How to sell your home yourself: FSBO guide

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6 steps to selling a home by the owner

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and want to sell your home yourself, you should consider the steps involved in the process. With this roadmap in mind, you’re ready to take control of the home selling process from start to finish – no real estate agent required!

1. Determine the market value

Before you can get the right price for your home, you need to know the market price. Incorrectly pricing your home can negatively impact its ability to sell. Your home may be worth more or less than you think, so it’s best to consult the data to find out how your home is doing market value. You can do this in different ways:

  • Request a competitive market analysis from an agent. This report uses data from comparable properties and known market trends to create an estimate. This service is usually free and provides a fairly accurate estimate. Also, you may like the agent and decide not to go to the FSBO.
  • Get an appraisal done. As in a competitive market analysis an appraisal prepares a report from a licensed professional looking at comparable properties. According to the law, evaluations are carried out by neutral third parties. This means your appraisal is unbiased and reflects the true value of your home.
  • Make an educated guess. The process for determining the market value of a home is usually the same no matter who is doing it: look at comparable properties online, consider home specifics and create an appraisal. You can do this process yourself if you feel comfortable.

2. Prepare your home for sale

Once you know the basic market value of your home, you can begin preparing your home for sale. In this part of the process, you will decide what changes, updates, or cosmetic fixes you will make to bring your home to market.

Preparing your home for the market can be as big or small as you like. Just make sure what changes you make increase the value of your home. For example, remodeling the basement might sound like a good investment, but on average it only recoups about 70% of its cost.2

On the other hand, something as small as mowing the lawn or trimming bushes can increase curb appeal. Curb appeal can increase the value of your home by up to 7%. So make sure the exterior of your home makes a good first impression on buyers!

3. Market your home listing

Now that your home is ready for the market, it’s time to publicize it. Marketing your home is one of the most important steps in selling a home. Because the more potential buyers know about your house, the more likely it is that you will get the offer you want.

More than half of buyers find their home through the internet, so making an online listing is a good first step. Create listings for your home in as many online spaces as possible, such as:

  • The MLS database
  • social media platforms
  • Online Classifieds
  • FSBO websites (jump link to FSBO website section below)

While only real estate professionals can create MLS listings, there is a workaround. You can pay participating brokers a flat fee to create an MLS listing for you. It’s probably worth it — many agents find houses to show buyers through the MLS service, and about a third of buyers find houses through an agent. If you don’t create an MLS listing for your home, you’re likely missing out on a huge chunk of the market.

Make sure you get great photos of your home when you list your home online. It may take some extra time or money, but staging your home can result in great benefits:

  • 80% of real estate agents said the staging helped buyers introduce themselves into the home.4
  • 23% of agents reported that tiered homes get 1% – 5% higher bids than non-tiered homes.4
  • Staged homes sell 33% – 50% faster than non-staged homes.5
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