There are some things in life that we need help to do. It’s wise to leave your cross-country flight in the capable hands of the pilot, and you wouldn’t want to hop across the table at a Hibachi restaurant and cook up your own dinner.
But there are many tasks for which we often use unnecessary intermediaries. If you can do your taxes online accurately and for free, why wouldn’t you? And if you can save time and money on DIY projects, what’s holding you back from breaking out your tools?
When it comes to tasks that we could benefit from doing on our own, the main thing that holds us back is a lack of confidence. Being unsure of the outcome and not understanding what’s required of us can keep us from taking on the projects we could capably handle.
If you’re looking to sell your house fast, don’t let lack of experience and low confidence make you hire a real estate agent to do what you could do on your own. By learning the ins and outs of selling your house by yourself, you’ll cut costs and come away with a whole new set of skills.
The real secret that professionals don’t want you to know is this: it’s easy! Once you understand and integrate these concepts into your home-selling strategy, you’ll be an unstoppable force of confidence who knows that Hibachi-cooking is for professional chefs, but selling your own home without a realtor is for everyone!
What is FSBO?
FSBO, for sale by owner, is an acronym that lets buyers know that you’re not working with a real estate agent to list or sell your home. Even when done right, this approach takes extra work. Although most homeowners enlist the help of a realtor during their home selling process, there are definite benefits to going it alone.
What do FSBO sellers need to know?
If you’re considering FSBO, you’ll need to know the ins and outs in order to get the most out of your house sale.
When it comes down to it, FSBO selling helps you retain control over the process of selling your own home. The control over your home listing, the listing price, the marketing strategy, and the showing schedule put your priorities first, which isn’t so easy to do when employing a realtor.
You’ll also save money if you sell your house by yourself. Cutting out the middleman means foregoing commission and closing costs. Your savings can be around 6% of the sale price of your home, which would ordinarily be divided as realtor commission for both your realtor and the buyer.
When listing and selling your home without a realtor, you should be prepared for the extra effort and work it will entail. The listing and marketing of your home is totally on you. If your initial strategy doesn’t work, you’ll need to brainstorm and try again to make sure your home is visible to potential buyers.
Because of lack of experience, an FSBO seller can also be susceptible to costly mistakes, such as asking too much, leading to an eventual lower sale price. The overall lack of expert advice during the process can be taxing, and whereas a realtor would have contacts for home inspectors, contractors, and legal experts, you’ll need to do all your own research.
But, when striking out to sell your home without a realtor, doing plenty of research ahead of time and understanding the responsibility will put you well on your way to a home sale success with money saved.
Selling a House without a Realtor in Milwaukee
Location is essential when you set out to sell your house without a realtor. An important part of the process is researching your local area, determining the value of the homes around you, and using that data to determine a reasonable asking price for your home. Our homes on the market around you selling quickly or taking a while? You’ll need to take all of this into consideration when creating your strategy.
While preparing for your FSBO sale, read up on those design blogs and start scouring home magazines. It’s your job to give Milwaukee buyers what they’re looking for, and that includes staging, updating, and showing your house with all the inside knowledge that makes you better than anyone else for the job.
Also, make sure to be proactive about understanding and following your area’s ordinances while selling your home by yourself. Guidelines will vary based on location, so research is critical. But in any city, it’s important to always disclose imperfections about your home upfront, avoiding any discriminatory language in contracts and materials.
If you’re hoping to attract a local buyer, don’t be afraid of using word-of-mouth marketing. Send some emails to local businesses or friends you may have fallen out of touch with. Invite nosey neighbors over for an open house or to enjoy a backyard barbecue. Don’t underestimate the way the humble word of mouth can make your listing travel!
How to List Your House by Yourself
One of the most significant drawbacks of selling your house by yourself comes when it’s time to list. Ordinarily, a realtor has access to thousands of databases for home listings, ensuring that your home will be seen by other real estate agents and potential buyers. When you’re going it alone, you won’t have automatic access to those databases.
However, there are multiple approaches to gaining access to the MLS or the Multiple Listing Service used by realtors. You can employ a flat-rate agent or discount broker or specific services that include access to the MLS, but there may be hidden fees.
Another option available to FSBO sellers is per-day pricing access to the MLS. These sorts of packages often include other marketing resources such as yard signage, professional photos, and marketing flyers and may also come with the benefit of an on-call agent to act as a sounding board if you need advice.
While listing your home in the MLS is a good idea with a proven success rate, don’t feel pressured to jump on the bandwagon if you think your local market could offer more accessible and cost-effective marketing options.
How to Advertise Your House for Sale
Listing your home is an excellent first step, but preparing a broader marketing strategy is likely to get you faster results.
Advertising your home by yourself is all about getting it in front of the right pair of eyes, so employing social media as well as listing databases will increase your home’s visibility. The first step, of course, is putting the tried and true lawn signs in front of your house to let passersby know that your home is on the market.
Next, investing in Facebook ads, employing a listing on Facebook Marketplace, or even using Craigslist are all ways to cover your bases and get your home seen by more potential buyers. Combining this approach with an MLS access strategy is a great way to be seen by out-of-town and local buyers alike.
On the topic of home listings, one of the most effective advertising strategies is a simple one: take good pictures! Use professional photos with good resolution and provide multiple angles. Consider using an app to virtually stage and offer a home tour that could help buyers get a better, more holistic sense of your space and what makes it so great.
Regardless of how you choose to advertise your house, good, clear, and prompt communication is a must. Any potential buyers who reach out, be it through email or phone call, should receive quick answers with all the necessary information. Creating a good impression goes a long way to making a potential buyer decide to work with you.
Selling to a Cash Home Buyer
Once you’ve employed a fantastic advertising strategy and found the right buyer, there are many options for payment and closing. However, one of FSBO home sales’ best options is to a cash home buyer who purchases a home without financing it. This can have multiple benefits for you as the seller, cutting down on closing time and providing funds quickly.
Here’s what to expect when working with a cash home buyer:
- To accept the buyer’s offer, you’ll sign the contract.
- Then, you’ll ask for around 1-2% of the sales price upfront to verify the buyer’s funding.
- To make sure property lines are drawn correctly and all closing tasks are done correctly, you’ll hire title and escrow companies.
- Your home must now pass inspection, with some contingent negotiation with the buyer.
- Then, you’ll review and sign all closing documents to seal the deal and sell your home.
If you’re interested in starting to sell your house by yourself, there’s no time like the present to jump in with both feet and learn the process, from start to finish. Even if you don’t have any realtor experience, you can still put in the work to list, advertise, and sell your home in the Milwaukee area as an FSBO seller.
The knowledge and skills you’ll come away with will be almost as satisfying as all the extra money you’ll save!