How to sell your home without a real estate agent
Given the rapid rise in home prices over the past few years, home sellers are paying close attention to the commission they must pay a real estate brokerage to market and sell their home. Real estate commissions vary from country to country; they average in the range of four to seven percent.
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2004 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, fourteen percent of homes were sold by owner. The NAR survey lists the two most difficult tasks for a for sale by owner (FSBO) are preparing and renovating the home for sale and getting the price right.
Invite three medium to high productivity full-time agents to your home to give you an opinion on the price. Understand that if the three price opinions are not what you think the property is worth, you need to understand the danger of an overpriced property. Overpriced homes are surveyed by major national real estate agents and overpriced homes take longer to sell and sell for less as a percentage of the original list price.
Ask agents to give you constructive feedback on what you need to do to make your home visually appealing to the most buyers. Below are some tips for preparing your home for the market.
1) Research how to “stage” your home to increase its appeal to home buyers by creating a spacious and pleasant home environment for buyers.
· Start by removing the first thing that gets in your way.
· Remove one or more staple pieces of furniture from each room to make it more spacious.
·Keep matching furniture together to build uniformity in a room.
· Create seating areas where two or more people can talk.
2) Keep the eye moving when designing a room.
· Use furniture placement to direct the buyer’s eye to the room’s features.
· Move large furniture away from windows.
· Place large pieces of furniture at the end of the room to relieve the visual load at the opposite end of the room.
· Use rugs to anchor seating areas.
· Close your dining table to its smallest size.
3) Use furniture placed at angles in the room to update it quickly.
· Tilt the bed in the corner of the bedroom to focus attention.
·V-shaped corner furniture in living and family rooms.
·Angular furniture can help fill a room with a shortage of furniture and give it a designer look.
4) Create vignettes in rooms to set the mood.
·Breakfast tray with coffee cups, newspaper, flower vase on the bed.
· Set the dining room table with a linen tablecloth, china, silverware and glasses.
· Set up a game table for chess, bridge or backgammon.
5) Effective model homes focus on creating the right environment.
·Declutter so buyers can layer their furnishings and lifestyle.
· Clean, fresh and new smell.
· Attention to detail. Clean rooms and landscaping trimmed.
· Gentle background music, classical, light jazz or rock.
· Interior decor and wall colors accentuate the architectural features of the home.
· Live plants or fresh flowers add finishing touches.
6) Understand decorating basics that can guide you in repositioning a room.
· Color. A little goes a long way.
· Scale. Do the sizes of the furniture complement or overwhelm a room?
·Model. He easily does it to avoid distraction from the room itself.
Lighting. Use it to define dark corners. It helps to fill a room.
· Focus point. Fireplaces, views, art, find one in every room.
· Texture. Adds visual interest, warms cold spaces and finishes.
Understanding and completing the paperwork in a real estate transaction is the number three most difficult tasks according to the NAR survey. Once your home is priced appropriately and ready for the market, you should hire a real estate attorney to help you review contracts, disclosure forms, and help you qualify potential buyers for your home. An experienced real estate attorney can help you avoid common pitfalls in real estate negotiations and facilitate a smooth transaction.
Here are some tricky notes about real estate contracts.
·Use an approved real estate contract from your state real estate bar association or local Board of Realtors®.
Real estate contract. Binding agreement between buyer and seller. It consists of an offer and an acceptance, as well as a consideration (ie money).
· Acceptance. Agreement between the parties to the terms of the contract.
· Contract duration. Research typical contract lengths, the standard is 45 days from contract to closing.
· You have hand sold comparable properties to prospective buyers.
·Comparable. Closing prices for similar homes by age, condition, location and square footage.
·Price. Research the average sold prices as a percentage of listings over the past six months.
· Low ball offers. Buyers must offer over 87% of listing if they are serious, otherwise you should not respond to low ball offers at all.
·Counter offer(s). The response to a bid or offer by the seller or buyer after the initial bid or offer. Require all counter offers to be in writing.
· Requiring all buyers to submit the highest level of mortgage commitment with their contract.
· Mortgage commitment. A document from a mortgage lender that commits the lender to provide a loan under agreed terms and conditions.
Term, percentage and amount of the mortgage. Look for strong down payments of twenty percent or more. Interest-only loans signal that buyers may be looking to qualify for a loan.
·Cash-in-lieu-of-mortgage offers must be confirmed with a letter from your financial institution stating that the funds have been deposited to close the contract.
· Federal law requires lead-based paint hazard disclosure.
· Lead-based hazard. Disclosure of reports or knowledge of lead-based hazards. Buildings built after 1978 do not pose lead hazards.
·Read Protect your family from lead in your home from the US EPA.
· Real estate disclosures required by federal or your state Written statements from the seller(s) of a property disclosing any known defects.
· Local disclosures. Local disclosure requirements that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges, such as certificates of occupancy.
· Form W-9. IRS form requiring taxpayer identification and buyer certification numbers to receive interest on a deposit from delivery to closing.
· Subject to evaluation. Most contracts as part of mortgage contingencies require the property to be appraised at a minimum contract price.
· Assessment. An objective third-party opinion of value from a licensed or certified appraiser.
· Earnest cash deposit. Money given to the seller at the time of making the offer as a sign of the buyer’s good faith.
· Research the usual earnest money deposits as they vary. The larger the deposit, the greater the buyer’s motivation to complete the contract.
· Refund of security deposits. Contracts must provide for the return of the entire deposit within agreed contingency periods. The seller’s solicitor must hold deposits.
·Time limit for attorney approval. Your attorney reviews and makes changes to the contract, usually 5-7 business days.
· Property inspection period. Contractual right of the buyer, at his own expense, to discover the actual condition of the property. This period usually lasts 5-7 working days.
·Well and septic inspections. They are independent of structural and mechanical checks.
· Contingency deadlines run concurrently.
· Unexpected circumstances. A provision in a contract that requires certain actions to be completed before the contract becomes binding.
· Closing Date/ Escrow Date. The end date of the transaction process where the deed is delivered, the documents are signed and the funds are distributed.
· Date of Possession. The contractually agreed date when the buyer can occupy the property.
· Final walk. A pre-closing or escrow tour of the property that allows buyers a final inspection of the condition, agreed-upon repairs and personal property.
· Tax proportions. The amount of credit given to buyers at closing for unpaid property taxes when the taxes are delinquent. The proportions must always be more than 100%.
·Personal property. List and initial all personal property included in the sale, such as air conditioners, appliances and playground equipment.
· Contingencies when selling a home. The contract is subject to the sale of the property to the buyer.
·Buyers show motivation when they include a home sale contingency with their current property already on the market.
· Home closing contingency. The contract is only contingent upon the successful completion of an existing real estate contract.
Marketing your home to potential buyers should include these methods.
· Professionally painted yard sign.
·Newspaper classified ads and photos.
·Public and brokerage open days.
·Internet: virtual walk and at least eight photos.
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