Selling a home on your own, or For Sale By Owner (FSBO), can seem daunting, but it can be done if you are willing to invest the time and money to get it done. Forsalebuyowner.com* is a great website to guide you through your home selling journey but here are a few tips to get you started.
- Consider your motives for selling. Are you downsizing, upsizing or even moving to a new town? The answer to this question can determine your asking price and/or how long you can afford to keep the house on the market.
- Understand your financial situation. Find out the amount you will need to pay off your current mortgage plus the amount you should expect to pay in closing costs to sell your home.
- Consider upgrades to your home. Here’s a great resource that discusses the relative Return on Investment (ROI) of various home upgrades. Upgrades can increase the value of your home or at least improve its appeal to home buyers which may help you sell it faster.
- Consider paying for an inspection. When selling a home FSBO in Colorado (or anywhere) it’s a really a good idea to find out what needs to be fixed before you receive an offer. This can be a good selling point as well. The buyer may still opt to order an inspection themselves, but by doing your own, you have the opportunity to fix the items ahead of time so there are no surprises that may hold up your closing.
- Price your home correctly. In my opinion, this is the most critical step in selling FSBO in Colorado. You must look at what other comparable homes have sold for recently and price your home accordingly. Unfortunately, the market does not care what we paid for our homes or what we currently owe. The market price reflects what buyers are willing to pay. So, what is comparable? Look for homes with roughly the same square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities. And make sure you are looking in comparably priced parts of town. Look at the price per square footage ($/sqft) that others have sold their homes for and $/sqft of other comparable homes currently on the market. A good REALTOR® can and would conduct a thorough Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to competitively list your home in a price range to meet your objectives (e.g. sell for highest price or sell in quickest time – you may not get both). Pricing your home too high can cause it to sit on the market for too long costing you both money and time in the long run.
- Declutter and stage your home. Here is a great article on staging and declutter. To summarize, a decluttered home creates the appearance of more space and is aesthetically more appealing to buyers. Store family pictures and other things that reflect your unique style and identity. People who are looking at your home want to envision it as THEIR home. It’s easier for them to do this if your stuff isn’t all over the place. Consider renting a storage locker to help in your efforts to declutter.
- Advertise your home for sale. Everywhere. Remember you are competing with others that are employing aggressive marketing techniques. You should do the same. ForSaleByOwner.com* has an extensive suite of plans that include access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Place adds on Google, Craigslist, and social media sites. Make your advertising stunning with HD photos and even video walkthroughs. Professional photos sell better than dingy, poorly lit amateur photos. If you were to ever choose a good REALTOR® they would use these marketing channels as well as their local network of agents. These services would all be included in the listing commission. The final aspect of marketing your home successfully is showing it to prospective buyers. Be prepared to show the home at odd hours and weekends.
- Pre-qualify prospective buyers. DO NOT accept an offer from someone who is not pre-qualified. Believe me, you do not need this headache. If you are working with a cash buyer, ensure they provide proof of funds. You may be tempted to entertain a really good offer even if the buyer does not come with a pre-approval or proof of funds. Don’t do it. Remember you are taking your property off the market when accepting an offer and if this person cannot get the money, you lose…time and possibly money. They will likely even be entitled to a refund of their earnest money. Speaking of earnest money, that’s what they pay you to take your home off the market. It’s the one thing that let’s you know they are serious about the purchase. But in Colorado, there are many opportunities for the buyer to legally terminate the contract and get their earnest money deposit back.
- Hire a Real Estate Attorney. When selling FSBO in Colorado without a REALTOR®, you’ll want to ensure any contract offer you receive is in good order before accepting. A real estate attorney will be able to protect your interest by ensuring that all the legal requirements in the contract are favorable to your position. They can also advise on disclosure requirements and anything else that can get you into trouble. At Keller Williams, our agents have access to company attorneys and consult with them for anything out of the ordinary. Brokers licensed in the state of Colorado also have extensive training in Colorado Real Estate law and practice within the boundaries set forth by the Colorado Real Estate Commission.
So, selling your home FSBO in Colorado can be a lot of work, but it can be done by the average person as long as they are willing to put in the time, research and resources to get it done.
*P.S. ForSaleBuyOwner.com founder,Colby Sambrotto, uses a Real Estate agent when he buys or sells.
About the author: The above post “9 Tips to Sell Your Home On Your Own” was written by Kevin Guerrero of Keller Williams Clients’ Choice Realty. To find out more about Kevin and Keller Williams check out the ABOUT US page.
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