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2010-06-04 16:46:46

What To Do When Selling On Your Own

The thought of selling your property can seem a little overwhelming. It’s a good idea to make a list of all the things you’ll need to do to get your property sold. This will keep you organized and prepared each step of the way! Our previous article detailed what you’ll need to do to prepare your house for sale. What do you do once it’s ready?
First of all, decide whether or not you want to sell on your own or go to a professional Real Estate Agent for help in marketing your property. If you’re thinking about going to a Real Estate Agent, you may want to ask them a few questions to decide if they’re the right Agent for you, such as: “What makes you special as an agent?”, “Who are the buyers for this house and how do you plan on reaching them?”, “What can I do to help sell for the most money possible?”, “How can I be sure that I’ll be happy with your services?”, “How does my house compare to the competition?”, “How will you maximize the net proceeds that I will receive from the sale?”, “Are you willing to do a CMA (Market Analysis), and provide me with a copy of it, listing the adjustments made?”, and “Can I cancel if not satisfied and list with another agent without obligation to you?”. Be sure that what is agreed on is put in writing in the Listing Contract!
Even if you decide to have a licensed Real Estate Agent represent you, it’s still good to have a general idea of what you feel your asking price should be. Make a study of other comparable properties on the market or that have recently sold. What do they have to offer that your property doesn’t? What does your property have to offer that they don’t? Make the necessary adjustments and come up with a price that you feel reflects the current market and what your home is worth. 
Since some of you may wish to sell without the help of a Real Estate Agent, what should you do next?
Now that your home is ready for sale and you’ve decided on a price, it’s time for people to know about it! You’ll need to get out there and advertise. Be sure to count the cost and have a budget for advertising expenses, deciding how much to advertise and how often!
According to a 2009 Survey by the National Association of Realtors, 90% of Buyers use the internet in searching for a home. So with the majority of consumers relying on the internet, it’s a good idea to advertise your property for sale online. 
The same Survey showed that 40% of consumers rely on print or newspaper ads in looking for Real Estate. That being the case, you still would want to advertise what you could in your local newspaper, special home journals, and magazines. 
When doing so, instruct the Buyers to go to or a simular real estate site to view your home. Keep in mind though, that since less and less results come from printed ads (the NAR Survey showed that while 40% look at printed ads, only 2% found their home through the newspaper and less than 1% from a magazine or home book), you will want to find a good balance. The Survey also explained that 59% of Buyers search by yard signs. Therefore, of course, you’d want to have an attractive and professional sign displayed in your yard advertising that your home is for sale. 
Besides these advertising suggestions – never underestimate the power of word of mouth!
Now that you’ve got your place advertised, be prepared for phone calls to see the property! Make sure you have a way to stay organized and keep track of the showing appointments. It’s very important that you are flexible so that you can schedule your time in a way that you’ll be able to meet the prospective Buyers. 
When bringing Buyers into your house, have a “guest book”, or “visitor’s book” out for them to sign and have them include their phone number. Alert the Buyers with a sign that your home – and its visitors – are under video and still-camera surveillance. This will help to deter criminal behavior by potential visitors or people casing a home.
While going through the home, never point out the obvious. Bring to their attention features of the home that would otherwise go unnoticed, but that you feel are of value. It’s a good idea to have brochures printed up, highlighting the features of the property, to give to prospective Buyers. That way, if they are looking at numerous properties, they will have a way of distinguishing yours and remembering what yours had to offer.
After the showing, don’t wait for the Buyer to call you back… Put him on notice that you will call him in a day or two to check with him. If you call him and he’s not expecting it, he will most likely think you’re desperate to sell! You don’t want Buyers to feel that way, so make sure you let them know you’re going to be in contact with them. 
Before too long (hopefully!) you’ll get an offer on your property! There is much thought to be put into the negotiating and the closing process. Watch for our next article, detailing what the process requires of you! 
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