How to Sell Your Home Yourself: A Quick Guide

Selling your home is something you may only have to do a few times in your life. And unless you know a local real estate agent who is selling your home for free or with a huge commission discount, this can be a real hassle and an expensive process for you too.

So you’ve landed on this page on how to sell your home yourself for a couple of reasons I’m guessing…

  • You have little or no equity in your home, so you cannot afford to pay brokerage commissions
  • You have equity but want to try and save money by selling the home yourself before hiring an agent
  • You’re in foreclosure (or headed that way) and you just need to sell quickly without incurring thousands in brokerage commissions
  • You can’t wait for the months and months it sometimes takes to sell a home in your area, so you want to try to sell it faster

Wherever you end up… there are ways to sell your home yourself in your local real estate market.

The housing sector has experienced a significant recovery since 2013. Selling your home at this point will definitely be profitable if you do it right. In most cases, it’s about using smart marketing strategies and being realistic about your expectations of what you want to achieve from that sale.

This article provides some guidelines to help you sell your home yourself.

How to Sell Your Home Yourself – Let’s dive in

Know the real estate market well

The first and most important step is a market research in your neighborhood. This step involves visiting various home marketing sites (Zillow, Eppraisal, Redfin, etc.), calling a real estate agent or two to see what your home is worth, or reading about the various market pricing techniques. Proper homework on these topics will allow you to determine the right price for your home and will also help you avoid certain selling mistakes.

If you don’t want to bother trying to determine a home’s value yourself… contact a local home buyer. They can give you an honest and fair estimate of the value of your home in its current condition. And most cash buyers can give you a fair cash offer on your home within 24 hours to give you a chance to sell quickly (most cash buyers can close within 14 days).

Assess the market

This step is almost similar to market research, except in this case you are tied to your neighborhood and similar homes. Are there many houses for sale in your neighborhood? If so what is the average they are listed for? Are there many foreclosures in your neighborhood? This can pull your house price down.

Rate the house

As a seller, your home should be in top condition to be able to sell it at a good price. Identify certain unique characteristics and emphasize them during marketing. For example, a home with garage parking may be more attractive to buyers than one with driveway parking.

Does your house need repairs too? Does it need to be repainted inside or out? How is the condition of the roof? Is the landscape in good condition? Is the house outdated at all? (You know, those popcorn ceilings. All of those things can make the house more or less attractive depending on the buyer…which changes the price they’re willing to pay.

After all that…find a fair price for your house…not so high that it will take you 12 months to sell the house…but attractive enough to drive you into a frenzy of buyers who ready to buy it quickly.

Use photos or videos

Buyers are media obsessed. Recording walkthrough videos of the house and using the videos for promotional purposes allows you to reach a larger market. In fact, these videos are considered to be more transparent than taking photos. However, that shouldn’t stop you from using the latter option as it’s cheaper compared to video.

So take some great pictures. Take a picture of each room in the house that will help show it off. Take a picture of the house from different angles… people want to see the house before they even show up to see it. So having great pictures of your home online can mean the difference between finding the right buyer quickly… or waiting months and months for the sale.

Get your home on the local MLS list and market it

You will find few or no real estate agents these days who will charge you a few hundred dollars to get your home listed on the local MLS. This quickly puts your home in front of all the real estate agents (so be prepared to pay those “buyer” agents a 2-3% agent’s fee if you plan on getting their assistance in finding a buyer.

Place ads in the local newspaper, sign the streets and hold an open house.

Does all this sound like a lot of work to sell your house yourself?

It may be.

And in the end, many homeowners think they’ll save money and time by marketing the home themselves…even though it ends up costing them more money to go that route.

When you sell your own home, there are a few things to consider…

  • If you are not a good marketer or are not willing to spend a lot of time marketing your home properly, selling it yourself may not be the best choice
  • If you don’t prepare the home and marketing materials well…and work with buyers to really build the value of your home in their minds…you can actually sell the home for 3-8% less than you can for the same Get an experienced person to market the house for you
  • Too many sellers never consider holding or opportunity costs…each month your home doesn’t sell means another mortgage payment, tax payment, insurance, utilities, etc. If your mortgage payment is $1,500/month…and $1,300 of that is interest… if it takes you 7 months to sell your house…that will cost you an additional $9,100 (not to mention taxes and insurance you paid during that time). So if you could sell this home faster… would it make sense for you to offer a buyer a discounted price today so you can close quickly and move on? Something to think about.

A local home buying company can quickly get you a quote at a fair price.