If you are like most people who want to sell their California homes, your goal is to sell it quickly and get a good price. It sounds easy enough, so you decide to market your house for sale by owner. You put a sign in the yard, maybe hold an open house and take the best offer. It may sound easy because that is the easy part. What follows are the challenges.
While it is possible to sell your house without the aid – or expense – of a real estate agent, it helps if you know what you are up against legally and some of the steps you can take to increase the potential for a successful FSBO sale.
Marketing your home
To determine a fair asking price, you can contact a title company for a list of recent home sales comparable to yours. Many FSBO homes include sentimental value in their prices, and this makes them difficult to sell. Your asking price should reflect the current market and trends of home sales in your area.
Once you have an asking price in mind, you will likely spend a considerable amount of time, and perhaps money, attracting the attention of potential buyers. Although you may save money by selling your house yourself, the process if not free, and you will have to use your own resources to market your home doing the following:
- Cleaning your home and clearing out the clutter
- Making minor, cosmetic improvements and repairs
- Staging your home to create an appealing space
- Finding a place to keep your pets during showings
- Photographing your home
- Advertising your FSBO in as many outlets as possible and structuring your marketing to encourage contact with potential buyers
- Scheduling an open house if it is suitable for your neighborhood
You may also consider offering a commission to other agents who want to show your house. If you do this, you will have to invest in a lock box for your front door so agents can access your home when you are not there.
Even if you choose not to use the resources of a realtor, having a legal advisor is an expense you may not want to skip. The sale of a home involves contracts, negotiations and numerous legal issues that may be beyond your level of expertise or understanding. A real estate attorney can ensure your best interests are protected throughout the process.