What do you need to do to Sell your House Privately?
Here are our top 10 steps to selling your house without an agent.
1. Make the house more sellable
If you’re going to do the job yourself, make the process as easy as possible. In other words, make your house as sellable as you can.
People don’t want to see your clutter, they want to see the rooms, and anything that will negatively detract from being able to see them clearly is a bad thing.
While kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that can traditionally sell houses, sellers thinking of renovating theirs should think twice.
Unless you are prepared to do a good job on changing the kitchen, don’t change it, just tidy it up, maybe replace any damaged elements, and put a quick lick of paint over any hideous 1970s wood panelling. That way, people can see they can live with it until they can afford to change it.
2. Set a list price
With your house looking its best your next job is to set a price. It is here where you would normally rely on the help of an estate agent. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it alone. Indeed, you may be better off.
Some local agents are guilty of inflating valuations.
It’s a cruel trick to give you false hope on value and a tactic designed to flatter you into using that particular agent. Contrary to popular belief, No agent can obtain a price higher than another. The market is the market, thanks to the power of the internet.
Do your own research instead. Check the Sold section of realestate.com.au/sold and compare your home to the homes recently sold in your area.
3. Write a good description
Your price has been set and you’re ready to show buyers how great your property is. But first you need to write a few lines about your home to help entice buyers through the door. You may be tempted to write a detailed account of how wonderful it is, complete with examples of your interior design skills, but keeping the information concise and to the point is more productive.
Most buyers skip through lengthy narratives. The most important elements are lots of internal photos and a floor plan. Use bullet points and small paragraphs, don't make your write up look like a short novel.
4. Take the best photos
This is important, very important. Photos are pointless – and even counter-productive – if they don’t do the property justice.
Images used to market a home should be specific to that property. If it’s a remote rural property then purchasers will want to see a range of shots that show the property off – the land available, the views, the locality and the property features.
If it’s a modern day property in a central location then lifestyle shots showing the fixtures and fittings may be of more interest.
In almost all cases the communal living areas should be shown at their best, along with the most appealing angle of the front and a couple of decent garden shots, looking both to and from the house.
You can search for good, cheap local Real Estate photographers on a website called photographers.com.au. This can potentially be some of the best money you've ever spent, as it can pay dividends once your property has attracted the right buyer and Sold.
5. List the property
IF you decide to “do it yourself” without any agent, you will need to take care of advertising, pricing and viewings yourself.
Make use of 'Sale By Home Owner' websites like SaleByHomeOwner.com.au. These websites charge no commission to sell properties, instead making their money through targeted advertising and optional services via charging 'a lot' smaller fee upfront.
Sale By Home Owner can get your property listed on all major Australian Real Estate websites & in a lot of cases, can actually get your property 'more' exposure than most local agents.
6. Arranging viewings
Real Estate agents are normally on hand to show your property, which is beneficial for those people who work during the day. However, to avoid paying estate agent fees, you could enlist the help of family or friends to show potential buyers around your home while you are at work. Or simply arrange viewings for evenings or weekends.
Sale By Home Owner has an option for home owners to advertise designated Open Home times so that any potential buyers can come and view the Home for example on a Saturday from 10:00am to 10:30am.
7. Negotiating a price
When Selling your Home yourself, when it comes to the financial dealings of home selling it’s important to keep a clear head and not become intimidated by price negotiation.
Decide how much you are willing to accept beforehand and don’t go below that figure – regardless of how nervous you may be or how anxious you are to sell the house.
If you turn down an offer always try to do so in a friendly manner; you want to be able to leave the door open just in case you do decide to accept the offer further down the line.
Keeping communication friendly also means the buyer will feel comfortable approaching you should they decide to increase their offer.
8. Accepting an offer
When you’re ready to accept an offer do it verbally in the first instance and then via email or post. But remember nothing is legally binding until the exchange of contracts, having spare contracts on hand is usually a good practice, you can get a solicitor to draft you up a blank contract prior to, or during the sale.
9. Instruct a solicitor
Once you’ve accepted an offer, you’ll then need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to sort out the legal work. Just as you would when employing the services of any professional, be sure to do your research in order to find a good one.
Licensed conveyancers tend to be cheaper and do the same job as solicitors. Shop around and try to gain recommendations from friends as to who they may have used.
10. Deal with renegotiations
Once a buyer has instructed their own surveyor they may want to renegotiate the price of the property. This can be if something negative has appeared in a building and pest inspection or council searches, or If they have found something wrong with the property they may feel their original offer is no longer fair.