5 tips for selling your home without a real estate agent

December 29, 2014

Selling your home without the help of a real estate agent can save you money, but also comes with some risks. If you're going to try, these tips will help you find a buyer.

5 tips for selling your home without a real estate agent

1. Make your house easier to sell

Start by making your home look as attractive as you can. Potential buyers don’t want to see clutter. They want to see clean and nicely decorated rooms. This can help them to better visualize themselves living there. The more a buyer feels at home, the easier your house will be to sell.

Keep in mind that kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms buyers are most interested in. Keep them tidy, replace any damaged elements and even put a coat of paint over the walls to freshen up the space. You will be much more successful in selling your home if you create that image of a pleasant lifestyle for a potential buyer.

2. Research before setting your price

This is typically an area homeowners struggle with without an agent's help. Pricing is all about supply and demand, so do your research and pull comparable listings and sales first. If your price is unreasonable, you won't have much luck selling your home. Look at every similar home listed in your neighbourhood over the past six months. Pay attention to neighbourhood dividing lines and physical barriers such as major streets, freeways or railroads that may increase or decrease the desirability of the sale. Compare similar square footage within 10 per cent of your property, if possible.

Once you have decided on a reasonable price, consider setting it just a touch lower. For example, if you have a target price of $305,000 in mind, think about setting it at $299,995 instead. This way online users searching for homes in the $250,000 to $300,000 range won't miss your listing.

3. Write an enticing description

Once you've set the price and are ready to show your home off to buyers, you need to write a few lines about your home to help encourage people to come visit your property. Don’t be too verbose (no matter how much you love your home or how much work you put into its interior design). Keep the description informative yet concise. Buyers may gloss over long narratives. To get buyers coming in, use your description as a forum for showing off your home's best selling points. Mention if you have any larger than standard rooms or more than one shower, live in a safe neighbourhood, have good schools nearby, etc.

4. Take the best photos possible

For most buyers, the communal living areas are of utmost importance. Show them at their best. Go with the most appealing angle of the front, living room, kitchen and a few garden and backyard shots. Using a professional photographer is money well spent. It will ensure the images look as attractive as possible.

5. List the property

List your property on a real estate site for private sellers. You can also try promoting your listing through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to help you reach more people. Remember: while the Internet is a major tool in the housing market, traditional methods such as advertising in your local paper can still be helpful.

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