10 Easy Steps to Sell Your Home

Making the Commitment to Sell by Owner

  • Preparing to sell FSBO takes more than just getting the home ready; YOU also need to get ready.
  • Recognize that if you are to be successful, you need to understand the process and develop realistic expectations.
  • Be un-emotional about the sale. Your home has meant a lot to you over the years but your buyer is not looking at the purchase through your eyes. Now that you have decided to sell your home, it simply becomes a business transaction and you must take the emotion out of it. Now we’re ready, lets move on!

1. Price It Right

Competitively pricing your home is one of the most critical aspects for a successful sale. Over-pricing will reduce the buyer’s interest by making competing homes look like better values. Educate yourself on how long similar homes in your area have been on the market before they sell. Be reasonable about the local market selling timeframe so as to have realistic expectations.

Price the home at its true market value, not what you just think it’s worth. Start by researching other like properties for sale in your neighborhood and then find out about those that have sold in the last 6 months. Make sure you compare homes in your neighborhood, and always compare “apples to apples”. Keep similar styles, sq. footage, number of bedroom/baths, and other amenities close to the same. Adjust the price accordingly for extra features and amenities, or lack there of.

Talking to recent home sellers and buyers will provide good information on prices of recent sales. You may also contact the Deschutes County Assessor or Deschutes County Clerk’s Office for property sale information. Call either office with questions on how to query your search online, or visit them at Deschutes Services Building 1340 NW Wall St. Bend, OR.

Without the obligation of an agent commission, you have instant leveraging power. By advertising a more attractive asking price than your agent-listed competitors you dramatically increase your chances for a quick sale. Finally, set your price just under a whole number, such as $219,900 rather than $220,000.

The easiest way to accurately price your home is to contact a local Home Appraiser.

2. Get the Form

Download and print all the legal forms necessary to complete the sale of your property. Make sure you keep them handy. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with them, and consult your attorney if you have any questions.

3. I love Lawyers

You may want to choose a real estate attorney to represent you throughout the entire sale and closing of your property. This can provide you with peace-of-mind knowing you have someone looking out for your interest. Spending much less than an agent's 6% commission.

4. Cleaning for Equity

“If a car is worth $200 dirty, it will be worth $220 cleaned up” - Donald Trump.

Homebuyers are attracted to clean, spacious and attractive houses. Brighten up the place and remove all clutter from counter tops, tables and rooms. Scrub down your house from top to bottom. Don’t neglect an area thinking a buyer won’t notice, they will. Clean it, fix it! Mom always said this work wonders.

Curb appeal is what will turn “drive-by” traffic into “stop-by” traffic. Make sure you keep the landscaping in tip-top shape. Trim the trees and shrubbery, plant flowers, and remove all debris and clutter.

Some critical areas:

  • Fresh paint where needed inside/outside
  • Clean and solid front entrance area
  • No broken windows or damaged weather-stripping
  • Roof is in good condition
  • Scrubbed and waxed floors/ shampooed carpets
  • Nail holes and cracks filled and painted

Display your pride of ownership and potentially realize a quicker sale and better return!

5. Take It to Market

Exposure, exposure, exposure. That’s how you sell your home fast, and that’s where we excel.

Home Photos: Is a picture worth a 1000 words?

Well, then here is your chance to showcase your home to its fullest. Your listing includes 5 color pictures. We recommend at least 2 exterior and 3 interior shots. People are looking to buy your house, not your possessions, so be sure that the home’s yard and driveway are uncluttered. The same applies for interior shots. Film is cheap, so take plenty of pictures to better your odds of getting a few really good ones. For the ultimate showcasing we offer a 360° Virtual Reality Tour from 3 separate locations in your home or on your property. Now these pictures are priceless!

Professional Signage: We Custom Make it!

Since many buyers find their homes by driving through neighborhoods of interest, lawn signs are imperative to your success. Say good-bye to the generic flimsy hardware signs. Our custom made Yard Sign displays your phone # and Website ID #. The 5’5” swinging post ensures your information is viewable above parked cars and other obstructions. Directional signs drive traffic to your home from the nearest busy street.

Open Houses: Get’em in!

An open house is a good way to attract buyers to your home and provide an excellent opportunity for feedback. There are two good ways to get the word out on your upcoming open house:

  • If you run your own ad in the newspaper, it is a good idea to include your personal web address web address with your personal ID #, (www.fsbobend.com/?x=RRRR with the RRRR being your four digit ID#) further leveraging the power of FSBObend.com.
  • Put a free listing in the Open House section FSBOBend.com (included with your Everything Needed listing)

Professional Home Brochures/Info Sheets

Immediately upon becoming a FSBObend.com customer, professional brochures will be available for easy printing. These color brochures serve multiple purposes. You can use them as handouts in open houses, and you will definitely want to use them as flyers in your brochure box already attached to the yard sign that we have installed. Additionally, prospective buyers will be able to easily print a copy of the flyer from the comfort of their own home.

6. ShowTime

No one knows your home better than you, as such you will be able to answer questions informatively and without a great deal of time. Many who buy and sell ‘by owner’ find that without a third party, i.e. real estate agents, communication may be more productive. Often potential buyers will call from outside the house after driving by. Some communication tips for interacting with prospective buyers:

  • List your cell phone number
  • Change your voicemail notifying that you are the owner of the house for sale and ask buyers to leave a message.
  • Return all calls as soon as possible.
  • Maintain a contact list of potential buyers - have a sign-in-sheet at Open Houses to subtly collect this information

Since you have done the “big clean” all you need are the final touches:

  • Turn on the lights and open the blinds
  • Bake bread or cookies for that “homey” aroma
  • Play tasteful background music

Have all valuables safely secured out of site. Having a sign-in-sheet is an extra security precaution and allows you to politely get their name and number. This may be useful to check up on their home searching progress in the future. Let the buyers progress through the home at their own pace. Be available to answer questions but allow space for private discussions. Remember your home will sell itself! Consider placing index-sized cards at eye-level to provide brief facts or to highlight exclusive features.

Sell the neighborhood as well as your home. Show enthusiasm, but don’t get caught-up talking too much about personal stories. Selling your home can be enjoyable, have fun with it!

7. Before You Put The Sale Together

First you will need to work out what is a bare minimum and what can be negotiated, such as:

  • Price
  • Closing date / place
  • Leaving/taking appliances
  • Contingencies
  • Other buyer and seller considerations on an individual basis

Second, be prepared to work out to what extent you will involve agents. You may decide that you will want to offer a "half" commission (typically 2.5 -3.5%) to an agent if they bring a buyer to see your property who ultimately ends up purchasing it.

8. Working With The Buyer

Remember your written criteria and revisit them. Defining your limitations early on will help you create a satisfying negotiating experience. Assess your buyer’s financial qualifications. Is the buyer pre-qualified? You can ask them to provide a pre-qualification letter to screen serious buyers. If a buyer does not have a pre-qualification letter, you may have them produce the letter within a few days.

The buyer and seller must negotiate and come to agreement on:

  • Final price
  • Financing contingencies
  • Professional inspection
  • Closing date
  • Possession date
  • Title policy
  • Any other terms of the parties interest

Once purchase agreement is made, your attorney and title company will get the process moving forward to closing date. They will let you know what they need from you, and accelerate everything required for the closing. Even though you have reached this point it is a good idea to continue marketing your property until all contingencies of the purchase agreement have been met.

9. Arrange a Title Company

Select a title company to set up escrow, and to provide title insurance to your buyer.

10. Buyer’s Appraisal and Closing

The buyer’s lender will coordinate their appraisal. This helps to confirm the value of the home and confirm any outstanding liens.

A “walk through” of the property may be completed to ensure agreed upon repairs are completed. The final closing date is commonly 30 days after signing the agreement to purchase.

At the closing, all moneys will be collected, any existing loans or liens will be paid, the deed will be transferred and, if ordered, title insurance will be issued insuring a free and clear title. The seller will then receive the proceeds from their home. Hopefully in a greater amount if sold “by owner”. Congratulations, you did it!!!

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