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Did You Know You Can Sell Your Own House?

By Cindy Williams October 09, 2021 Lifestyle

My nephew recently called me and asked me to list his home for sale. I have been the “family” real estate go-to person for over 40years, so it was not an unusual request. My answer to his request would be different this time.

I have just retired both my real estate brokerage and appraiser licenses. I asked my nephew why he couldn’t sell his own home. I got lots of excuses like I’m too busy, I don’t have the right forms, I don’t have a way to advertise it. I had answers for every question he asked and then some!

Selling Your Own Home Isn’t That Complicated

Have you thought about selling your own home or property? I think you may find it easier than you think and a choice that you may want to consider! I will attempt to simplify the process for you and I am betting you can do it!

Yes, we all hear commercials daily about how a third party agent can sell and market your home. The agents proclaim they can sell your home faster and for more money than you can. Hey, that’s advertising, I get it, I understand it. Third party agents are educated professionals and they do provide reliable services that are needed in many cases. But is it necessary or required to enlist a third party agent to sell your home? No, it is not.

You’re in Control

Think about it! Why not sell your home yourself and be in total control of your largest asset? You can do it! Believe it or not, there are buyers out there, including myself, that actually prefer to buy directly from an owner.

You Know Your Home

Here are some reasons why I enjoy buying directly from an owner. Who has lived in the home and knows the home better? Who is the most direct source to negotiate on the price and terms? Who has actually lived in the home area or neighborhood? Who will save on commission fees and pass the savings on to the purchaser? Who is focused on the home for sale? The owner is the answer to all five questions.

You Can Do the Marketing as Well

Have I got your attention! Don’t be afraid or intimidated to market your own home for sale. Like anything you have for sale, you may want to spruce it up a bit. Pretend you are the buyer, what would you think if you drove by your home or walked in your front door?

Take a look at some of the home improvement TV shows and see what buyers are looking for. I once had an agent that sprayed the front door with air freshener before any showings. She also brought over unbaked cookie dough and baked cookies before she showed a house just to give the home a nice aroma.

If you see need for improvement, now may be the time! Making any home more attractive can increase your home’s value and increase your number of buyers.

Where to Market? The Internet, of Course!

Today’s technology and internet services make marketing your home much easier than in the past. There are numerous internet sites that offer free advertising of your home all over the world. These free sites allow you to post dozens of photos, videos, maps, etc. of your home.

Do you need a professional photographer? Not really, but taking the best photos possible is a good idea and can be done with most any camera. Writing the ad is as simple as describing your home to others. Make your description flattering, but honest. Make it informational but interesting. Inviting, but not overdone. Just honestly describe what makes your house a home, and why any buyer should consider buying it.

The Important Steps

Just like you would do on a fishing trip, you throw out the fishing line with bait (aka your ad).

Next, you wait for a bite (someone answering your ad).

Start reeling in the fish (show them your property).

You’ve caught the fish (I mean you have a potential buyer).

To prepare, have all the information you can dig up about your property available (survey, legal description, tax card, subdivision docs, etc.) and offer to provide any additional information the potential buyer may ask for.

Once You Have a Buyer

Congratulations! The potential buyer likes your home and wants to make an offer! What’s next? You and the potential buyer should have a “meeting of the minds.” In other works, agree to a price and terms to purchase and put it in writing.

You can obtain a simple real estate contract online or at an office supply store, and you can fill it out together. Both buyer and seller can and should participate in filling in the contract form, looking over the contract and making sure both parties understand everything that they have agreed to.

The basics in every real estate contract should include date of contract, sales price, description of property (and any items included if not attached), contingencies (if any), closing date, who pays for any fees incurred in closing the transaction, who will close the transaction and signatures of buyer(s) and seller(s).

You can always add an addendum page to include any items that clarify the contract, such as inspection requests, etc. If you just don’t feel comfortable with filling out a contract, or you feel like your contract agreement may be too complicated, call a local real estate attorney and they can assist you if necessary.

Once you complete your contract it can be taken to a specified closing company(s) or closing attorney(s) to let them begin the closing process. A licensed title company/closing attorney can handle the transaction from that point and you will be contacted with details of when they are ready to close the transaction.

Selling your own home may not be the right choice for everyone, but it can be a very rewarding experience for both sellers and buyers!

Did you buy your house from the previous owner or did you use an agency? When selling, do you prefer to do a direct deal with a buyer, or do you use a third party to do to negotiations? Do you think there is benefit to selling your house yourself?

Let's Have a Conversation!

The Author

Cindy Williams, investor and recently retired 40-plus-year TN-licensed real estate broker/appraiser, enjoys empowering people. Cindy has written articles for local newspapers, co-hosted a radio talk show, owned/operated a dirt race track and looks forward to more adventures. Any questions are welcomed at williamsandassoc@gmail.com.

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