10 Tips to Sell Your Home without an Agent
If you are determined to sell your home yourself, I wish you good luck. However, I will look forward to your call to discuss some of the advantages of having agency representation that you may not have considered.
Here’s some help on How to Sell Your Home without an Agent:
- Change ads regularly. Ads lose their effectiveness if repeated without change. Three days is plenty for one ad. Rewrite ads to appeal to different categories of likely buyers. Use plenty of adjectives. Spend time writing good copy because your ad competes with many ads for similar property.
- Obtain purchase contract forms. Call me at 403-829-9500 if you do not have any. Complete the purchase contract except for date, price, terms, and signatures. Make certain that you fully understand every provision. If a prospective buyer wants to use his or her own contract, be alert. Take it to an attorney. What might appear to be a standard form could be one-sided and not say what it appears to say at first reading. With desktop publishing, many wheeler-dealers are using their own forms where the small print taketh away what the large print giveth!
- Check financing at least once a week with a mortgage company so you will be able to help a buyer understand his or her down payment and monthly costs for various types of mortgages tailored to the buyer’s needs. Be prepared to explain loan types to prospective buyers. Many excellent texts are available to help you. You should also understand front-end and back-end qualifying ratios and FICO scores. If you don’t understand them, you could waste days, weeks, or even months of effort on a buyer who is unable to obtain financing because of existing debt, insufficient income, or prior credit problems.
- If a prospective buyer uses the words “subordinate” or “subordination” in the offer, turn and run. If you sign, no matter how good it looks, you are likely giving away your home to a sharp operator. Also, be alert for any deals that seem too good to be true—they generally are. Be particularly wary with any buyer who is buying without any of his or her own cash. If the buyer ends up with more cash than he or she started with, you can be certain you are the victim of a scam. Television infomercials feature buyers who brag about paying practically nothing to own valuable property. A number of fast-talking seminar promoters have instructed thousands in unethical and often illegal procedures. Offers of mortgages on other property, notes, colored stones, diamonds (especially uncut), or other claimed valuables should send you running to an attorney. If you don’t have one, I would be happy to recommend several. When an agent is involved, the fast operators don’t waste their time. That’s why they love For Sale by Owners.
- Be certain that you have considered and fully understand the effects of the following: seller discount points, payoff penalties on existing loans, assumability of loans, ownership of the impound account, and all closing costs. You should also understand the dangers of “subject-to” financing as opposed to loan assumptions.
- Make certain that you are prepared with all seller disclosures mandated by law. If you are not prepared, you may not be able to obligate a buyer to a sale; and if you fail to make a proper disclosure, you could be inviting a lawsuit and substantial damages.
- Make certain you know who a prospective buyer is before he or she crosses your threshold. There have been far too many horror cases of trusting homeowners who open their homes to persons with intentions other than buying and treat them as if they were honored guests. Try not to be alone when prospective buyers visit.
- Beware of contingent offers. As a result of a contingency, the property could be tied up for months or even years. The buyer could be a dealer who wants to hold the property as if it were an option that would be exercised only if another buyer is located.
- Price it right. How did you arrive at your price? Unless you have a written comparative market analysis that considers all recent sales of comparable property, your price could be merely a hunch. Too high a price will almost certainly guarantee that your property will not be sold, and you will be simply wasting time and effort. Too low a price will mean you are giving away dollars that are rightfully yours. You want a realistic price that gives you an advantage over your competition in creating interest in your property. You should then hold to your price with only minor concessions.
- Understand fully the tax consequences of the sale.