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Sell Your Home or Investment Property Yourself

We've all seen the sign, "For Sale By Owner" as we drive by a house or condo; but what does it mean exaactly and is it better to sell your home or property yourself or to hire an agent? Let's look at things you should consider when selling your home or investment property yourself:

If you want to save money, not pay the real estate agents fee, then selling your property yourself is the way to go. However, it does require you to do all the work in advertising the property.

While most people call on the services of real estate agents to sell their property, other individuals prefer to do it themselves. In fact, approximately 13% of all home sellers go this route. Although going at it alone may be a hassle, the savings you could enjoy is reason enough for some people to forgo hiring a real estate agent.

HEADS UP: The major benefit to flying solo is that you’ll be cutting the agent’s sales commission, which will save you 5-10% in fees. But make sure that the money you save doesn’t end up getting pulled into out-of-pocket marketing costs (ads, listing fees, signs, flyers, etc.).

Once that’s done, the most important step is pricing your property correctly. You don’t want to charge too little and wonder why you’re not making any money. Yet on the same token, you don’t want to charge too much because no one will be interested. People who are selling property themselves for the first time tend to overprice rather than underprice. Doing so, you’ll earn a bad reputation for yourself, so it’s wise to do it right the first time. To do this, simply hire an independent appraiser—most charge between $250-500 for their services but shop around. A good appraiser will conduct a thorough walkthrough of the property and will also share with you information about nearby sales.

Next is advertising. This should be done early, probably the moment you start thinking about selling your property. In addition to including your property in multiple listing services (MLS), you’ll have to generate a lot of traffic by yourself and through different avenues. The easiest and fastest way to get the ball rolling is by reaching into your network of friends, asking around and spreading the word that your property is for sale. Then, or in the meantime, buy classified ads in all the local papers you can think of, and also check out those free real estate papers if your area has them. You may also want to consider listing your property online, or perhaps do this first to test the waters, i.e. observe the reaction to your advertisements.

Your advertisements should include basic information of the property, including other specific details that think might increase the chances of a sale.

• Location - include parks or schools nearby in the listing
• Price - do you list it for below market price to sell quickly or a higher price where buyers can negotiate....?
• Size of the home - square footage and the size of the lot/land
• Number of rooms and what types, i.e. bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
• Garage, if included
• Are any rooms newly refurbished?
• Is the kitchen spacious?
• Any other additions and/or improvements, such as new air conditioning system, fireplace, etc.

You don’t want to forget about purchasing a good quality sign to place in front of your property. Remember, you want a professional looking sign, so don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money in order to snare peoples’ attention. Depending upon your area, you might be surprised to find out how many people will call you because of the sign you posted in the yard. To increase visibility, you can hire a landscaper to clean up the yard by trimming shrubs and trees. In the meantime, you might as well have him tidy up the rest of the exterior to create/increase curb appeal. [Create Property Value]

To help you out with selling your own property, check out these great resources:

• Homes By Owner:
• For Sale By Owner:

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