You may think it’s strange that a professional real estate agent is offering advice on how to sell your Windsor Ontario home on your own. But facts are that over 80 percent of homes “for sale by owner,”(FSBO) actually end up being listed by an agent, so instead of trying to get your business, I would prefer to show you the resources to sell your home yourself, and for the best possible price.
First off, what are some of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when attempting to sell their home?
1. Under or over price home:
Typically, FSBO properties sold for 30 percent less than those sold by realtors. Those homes that are overpriced, just sit there!
2. Fail to adequately promote the home:
Let’s put it this way, in order for a home to sell at top dollar, you need to reach the top buyers. However, reports show that less than half of FSBO homes even use signs in their front yard! “For Sale” signs account for 10 – 15 percent of house sales, and in the real estate business we call that the “silent seller,” because a sign promotes your property 24/7. It alerts your neighbours, drivers, workers and anyone else in your area and we all know word-of-mouth is what you need to get your home out to the buyers.
3. Little to none Internet presence:
Here’s another sad fact regarding FSBO homes: Only one-third of sellers will promote their home effectively on the Internet where 90 percent of buyers start their home search. And while Internet exposure will drive traffic to your home, the problem is, you want “qualified” traffic or buyers to your home. So to successfully market your home, it needs to be done correctly with your target audience in mind.
4. Open Houses don’t work:
Ninety percent of FSBO homeowners will have an open house to generate traffic into their home. The problem is: they don’t work. Most top agents, myself included, don’t do open houses and I can assure you, we would if they sold homes. Open houses serve those agents who are looking for prospective clients as it gives them an opportunity to introduce themselves to the neighbours or the curious who are usually the only people who walk through open houses.
5. Homeowners underestimate the time it takes to sell:
It takes organization and plenty of time to sell a home. Homeowners attempting to sell their home often have work, family and other obligations and don’t realize that today’s buyers look at homes every day of the week and at different hours. A successful sale means you must be agreeable to a buyer’s schedule.
6. Don’t understand paperwork:
Each year, the paperwork to sell a home increases. It takes a small forest of trees to make-up what is required once a home receives an offer. With the lack of knowledge goes the lack of research that many homeowners underestimate. The bad news is, if every “t” isn’t crossed or every “i” dotted, it can delay the sale. And if everything is not included or a contract is not worded correctly, it can be expensive for the seller.
What can you do to have a successful sale?
1. Price your home correctly! While this is often easier said that done, it is necessary to price your home not what YOU think it’s worth, but what the market dictates. Getting neighbourhood comps, doing your research, walking through similar style homes for sale and pricing with your head and not your heart are steps in the right direction.
2. Put up signs! Again, this seems like a no brainer, but the majority of homesellers don’t put up effective signs.
3. Get a pre-inspection! Buyers want to know that the home you are selling is in good condition. To put their mind at ease right away, have your home pre-inspected, make the necessary repairs and show your buyers the inspector’s report. It’s one of the best things you can do to sell your home.
4. Make your home stand out! You will need your home to stand head and heels above the competition. Your home must be immaculate and decluttered, curb appeal must shine and be ready to show at a moment’s notice.
5. Show your home to buyers represented by agents! It’s surprising how many sellers won’t show their homes to buyers who have agents. Why would you do that? Since the overwhelming majority of buyers are represented, it’s like shooting yourself in the foot! Yes, you will have to give up to 3 percent in commission, but consider the costs to maintain your home for several more months if the house doesn’t sell.
6. Promote your home! Social media is a great, inexpensive way to advertise your home. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and create a web page advertising your home. Set up incentives if you are able, such as a large gift card to a local home improvement store to a buyer at closing. Or consider offering to help with closing costs or throwing in some furniture.
It takes hard work, dedication, organization and a willingness to be patient in order to sell your home today. For additional information, including how to stage your home and necessary paperwork, tour my website, www.sashamiletic.com