It’s a question thousands of homeowners ask themselves every year: Should I try to sell my house myself? If you’re considering putting your own house on the market, keep in mind that selling your home can be a long and difficult process. Before you choose to go it alone, consider that you have to be able to successfully do all of the following:
- Pricing your home—so you don’t leave money on the table. That means going beyond the usual homework of pulling comparable properties in your area. You need to understand current market conditions and trends, availability and cost of financing to assign your home an accurate value, meaning the highest price a ready, willing and able buyer will pay.
- Marketing the listing—to the right people. As an independent home seller, you’ll be in charge of holding open houses, working to ensure your home gets good word-of-mouth exposure, as well as developing and paying for advertising, including photographing and posting pictures of your home to popular listing websites.
- Showing your home—to everyone. Your life could be overrun by home showings, between appointments and drop-ins, and you’re responsible for screening the “buyers” from the “lookers” (curiosity-seekers are common at self-listed homes).
- You’ll have to negotiate a sale—that doesn’t shortchange you.Negotiations present another challenge, as you try to resolve any doubts your buyers might have, work to keep their interest high and make a final agreement as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- You’ll need to draw up a contract—that makes no mistake.A contract is a binding legal agreement, so every independent home seller should pay an attorney or other qualified legal representative to preside over the process.