate your home’s value, ask for a market analysis from a real estate agent or visit real estate valuation websites.
All of this information should then be used to determine the asking price for your home. Just make sure that your sale price is realistic.
Pricing your home too high could cause it to sit unsold on the market for a longer period of time. Setting a price that’s too low may give an impression that there is something wrong with the home and potential buyers may choose to not even see it.
2. Get the home ready to be sold.
Now it’s time to make your home look presentable for prospective buyers. You want to leave a good first impression for everyone who attends and open house showing.
The more blemishes and messes that people see, the more likely they are to move on to the next available property on their list.
Clean your home thoroughly inside and out. If you’re still going to be living in your house before it’s sold, make every effort to tidy things up as much as possible.
Keep valuables and personal possessions out of sight and out of reach from visitors. If there are any repairs or renovations that need to be done, now is the perfect time to tackle those projects. If you can’t handle everything, you can also hire professionals to fix up and stage your home.
3. Market your property.
Marketing your home is an essential step. Your goal should be to let as many potential buyers as possible know that your home is for sale. This will contribute to getting your home sold in a timely manner. There are a wide variety of tactics that you can take to accomplish this goal.
For example, you may want to start by putting a “for sale” sign up in your yard. Take photos of the interior and exterior of your home (or hire an expert to take the photographs) that will be used in your marketing materials. You can create your own fliers or brochures.
You can also advertise your home for sale online at your own website or on one of the many real estate sites that have “for sale by owner” sections.
4. Field offers and negotiate the sale.
After you’ve advertised your home and hosted open house showings, you may receive a few offers for your property. Take some time to review them carefully. If you find an attractive offer, you can propose a counter-offer to modify the terms or you can accept the offer as it stands.
Any negotiations that you make can be verbal, but the offer that you accept must be in writing. It should clearly state the agreed-upon price, as well as the terms and conditions of the agreement. It should also include what both parties in the agreement are responsible for.
The time and date of the closing must be in the contract, as well as any contingencies. Examples of contingencies include receiving a copy of the buyer’s mortgage loan approval within a specified number of days after the offer has been accepted and the buyer’s request for a home inspection before the closing process.
5. Prepare to close.
The closing process will be facilitated by either the title agent or the closing attorney. That person will do most of the work in this step. They will inform each party of their responsibilities before the sale is completed.
You should stay in touch with the buyer during this period. You may also be asked to provide additional documentation by the closing agent. Communicate with the closing agent and buyer as needed and be prepared to answer any questions that they may have.
If done correctly, there won’t be any issues that arise during the closing process, but it doesn’t hurt to stay in regular contact with all parties involved just in case. Minor complications such as paperwork or filing errors can occur, but these should be minimal and resolved promptly.
One of the documents that you should have on hand is a copy of the buyer’s mortgage agreement. Many mortgage loan contracts have stipulations that have to be met at certain times. If any one of these requirements is missed or delayed, it could cause the contract to be declared null and void.
Talk to the buyer and lender if necessary to ensure that all conditions are met so that the closing can proceed smoothly.
Once the closing has been finalized, you’ll receive your check for the sale and the buyer will receive the keys to their new home.
Selling a home on your own can be quite a learning experience. You’ll learn about marketing, advertising and developing negotiation skills that can be useful in different vocations. If you struggle at any stage of the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to a realtor that may be able to help you get your home sold.