For many home sellers, paying a realtor seems like a waste of money. With advances in technology, selling your home looks as simple as putting an ad up on Facebook or Craigslist.
According to the South Florida Business Journal, single-family home sales in Florida increased by 4.1 percent and the median sales price grew by 8.1 percent in April. In South Florida, the condo and townhouse market experienced a 13.9 percent spike in sales. With a market like this, selling your own home seems particularly easy in Florida.
However, a hot housing market does not guarantee you will sell a home quickly and easily on your own. There are many things to consider before you decide to list your home as for sale by owner.
Price it right
Even with house prices surging in the state, you need to price your home right. Price it too high, and it could sit on the market for months. If you price it too low, you will lose profitability.
Research comparable homes on realty websites, like Zillow or Redfin, to see the prices of recently sold homes in your area. You may also consider talking to a local real estate agent to see what he or she thinks your home is worth. A title company may also provide comparable sale information.
Make your home shine
Everyone knows good pictures help get many potential buyers through the door. Make sure your home looks as attractive as possible for pictures, and maintain the appearance for future showings.
If you can, try to examine your home from a stranger’s point of view. What would go through your head if you saw someone’s floor to ceiling collection of dolls? Or how about if you opened a closet and the contents were bulging out? You would probably think that is way too many dolls, and these people clearly do not have enough storage.
Start by decluttering as much as you can. You will want to neutralize décor. Consider painting any brightly-colored walls back to a neutral color. Get around to those repairs you have been putting off, but make sure you do not put more money into fixes than you will get back out of the home. Think about storing or selling any large pieces of furniture that make your house look small.
Draw potential buyers in
Now that your home is looking beautiful, you want to get some great photos. If you are handy with a camera, take these yourself. However, if your photography is not your thing, consider hiring a professional to take pictures of your home. A photographer may also be able to shoot a virtual tour.
Know your potential buyer demographic. Is your home geared toward first-time buyers, someone who is looking for a vacation home, or retirees? Knowing who they are will help you reach these buyers. Depending on the type of buyer, you may want to consider online advertisements, flyers, direct mail advertising, or maybe a combination of several marketing techniques. Make sure you include your phone number in all marketing materials. It should be easy for buyers to contact you.
Try to be flexible with scheduling showings. You may also consider staging an open house, and inviting local real estate agents. Consider targeting agents in your marketing materials as well, since most home buyers work with a real estate agent.
Once you find a buyer, you might want to reach out to an attorney experienced in real estate transactions. An attorney can walk you through the process of drawing up the contract and preparing for the closing.