Super Charge Your For Sale by Owner!
As with all professions, the good ones who last the longest and are the most successful, are also the ones who gain experience on what works and what doesn’t. Here’s how a real estate agent would sell their home in a weekend. And, as a bonus- see my link for a e-booklet below on Selling By Owner for more tips. 20+ Secrets -The Ultimate Guide for Selling Your Home By Owner
Before your opening weekend, spend a day cleaning and decluttering your home and you won’t regret it when the photographer comes to take beauty shots of the interior and exterior. Hire a U Haul and clear out the funky junk. Folks want to see your home as a gem, not a lump of coal. Everything is already fixed and clean, from the freshly mowed lawn, to the sparkling clean windows.
No matter where you post your ad, Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram or Zillow, the photos will be the first thing buyers will see. Adding a slideshow and video walk through are also great ways to showcase your home. Paying a bit extra to have your ad at the top of the page as a preferred home will be expensive but well worth it to ensure extra eyes are seeing your home.
Realtor Tip- upgrade to a 3D walk through or hire a drone operator to get some amazing high def video shots. This works especially well for estate properties or on bigger lots.
After taking a lot of time to clean up the home, and getting amazing photos, don’t short change yourself on the price! If you haven’t gotten a professional market analysis done, and you want to really test the market conditions, put it up for sale on an Auction site and see if you get any bids. An over priced home will not generate any interest. A home that is 10-15% over market value might get a nibble, so at least you’ll know roughly how far off you are.
Residential properties tend to sell for higher amounts on the MLS, which is another reason seasoned investors avoid it. Property investors seek bargains on auction sites. Many times, home owners risk underselling their property on auction sites, hoping to get a huge bidding war. Starting out at a low price point and waiting a week for an auction to conclude may be a disappointment if you get no bids.
Realtor Tip- Put the property on auction, with a reserve, and you won’t have to worry about canceling the auction later, as long as no one meets your reserve price.
Open House Meet N Greets
If you’re going to spend time on an Open House, go big! First impressions matter so invite the neighbors, family, and friends, fill up the block and driveway, and bring out the goodies. Be sure to use a sign in sheet for your guests and get phone numbers for follow up calls. Don’t forget to include the local brokers. Agents love your open houses! These folks are interested in your home for a very good reason. They have buyers, connections, and expertise, to do what you are trying to do as a side business.
On the downside, open houses also let in a lot of folks who don’t have a dime to their name, but really would love to buy your home. If you have patience and a lot of time, one of these looky-loo folks can turn into your buyer, but getting them pre-approved may be a challenge.
Realtor Tip- Have a list of local mortgage lenders handy to help follow up with these potential buyers for you, to turn a “looky loo” into a Ready To Go Buyer!
Coordinate and network with local Realtors
Agents selling their own home would always run a market analysis first. And for sale by owners should too. Call up the local agents in the area and use their pro skills and leverage them. See if you can get free market reports and a CMA. Ask them when they are doing open houses in your area so you can add yours to the list. Don’t be invisible to agents who are active in your area. And reconsider offering a buyer’s agent fee. A service to find you a buyer is worth every penny and reduces the hassle and aggravation of waiting for an offer. Not every home seller has the luxury of 700 days to sit on the market.
Realtor Tip- Stubbornness is admirable, but it won’t help sell your home if you’re overpriced.
Use social media to spread the word your property is for sale
Social media is so easy, a teenager can do it! Unfortunately, if your teenager tells 100 of their friends about your house being for sale, it is still unlikely you’ll get any offers. Why? Because unless they are all nearby friends who have families that are looking to buy a home in your neighborhood, you’ll be hitting the wrong audience. Take it from someone who has adjusted her social media advertising year over year for 11+ years. Targeted social media can find the right folks a lot faster.
Realtor Tip-Advertising on social media is not so simple these days. That’s why I hire social media experts help to promote my listings, so I can be an expert on selling houses, not 10 different advertising platforms.
Enjoy the attention and be ready to negotiate with everyone, at all price points
Opening the floodgates selling by owner is a wonderful opportunity to learn about folks in your area interested in buying a home. The down side is some folks may bring in low ball offers, or be unqualified buyers, without a job or income. Others may have no down payment or savings, and still are interested in buying your home, someday. Without an agent to filter them, or a listing agent to screen out the lookie-loo’s, the entire world has broad access to your home.
On the bright side, you will have plenty of follow up calls to make and loads of market activity for the first week or two. Getting the right offer from your weekend activity is well within your reach.
Realtor Tip- A sign in the front yard for FSBO often signals a discount to investors, sometimes as much as 20% below your asking price! They figure because you’re saving on agent commission, they can squeeze a little more cash or equity out of the deal.
If you’ve been on the market more than 4 weeks with no offers, it might be time to re-consider your price point.
If you need a few more tips, I’ve put together an amazing guide for selling by owner. You can download the e-booklet here: 20+ Secrets – The Ultimate Guide for Selling Your Home By Owner
No secrets among friends
The reality is, no licensed agent can tell exactly when offers will arrive, or at what price they come in at. Agents will use all the tools they have at their disposal to sell their own home for top dollar, and stack the deck in their favor, just like anyone with pro skills would do for themselves. A bricklayer is not going to short change his quality of materials on his own home. A mechanic will put in higher quality parts on their own cars, knowing it will save them money down the line.
If you cut to the bottom line, agents have a pro skills edge too. It’s called the multiple listing service, the local MLS, and it’s not a secret that Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and all the rest, use the MLS data. Licensed agents put in their listings into the MLS to pool their information, making it the biggest database by a landslide.
The data in the MLS is highly regarded as top quality, extremely accurate, highly valuable, and is used by mortgage lenders, appraisers, inspectors, contractors, builders, attorneys, and many other professionals. Agents must pay for their MLS access, even when selling their own home. They would want the best exposure, and the fastest sale for the highest possible amount, and unless they are selling to a family member as a private sale, their own home will go into the MLS too.
Did you know?
Fox Valley Homes is full of great marketing tips and ideas. Fox Valley Homes offers full broker service for regular listings, rentals, buyers and home sellers, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. We coordinate real estate transactions effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.
For more information, about Fox Valley Homes @ Charles Rutenberg Realty of Naperville, IL, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, e-PRO, SFR, (630) 854-4360. Email me direct firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Kinzle, e-PRO, SFR, B.S., Broker
Fox Valley Homes
Charles Rutenberg Realty of Naperville, IL
3135 Book Rd, Naperville, IL 60564
Direct/Text: (630) 854-4360