Let me start by saying that when you need to sell your home, I firmly believe that
a Realtor a really good Realtor is always the best way to go. Just as you would hire a lawyer and a home inspector when purchasing, a Realtor is an integral part of the team that should help deliver a smooth and worry-free transaction.
However, if at this time you just don’t see the value in having a Realtor assist you and you want to sell your house or condo by yourself – to be a ‘FSBO’ as the industry calls it (short for For Sale by Owner) – here are some tips that I hope will pave the way for a better experience for you. I respect your right and intention to sell your house privately – it can be and is done – and should you need some advice or information from the formal real estate world, I’m happy to help answer any questions.
SCREENING CALLS: You’ll find out very quickly that most calls are from Realtors, some of whom will be very aggressively trying to get you to list with them. You may wish to have a recorded message detailing your property specifics and asking for a name and number of those who are actual, potential buyers, so you can call them back. You do risk losing people this way, but when you’re fielding the calls instead of hiring a Realtor to do so, it helps to have a system.
STAGING/PRESENTATION: As part of my job, I would give my all to presenting your home in the best possible light, and I have years of experience in showcasing a home’s best features. You should definitely do the same (I’m happy to provide a complimentary consultation if you like). A key thing to remember is that the way you LIVE in a home is not the same as the way it needs to look when trying to sell. For more on this topic, including videos, please visit Home Staging and other articles here at HomeResource.ca.
INFORMATION THEY WANT: Have pertinent information available for prospective buyers, such as lot size and room dimensions, taxes and regular expenses, local school details, walk score, neighbourhood amenities, etc.. Of course these ‘feature sheets’ should include your contact information and pictures.*
MARKETING: *If possible, have professional pictures done and use them to showcase your property, both on print outs people can take with them (see above point) and online. Most people search online for homes these days, so use every online tool you can to get the word out. This includes but is not limited to Craigslist and Kijiji, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, etc.. Ensure your home has a website to direct people to, which you can link to in various places. If you have a LinkedIn network, this is also a great place to reach out and share your house info. and ask if anyone knows of prospective buyers.
SAFETY AND TRANSPARENCY: For showings and open houses, have a sign in page and ask people for their name, phone number and email. They are viewing your home and you have a right to know who they are. This also allows you to follow up with prospective buyers to ask them for honest feedback – how they liked your home, how it compared to other homes they may have seen, etc. – as well as to let them know of any price changes or offers, so you can generate continued interest. Note that you should hide or lock up valuables when having people through your home. You can’t watch everyone all the time!
REALTOR SERVICES: Please be aware of a couple of important things. First, just putting your home on the MLS is not the only thing a Realtor should do; in fact, it’s the very least they can and should be doing. Companies that provide this tool only have proliferated recenelty, and they may be doing you a disservice as many Realtors with serious buyers avoid such listings (known as mere postings); they do not want to expose themselves and their buyers to the unknowns of someone not working within the established real estate system. Second, many Realtors will promise the world just to get your listing. The truth is, we can make no guarantees as to what the market will do, but we CAN outline for you what WE will do to give you the absolute best shot of selling for the most money. Avoid getting stuck in a contract with someone who is not delivering (I’ve helped many people after they’ve been through just this). Ensure you get this information, along with a guarantee that if they do not deliver as promised, you can cancel the listing and find a Realtor who will.
That’s it for now! Here are a few more resources if you’d like to arm yourself with more information: