You’re planning to sell your house and start looking into different options like hiring an agent or selling it by owner. Realizing how expensive hiring an agent will be, you are inspired to sell your Fort Worth home by owner. And you’re probably thinking selling by owner can’t be all that hard right? Plus you would save at least 3% in realtor commissions, so this is sounding really good.
But how do you get started?
Navigating the home selling process is not easy; so to help here are some great steps to selling a house by owner In Fort Worth Texas.
Steps To Selling A House By Owner In Fort Worth
Step 1: Determine The Fair Market Value For Your Home
A significant step to selling your house by owner is determining a reasonable market price for your home.
Setting the price of your home is part research, part intuition, and part market timing. If you price within comparable home sales in your area, you could receive immediate offers. Not correctly pricing your property is the biggest mistake you can make when selling a home by owner. The first several weeks on the market are crucial because that’s when buyers’ interest levels are the highest. Don’t fall victim to not pricing your property correctly, causing your house to sit for months on the market without any offers.
When selling a house by owner, the best way to get a true value of your home is by hiring a licensed appraiser. The downside to hiring an appraiser is the cost. Most appraisers will charge between $300 and $500 to do a report. Since you are ordering the appraisal yourself, it isn’t acceptable as an appraisal for the mortgage application by the buyers. So, not only is it an extra expense but it can only be used as a reference for your listing price.
You could turn to popular sites like Zillow and Trulia to get a free estimate for your home. But be cautious, these sites can be inaccurate in your value assessment of your home. Why? Because they are not comparing your house to homes that have sold in your area with the same square footage, lot size, age, and condition as your home.
Step 2: Prepare Your House To Sell
Another great tip for selling your home by owner is to get it prepared to put on the market. Your home should be in excellent condition when it comes time to sell. Gone are the days you can leave dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, and personal photos out. Potential buyers want to see the house as if they were living there.
A few things on the checklist to prepare your home to sell would include:
- Make minor repairs
Let’s take a look at this one by one.
Declutter– no one wants to come into a house full of stuff. So try to declutter the entire home before listing. Areas to declutter would include closets, the attic, the basement, and the garage. Also, reduce the amount of furnishings and clutter on counter spaces. Make sure to put away any family photos, to help potential buyers see themselves in the property. The idea is to make your house resemble a model home.
If it has been some time since you organized your home or became a bit of a hoarder, it may be a good idea to hire a professional organizer. Remember to estimate the time it will take to declutter your house before you can list it. If you plan to hire a professional organizer, keep in mind that it will cost an additional $180 to $350 per room.
Clean– give your house a good deep cleaning. Dust, vacuum, mop, clean the carpets, and widows. Examine your home from a potential buyer’s point of view. Are there smudges on the back door window from the dogs, is the bathroom tub and toilet dirty, are there dust bunnies in the corners? Showing a clean, well-kept home gives buyers the impression that the home is well maintained. Plus, would you buy a dirty house? If you need some help with deep cleaning, you can always hire a cleaning service. A cleaning service usually charges between $130 to $390 for a typical 2,600-square foot house.
Make minor repairs–
Make minor repairs that are necessary for selling your house. Necessary repairs would include leaky faucets, loose door handles, paint that needs to be touched up, electrical switches, and lights that don’t work correctly. You want to make sure things are in working order. If you have been delaying some repairs like electrical, plumbing, new roof, or renovations, because of the time and cost, you would be better off finding an as-is buyer so you won’t have to deal with the hassle and extra expense.
Step 3: Market Your Home
The next step to selling your home by owner is marketing. Marketing can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience doing it. When it comes to marketing your house, start with a yard sign and spend a little more money on a good one.
Secondly, create sales flyers or brochures. You will need to have an available supply to give to potential buyers looking at your home and anyone you meet who seems interested. You can create these on your own to save some money. Make sure to add some photos of the interior and exterior. Hiring a professional photographer would be recommended to have great pictures of your home taken.
The third step in marketing your home is advertising online. There are a number of sites you can list your for sale by owner home on like For Sale By Owner or Zillow. Also, listing on Facebook and Craigslist wouldn’t hurt.
The last step to marketing your home is to host an open house. Hosting an open house is where you open your home to the public to view. The best days to have an open house are Saturdays and Sundays when the weather is good. Make sure to advertise your open house at least a week before the event. On the day of, make sure to have open house signs on major roads and in the subdivision, directing people to your home. Make sure the house is clean, and the rest of the family and pets have somewhere to go for a couple of hours.
Step 4: Negotiate The Sale
Since you’re not hiring a real estate agent, you will have to negotiate directly with any buying prospects. The typical process involves a bit of verbal back and forth; once you agree on the basics, the buyer will submit a formal written contract. The contract must spell out every detail, purchase price, closing concessions, items included in the sale, the closing date, and the closing location. Make sure to have a supply of real estate contracts specific to the state of Texas readily available. Also, contingencies will be taken note of in the written contract. An example of a contingency is if the buyer insists on having a home inspection done. Something you should insist on is getting a copy of the buyer’s mortgage approval within a few days of accepting the offer.
Step 5: Handle The Closing
When selling a house by owner, you are involved with the closing process, which includes finding an attorney or title company that both you and the buyer agree to meet at. Closing on a house is a legal process that should be handled by a closing attorney or title agency. Since working with a closing attorney or title company, they will do most of the work involved, but they will likely require certain documents along the way. Be prepared to provide these quickly. Also, make sure to maintain contact with the buyers between the time of contract acceptance and closing.
The biggest hold up in the closing process is usually the buyer’s mortgage. Though you will have a copy of their mortgage approval, make sure to stay on the top of any developments. The majority of mortgage approvals have conditions that must be met between the time of approval and closing. Some minor, some not. If the buyer isn’t able to meet even one, the loan will not be approved, bringing you back to square one.
Selling Your House As-Is
Understanding how to sell a house by owner is one thing, but going through all the steps is another. You may decide selling your house by owner isn’t worth all the time, effort, and money involved. If that’s the case, another great option would be to find a cash home buyer like Four 19 Properties.
Four 19 Properties is a professional homebuyer in the Fort Worth area that buys houses as-is. So decluttering, cleaning and repairs are not necessary. Since they are ones buying your home, there is no need to invest your time and energy marketing and hosting open houses. They usually request one visit to your home to better access your home’s true value. Once they have all the necessary information, they will give you an all-cash offer for your house. They will handle closing arrangements. And do not charge you commissions or fees.
Contact them today if you are considering selling your home!