So you’ve decided to dive into the game of selling your own house. Kudos to you! You have a lot to learn to make this process go as smoothly as possible, but here are some quick and dirty tips to wet your pallet before you take a deep dive.
Determining the Price
Even if you are at the point where you’ve already
But what do you do next?
The first step where all your future success will flow from is price. If you don’t price your house right, you will either 1) lose out on money or 2) have your house sit “for sale” forever and not attract any buyers.
Luckily for us, we have the internet to help us come up with comparable houses and what other people are trying to get for their house.
The most reliable platform open to consumers with the most up-to-date inventory is www.realtor.com
Head over to realtor.com and search for a few houses within your zip code that closely resemble your house. Remember to try to get as close to where your actual house is as possible.
The great thing about realtor is they also have a “just sold” section where you can see the price of listing in your area that have recently sold. It’s one thing to ask for a certain price, but a solid sale of a comparable home gets you exactly what the part is willing to pay for your house.
Another platform to take advantage of is Zillow and the Zillow “Zestimate.”
The Zestimate is Zillow’s estimation for what your house is worth. No one is sure what goes into their pricing algorithm, but it’s most likely heavily influenced by recent prices of comparables.
Zillow also provides 10 comparables they think closely resemble your house.
Between those two tools, you can get a great idea very quickly what your house is worth.
Another interesting technique to try is to crowdsource what you should price your house by getting your neighbors involved.
My favorite way to do this is to head over to www.city-data.com/forums and to find your local town.
Once you are on the proper city thread, you can make a post giving people the details of your home, and asking them what they think your house is worth and what they would be willing to pay for it.
The interesting thing is that real estate agents often follow these forums and will give you candid advice on the price.
Crowdsourcing feedback on price can also help get you leads from potential buyers. It’s like in
Obviously take some of their advice with a grain of salt. It is the internet after all, but you can get some great feedback this way with very little effort.
Turn up the brightness on pictures
Once you’ve got a firm handle on the price, it’s time to focus on taking great pictures. The art of taking great home-selling pictures could take a whole book to cover properly.
For the purposes of this blog post, we will focus on one critical aspect of pictures: proper lighting.
The lighting / brightness of the photos will make or break your listings.
Keep in mind that about 88% of buyers find their homes online (and that number will probably continue to go up year after year).
This means their first impression will be your pictures.
You must get it right and you should devote some time to it.
In case you are not a photo-editing marveloso, check out the free https://pixlr.com software.
It’s super easy to upload your photos and quickly edit them to make sure the brightness is up.
In case you don’t believe me on the brightness being important thing, consider this:
A study from the University of Toronto, Scarborough found that people experience both positive and negative emotions more intensely in light.
Another study conducted by researchers at the Ohio State University found that people are more likely to be optimistic about the future of the stock market on sunny days.
Bright stuff conveys invitation, warmth, and optimism for the future. These are all things you want buyers to experience when looking at your listing.
So make sure to turn that brightness up!
Be Responsive to inquiries
Once you’ve got your listing up with the price, and the killer pictures are bringing in tons of traffic and leads, you need to focus on handling inquires and qualifying potential buyers.
You should treat everyone like a potential customer and make sure to be as responsive as possible to all leads.
Most of the popular platforms allow for email and text message alerts to stay on top of your leads.
Consider setting up a free website to take advantage of all the web tools at your disposal to keep track of everything.
Whatever system you opt to go for, be as available as you can to show sellers you are dead serious about selling your house.
Once you’ve got the leads knocking down the door, you’ll want to make sure you are making the right impression on them when they come over.
Staging and Showings
The number one thing to keep in mind when you’ve got someone coming to see your house is to make sure you are not accompanying them to every single room of the house trying to actively sell.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but you are more likely to get nervous, or come off as too desperate when you do this.
Let the customer in the door, welcome them and let them know you’ll be in the kitchen area if they have any questions. They’ll be able to check out the home in peace and not feel pressured by your presence.
If you’ve set up a website for your house (which you definitely should do) you can even have people leave anonymous feedback about your house after their visit.
Just make sure you’re not trying to sell anyone on their visit. Your job is to do all of the selling before the visit.
You can’t talk anyone into falling in love with your house, but you can certainly talk them out of it.
If you’re still looking for an edge on selling to the customer once they are inside the home, do what the pros do and let your staging do the talking for you.
Home staging is a whole industry, and you can pay people a ton of money to help you do it right–or you can learn some simple things to help improve your odds yourself.
Going with the brightness theme from your pictures, make sure you turn on all of the lights in the house, open all of the blinds and just encourage as much light as possible.
If you have any dark-colored walls, make sure to repaint them a brighter color. Not only will it look bigger and more inviting, it’ll probably net you a couple thousand more dollars when it’s all said and done.
If your house is on the smaller side, painting walls of adjacent rooms the small color blurs the lines between rooms and makes the room you are in seem bigger than it is.
Take stock of all of the daily household items just laying around the house.
Ask a friend to help you de-clutter, because you’ve likely become to the clutter you just accept as normal “furniture” items after living in it for so long.
Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to notice things like the protein powder on top of the fridge, or the half-empty bottle of dawn soap on the counter near the sink.
Use Social Media the right way
Your use of social media should focus on creating engagements. Use it to crowdsource design and staging ideas, and have people give you feedback on your price.
There are literally billions of dollars worth of product sold on social platforms every year. It’s a great way to get in front of customers.
The trick is to not try to sell so hard. Ask people to get involved on a fun level. HGTV is a hugely popular network for the sole reason that people love real estate and housing related stuff.
Have you ever watched House Hunters and found yourself yelling at the TV screen because you thought a house was overpriced, or the wrong choice?
I’m pretty sure we all have. Now go out there and ask for that same feedback on your own house. Be careful not to take people’s comments personally.
Simplly enjoy the free exposure the feeback brings to your listing!
Facebook is a great platform for selling FSBO and consider taking out a small geo-targeted ad to reach a broader audience than just your friends and family.
It can be a scary experience when you first set out to sell your house by yourself. Just about everyone out there on the internet is trying to tell you that it’s a terrible idea, that 9 out of 10 FSBOs end up listing with an agent anyway, and that you are going to lose all kinds of money because you have no idea what you are doing.
Securing a solid price based on market comparables is the first step to making the most of your by owner listing and getting the leads coming in for showings.
Turning the brightness up has been shown to affect consumer psychology in a positive way–so make sure you are leveraging that in your photos and while staging your home for a showing.
Once the leads start pouring in, make yourself as available as possible and relax in your kitchen while people are browsing your house.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll find that selling by owner it’s not quite as scary as it seems!
Have you tried some of these tips? Let us know what worked and what didn’t in the comments below.