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What You Should Know If You Want To Sell Your Own Property

Praful Thakkar
11/03/2003

I wanted to start a series on and for 'The First Time Home Buyers' but came across this request - reworded - from one of our readers.

If owners want to sell their own property, what are some important things they should know? Your response is greatly appreciated. Is there a good book/article that you recommend? Thank you. - Sharda Gupta

Selling your home isn't as easy as it seems.

Though, the answer to this question would be driving the business away from us - the realtors, here is my honest attempt to guide you. This article will be incomplete if it is not followed by risk factors associated with selling your own property. Let's start the countdown…

10. Start with reading few books and articles on 'How to Sell Your Home in 5 Days' or 'Home Selling for Dummies' etc. Agents do a great deal of study. Prepare yourself to be one.

9. Prepare your home to sell. Make it look clean, spacious and attractive. Request a friend or acquaintance to visit your home and ask for their opinion.

8. Do not forget the exterior of your home. The first impression is everything.

7. Price your home to sell. A professional appraiser may be a good beginning. Remember, direct buyers expect and intend to pay less.

6. Hire a real estate attorney for a hassle-free real estate transaction and to protect your interest in the entire transaction.

5. Advertise in local newspapers. Use of appropriate words in ads can make a lot of difference. Prepare flyers detailing the house, preferably with few pictures - for Open House and other marketing strategies you'd like to employ.

4. You may get some offers - with some deposit. Remember, oral agreements for real estate sales may not be binding. Once you accept the offer, review the purchase and sales contract carefully with your attorney - not only for price, but also for other terms and conditions.

3. Buyer will get the home inspection done. If there are major issues revealed during inspection, buyer may request you to correct them before moving ahead.

2. Follow-up with buyer on his/her mortgage commitment. Inform your lender, if you have one, about closing.

1. Rest of the money transactions will be done at closing. Usually closing occurs within 4-6 weeks after the signing of purchase and sales contract. Walk through your buyer-last time for you, before you hand over the keys to buyer of your priced possession. Do not forget to transfer or disconnect essential services like gas, water and electricity.

These are the risk factors associated with selling your own home.

10. How will you screen buyers? A buyer is not likely to share his/her financial situation with you.

9. Are you knowledgeable enough to understand all legal matters associated with real estate buying and selling?

8. Do you want to make expensive upgrades to the property to get top dollars or get a professional recommendation on how to spend least and to get the most for your property?

7. 'For Sale By Owner' strategy works better in flourishing economy. What do you think? Is this Buyer's Market or Seller's Market?

6. Can you manage to market your home without any agents' network? Having a house listed in MLS may not be sufficient to attract buyers.

5. Are you ready to handle all the work associated with selling without forgetting even a single document that could lead you to years of legal battle with a buyer?

4. Do you know the costs associated with selling on your own? Apart from money, time is another major factor. Let me call it a 'cost of waiting'.

3. You may be good at bargaining, but this is a different ball game! Negotiating the final price with buyers is an art. You may settle for less - losing all the benefits of selling on your own. On an average, owners net 3-5% less than selling through a realtor when selling their own homes.

2. Do you want the 'For Sale' sign in your yard to disappear as quickly as possible or you do not mind if your house is sold in next season?

1. Do you have sufficient time and commitment? Do you really believe that you will get more for your priced possession by selling on your own?

Did you know that after initial momentum of selling on your own, most of the homeowners list their properties with agents within few weeks?

Questions? Comments? You know our email address - asaigal@lokvani.com



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