How do I get started selling my house myself? Selling your house on your own, and without a real estate age, is easier than you might think. Thousands of homeowners in New Zealand do it every year.
Of course, you will have to be creative and put in the hard work – after all, you will be taking care of most things that a realtor normally does.
In this definitive guide, we provide you with a step-by-step process on how to selling your home by yourself. We’ll offer you tips that’ll not only make the home-selling process hassle-free but also save you a ton of money.
First up – why sell your house by yourself?
There are a lot of great reasons to go down the “selling my house myself” route. But, perhaps the biggest upside is that you’ll not have to pay the hefty real estate agent fee or commission.
In the vast majority of property markets in New Zealand, the standard real estate agent fee is roughly 4 percent of the final selling price. So, if the sale price for your house is $300,000, you’ll have to shell out a commission of $12,000 (i.e. $300,000 x 4%).
While $12,000 might seem fair for a $300000 sale, don’t forget that the commission will come out of the equity you’ve on your house. An example might suffice here.
Let’s say that you had a home loan of $120,000 on the house, which means your home equity is $180,000. So, technically the 12,000-dollar commission reduces your net pay to $168,000.
Let’s not forget that you might have to foot other seller closing costs, meaning your net equity will go down even farther. That’s exactly why sell by owner approach is very attractive. Without the realtor, you can pocket an extra $12,000.
With that in mind, here are 4 steps you need to follow when it comes to selling my house myself.
Step 1: Price your house right
When selling your house by yourself, getting the price right can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time. If you overprice your home, it can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers, making comparable houses for sale in your area look more valuable and attractive. In some instances, an over-priced house can trigger rejection of home loan applications should it be apprised otherwise by the mortgage lender.
If you overly under-price your house, that means you’ll end up with less money on the sale than you deserve. Here are some tricks you might want to keep in mind to price your home just right:
Do deep market research. In your analysis, look at how comparable homes in your market are priced. Pay particular attention to recently sold houses in your area – how much did they sell for?
You may also want to hear from other sellers, seasoned buyers, and go through property listings in your local daily and other real estate websites.
Once you have a ballpark figure, it’s best to set your house price roughly 5-8 percent higher than the market price. Don’t worry; most buyers will negotiate the price down to what you actually want for your house.
Hire a licensed and qualified house appraiser. If you have the cash to cover the cost of the appraisal, then do hire a local expert so you can price your home to sell.
Step 2: Make your house attractive and ready for sale
The next key step is to ensure your house is in a move-in-ready condition. From the kerb appeal to the bathroom décor, your whole house should be a magnet for the eyes of potential buyers.
Declutter your home. That means you should clean out your garage, basement, the attic, closets, and all other nook and crannies in your house. There should be a smooth flow from room to room.
Do small repairs and improvements. Don’t attempt to make major or costly renovations unless you know you’ll recoup the cost of the repairs on the sale.
Give your home a face-lift. Repair the fences, front-yard porch, and any surfaces that look unsightly. More importantly, go for neutral colours since most people prefer them.
Clean, clean, clean. Every room in your house should be impeccably clean. Consider a neutral scent for the living space too.
Step 3: Promote and market your house
Exposure is everything when it comes to selling my house by myself. It’s all about putting the listing in front of as many potential buyers as possible.
Place a “house for sale by owner” placard or sign outside your home. This is especially true if you live in a high-traffic neighbourhood.
Create a TradeMe Property listing. There are plenty of websites that can list your property for free or a small fee.
Host showings and open house events. Put up signage and flyers for the house open at least 7 days before the event. Leverage social media, local chamber of commerce, and other avenues to ramp up buzz for your showings.
Step 4: Negotiating and accepting the offer
Since you don’t have an agent, you will be doing all the negotiations and qualifications yourself. Start by examining each buyer’s financial qualifications. Is he or she pre-approved for a home loan? Do they have money to put down a deposit?
Make sure you understand each term and condition on the purchase contract. You might have to the home inspected as the buyer may have this right.
Once you are satisfied with everything, you may accept the offer. Remember closing can take up to 45 days to be finalized.