8 Resources You Need to Sell Yourself

There are many reasons people decide to sell their house themselves.  It is possible to sell your house yourself but there are some items you may want to have ready to increase your chances for a smooth sale.  Many buyers are first time buyers or they have not bought for so long, they either don’t remember the process or the laws have changed.   It is good to have the following items ahead of time so you are ready for their questions or the next step.

Estimate of Value or CMA

Most likely you did quite a bit of research to make sure you have priced your house correctly.  Doing your own research or having an agent provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) will help you decide on the right asking price, but have you thought how it may help you when talking to potential buyers.  Some buyers spend hours upon hours looking at homes whether it is online or in person prior to contacting you to see yours.  A buyer typically won’t come out and ask why your house is priced higher but you can use CMA’s to justify higher end finishes or more land.  I have provided my in depth CMA to buyers to show them exactly why the house is priced as it is.

A good CMA will help you in the negotiating phase as well.  You can refer to it over and over again to show the buyer the value.  All this is assuming you used the CMA to price your house correctly in the first place.

Lastly you can show buyers that homes may be selling fast so if they are interested, they better move quickly.  Most CMA’s show days on the market and a new buyer may not know just how fast the market moves when a house is priced right.

List of Mortgage Brokers/Banks

Again, many buyers that want to see your house may be first time home buyers.  They may assume that they can afford your house because they have good jobs and make a decent living.  While the best scenario would be to require every buyer to show you a pre-qualification letter from a mortgage provider, You may be hesitant to ask for this upfront.  Or maybe the buyer saw your yard sign and are sitting in the driveway asking to see your house.  Buyers may not know where to go to get approved for a mortgage.  You can provide them a list of mortgage providers so they can ensure they can purchase your home.  It’s good to have just in case!

Seller’s Disclosure Paperwork

Assuming you have an agreement of sale, another important document is the seller’s disclosure paperwork.  Most agreements of sale for real estate make the sale contingent upon the buyer reviewing and signing off on the seller’s disclosure paperwork.  The disclosure tells the buyer the condition of the property.  It allows the buyer to make an educated decision on what price to offer.  An offer may be adjusted due to the age of the roof, furnace, or hot water tank.  Of course that offer is negotiable.  The disclosure also protects you after the sale.  For instance, if you never had any water in your basement, the sale is finalized, and then six months later water starts to come inside; they buyer cannot come back on you for any misrepresentation because they signed off on the seller’s disclosure.  If something is aged or not correct, they know and should make an offer based on that.

House Flyers/Brochures

This one is probably obvious but you should have flyers or brochures about your house on the counter when you have a showing or open house.  It will help buyers remember the highlights of your property compared to the other four they saw that day.  After they look at so many homes, they start to blend together.  You can take it one step farther and add multiple pictures to help them remember your house the best.

Open House Signs

This may be another obvious one.  The only thing I recommend about open house signs is that you buy twice as many as you think.  While some agents may use signs that grab more attention, that requires designing and ordering them.  You can add balloons to grab more attention.

List of Home Warranty Companies

In my active market, buyers almost always ask the seller to provide a home warranty.  A home warranty makes the buyer feel more confident that when they move in, they won’t have any large expenses such as replacing a furnace or hot water tank.  There are many companies out there and you could just pick one but some buyer want to know the differences.  It can be best to give them a list of some of the companies you recommend and have priced out.  Another great advantage to you is that some will provide the warranty while you have the property listed.  So if the furnace breaks, they fix it.  It depends on which plan you pick.  Each company offers different plans so it helps to understand the different companies and the different plans they offer.  While you may want to go the cheapest route, the buyer may know that company has less than stellar service.

List of Home Inspectors

Another service buyers will most likely need is a home inspector.  A first time buyer might not know any home inspectors and having a list of some ready will move the process along quicker.  All home inspectors are NOT created equal.  The buyer is paying them to find things wrong with the house so they will usually find something even if your house is in great shape.  The biggest issue we run into with home inspectors is the way they explain any items to the buyer or in their report.  If they don’t explain what is a major issue compared to something minor or just a maintenance item, buyers can start to think the house is going to fall down.  I have seen many buyers back out of a contract because they picked a home inspector that just didn’t explain that even though there were a lot of items noted during the inspection, they are were no big deal or normal for that age of a house.

List of Closing Companies

Lastly, you will want a list of closing companies to work with.  The closing company prepares all the paperwork for closing and does a title search to make sure the property can transfer free and clear.  It is best to get any paperwork to the closing company as soon as possible after coming to an agreement with a buyer.  That way they can get started and you can get to closing quicker.  One thing to keep in mind is that some banks will only work with closing companies they approve.  That is another reason to find a mortgage provider ahead of time so you can have their closing company information lined up.  A good closing company will quickly work through any problems that may arise during the closing time.

The sooner you can get these items together, the sooner you can move towards a smooth closing and sell your house.  If you need help with any of these items, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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