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For Sale By Owner

What if you could sell your house without having to pay thousands of dollars to an agent? Research shows that an agent spends an average of ten hours on your listing, netting them $15,000. If you don’t want to lose thousands of dollars, then consider listing FSBO (For Sale By Owner). You do the work, and you keep your hard-earned money.

Why is it important?

You will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to save money. While dedicating time and effort to your sale is impossible for some – for example mothers with young children – it is definitely something to explore if you can manage it.

As stated above, you could end up saving yourself approximately $15,000. Once you know how much you want to sell your property for, using a professional real estate agent with their added commission will either lower your portion, or raise your listing price. In a market that is very difficult to gauge, your higher asking price could severely limit who views your ad. This also means that your property will be listed for longer, and you will need to continuing to pay for that privilege.

The legal process

There are a range of articles in books, magazines, and on websites that can help you understand each step of the private selling process.

Above all else, it is vital to get the legal aspects correct. Not only could it delay the sale, but could end up costing you more than if you had used an agent to begin with. Though most states and territories in Australia have similar criteria that must be met, there are some differences, so make sure you look into your state or territory’s laws.

Be different

When you are selling your own home, you can be different in your technique.

1. Flexible showing times. This may be difficult to fit in with your busy schedule, but keep in mind that you could be meeting the person who will buy your house. Make sure you are always able to be contacted, and respond to messages in under twenty-four hours.

2. Have an arrangement of snacks for your open house viewers. Sometimes children will come with their parents, so make sure there are things for them to eat as well.

3. Because you most likely will not have a lot of expertise, you need to figure out what works and what doesn’t. After a walk-through or open house, give your viewers the chance to voice their feedback (layout, price, etc.). Their opinion is free, and you can improve your methods for the next session.

Avoiding mistakes

Some mistakes can be costly and convey an air of unprofessionalism to prospective buyers. Here are some mistakes to avoid.

1. Photographs are an important part of your listing. With so many houses vying for viewer attention, you need to make sure that you instantly grab their attention. Never upload photos that are upside down or sideways, blurry, too far away for detail, too dark, of cluttered rooms, or with pets. This is also important when adding video to your listing. There are still many sellers – both private and with an agent – who do not include video tours of the property. By including one, you can further set your property apart from the rest.

2. Withholding information is another way to discourage prospective buyers from further exploring your property. Time restraints mean that buyers will spend more time on your online listing than actually at your property, so give them enough information that they feel like they know it. When giving information, make sure you use general terms. Don’t try and sound overly technical, and instead tell them what they need – or want – to know. This includes what landmarks (shopping centres, parks, schools, transport, etc.) are in the area.

3. Advertising is what draws prospective buyers to you. The vast majority of buyers come after seeing your property listed online, however you do not want to make the mistake of disregarding print advertising. Spend a little bit of money to get your listing printed in your local newspaper and distribute fliers and brochures. Include important information and photographs and you will enjoy the positive response. Erecting a ‘for sale’ sign will also only bring attention if you live in a high-traffic area. Directional signs leading to your property also work, but you must check your local laws.

No matter who you ask, everyone has an opinion on buying and selling houses. The best thing you can do is try and make your home inviting. As you can see, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars on an agent, and there are many things you can do to make your selling dreams come true.

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