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Want a Checklist On How To Get A House Ready To Sell By Owner?

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Here are some tips on how to sell a house quickly.

I get this question all the time from investors and owners who want to keep their equity for themselves and want to sell a house by owner.  They don’t want to pay a real estate agent’s commission, for whatever reason.

I teach my students to sell the house by owner (FSBO) and to use a flat fee listing at the same time.  That way they market to all potential buyers – ‘A’ buyers who work with realtors and ‘B & C’ buyers who are driving around trying to find the signs with ‘homes for sale owner finance’.

Here are some basic steps to sell your house by owner.  It’s not a complete list – that would take an entire course – but here’s a basic checklist that you should make sure you’ve done to get that property sold!

  1. First ‘drive the competition’ in the neighborhood, so you know what you’re up against. And then make your house just a bit nicer.
  2. Complete the repairs.  In earlier blogs I’ve talked about what to do to the inside and the outside of the house.  Just remember to do fix them up nicer than the other houses in the neighborhood.
  3. Make sure everything is NEW.  It may sound expensive to update appliances, carpet, paint, fixtures, hardware, and the garage door.  But when you’re making that next house payment, you may regret not getting that new dishwasher.
    • Here’s a hint: look for ads for new dented scratched appliances for sale.  You can usually hide the scratches and get them at a big discount.
    • Do the basics when you’re staging a house to sell.  Think of ‘Model Home’ but on a smaller scale.
      • Put matching towels, shower curtain and bath accessories in the bathroom.
      • Put silk plants, a cookbook, hand towels and a nice paper towel stand in the kitchen.
      • Put a mirror or picture above the fireplace (just sit it on the mantel).
  4. It sounds SO basic, but maximize your marketing! Most FSBOs put a sign in the yard and think it will sell the house.  NOT!  You want to use all of the marketing tools for FSBO you can think of.
    • Make sure that ‘for sale flyer box’ is full.
    • Put pictures of all those great repairs on all of the free FSBO listings web sites.
    • Put ads in the right papers – you want FSBO local listings – not those across town.
    • Put signs out that point TO your house and not AWAY from it.
    • And if someone calls, return their call. Sounds basic, but people get lazy.

I’ll bet if you’ve tried to sell your house by owner and it’s still sitting there, that you’ve missed one of these things.  Go back and look.

And if you have any suggestions, questions, or COMMENTS, please enter them in the space below.  Thanks!

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