21 Steps to Selling Your Own Home

I am always asked about the benefits of using an agent over doing it yourself. I mean, “how hard could it be to sell your own home”. The truth is it is a complicated process with plenty of pitfalls, however its not impossible. But, the real reason why most people don’t sell their own home, and why most buyers avoid ‘For Sale By Owner’ is that the majority of people want the anonymity that only an agent can provide,

Negotiating one on one in what is potentially the most stressful and emotionally charged sale of your life can be difficult to navigate. Throw in the challenge of managing some tough conditions and someone on one conflict resolution and you may be wishing you had chosen a different path.

Look, there are a huge number of reasons why you should use an agent from their access to buyers to their negotiation skills but at the end of the day it's your decision. I have put together a summary of the key elements for selling your home, so have a read and tread carefully!

Step One

Carefully research information regarding the price and terms of sales in today’s real estate market. Investigate recent sale prices of properties similar to yours in your immediate area.  Know lot size, current tax information, and relevant property disclosure laws.  Then establish a realistic price for your property based on that information.

Step Two

Know current lending institute guidelines and borrowing criteria to determine financing alternatives for your prospective buyers.

Step Three

Conduct your own mini walk-through inspection. Make note of all the items that need repair or improvement. Your check should include paintwork, windows and window coverings, lawn and yard, plumbing and all appliances in working order, roof and gutters in good condition. Be careful not to over capitalise. Only do jobs that will enhance the price and saleability of your property.

Step Four

Make all necessary repairs and improvements before you begin to advertise your property.

Step Five

Determine if your property is susceptible to termite attack and organise a pest report and/or treatment. Be prepared.

Step Six

Be aware of any relevant council zoning or building infringements and either rectify the fault or obtain the appropriate certificates from the council.

Step Seven

Be available at all times so that you can walk through the property with prospective buyers to answer their questions and offer information about local schools, parks, transportation, shopping, churches, etc

Step Eight

Establish a marketing budget

Step Nine

Determine which newspapers will best advertise your property. Call them for rates and deadlines and negotiate the best deal.

Step Ten

As you don’t have access to an existing database of buyers, you will be more dependent on advertising. Prepare a professional, attention-getting advertisement that will attract the right buyers to your property. Place your advertisement in the newspaper and any home buyer magazines that are effective in your area.

Step Eleven

Prepare a plan to reach local buyers plus those out of town buyers who account for a large portion of today’s home purchasers.

Step Twelve

Purchase an eye-catching and weatherproof yard sign; install it in the front of your property.

Step Thirteen

Prepare a “feature/benefit fact sheet” outlining specific features of your home and corresponding benefits to prospective purchasers. Also, prepare a list of inclusions that will stay with the property and any other items that may stay by negotiation.

Step Fourteen

Schedule and conduct inspections with qualified buyers only. Ensure they are really looking to buy a home and do not have a “hidden agenda”.

Step Fifteen

Learn how to separate the “lookers” from qualified buyers. Ask for names and phone numbers and be sure to follow up with telephone calls.

Step Sixteen

Be prepared to negotiate with the buyer(s) as though you are an impartial third party. Remain calm and refrain from any emotional outbursts that might spoil a sale or jeopardise your sale price.

Step Seventeen

Obtain all forms necessary for the legal sale of real property such as a Contract for Sale of Land and ensure it includes a current certificate of title, relevant special conditions, relevant disclosures, survey report (if required) and building certificate (if required).

Step Eighteen

Determine the type(s) of financing or contractual terms that you are willing to consider such as vendor finance, extended settlement, sale subject to council approval, sale subject to building certificate or sale on leaseback

Step Nineteen

Negotiate with the buyer(s) all final terms of the sale including price, financing, inspections, date of closing, date of possession and other pertinent considerations. Have a solicitor review contracts if appropriate.

Step Twenty

Plan a final walk-through with the buyer(s) just before the settlement process is complete in order to resolve any dispute. Have a witness present.

Step Twenty One

While you are marketing your current property, locate and negotiate to purchase your next home. Attempt to schedule both transactions so that they close simultaneously. In this way, you and the buyer are able to move at the same time.

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