You’ve been watching HGTV. You’ve been driving aimlessly around surrounding towns and neighborhoods thinking about living in a new home; maybe an entirely new location.
You have the I-Want-To-Move itch!
There are all kinds of ways to sell your home. You can choose a company, you can choose the internet, and you can choose yourself. The options are nearly endless.
However, there is one main element of selling your home that is the most important to consider: getting your home to appear with other active MLS listings.
MLS listings are typically done by agents when the home is listed. Pictures are taken, overviews are written, and voila – your home appears a few days later on all kinds of websites.
If you are thinking that you want to take the For Sale By Owner route, then there are a few key things to consider when securing yourself an FSBO MLS listing.
Check out some of these seller tips to help you secure a spot on the MLS house listings in your area.
Let’s Get You Listed!
Now that you’ve decided to list your home as FSBO, there are a few things to remember.
Of course, you want your home to have maximum exposure to potential buyers. To have that type of exposure, though, you need an MLS listing.
MLS listings are important because they immediately become available to anyone and everyone looking to buy a home. Agents and real estate companies will be able to see your listing, as well as anyone that uses apps like Zillow and Realtor.
An FSBO MLS listing is a massive benefit when trying to sell your home without an agent! Plus, securing an MLS listing can save you a bit of time, effort, and money.
Without an MLS, you’ll have to advertise locally. This means you have to go through the whole process of uploading pictures, writing descriptions, and potentially paying associated fees. Also, since you are your own listing agent, you’ll have to continuously monitor each site to ensure your listing stays current and visible.
It’s tedious. It’s busy-work. Your best bet is to list your home among other MLS house listings.
What is an FSBO MLS?
You’ve probably heard the term, MLS. However, that term means absolutely nothing unless you are selling your home or looking to buy a new home.
A Multiple Listing Service is a giant database of active homes for sale. These listings are visible nationwide, so anyone that is looking for a home can see your listing. In fact, 80% of properties sell because of their active MLS listing.
Generally, when working with an agent, they will provide a ‘full-service listing’. This means the agent lists your home on the MLS. The agent, then, schedules showings, takes and presents offers, guides the seller/buyer through the process, and takes care of all the paperwork and other parts of the home selling and home buying process.
Everything has a price, though.
Agents make a nice 2-3% commission for offering these services. This translates to a few thousand dollars away from your home sale profits.
Avoiding the steep commission is one main reason why an FSBO MLS listing is a fantastic option. This option is called a ‘flat fee MLS’. You pay a set fee to list your home.
You save thousands of dollars!
How Do I Get Started?
Taking on the task of how to sell your house yourself can seem daunting. There are a number of things that must be done to get your home listed and sold.
However, it’s not an impossible process!
Here’s how to sell your home with an FSBO MLS listing.
1. Do Your Homework
You never want to start something without doing a bit of research.
When listing your home as an FSBO, you’ll want to know what other homes are listed for in your area.
Depending on your location, any neighborhood amenities, and your home’s specific floor plan – you’ll want to know a fair asking price to consider when listing your home.
If you want to price your home to sell, look at the other properties available.
Look through the pictures and the descriptions of these listings. Evaluating these things can help you think about the types of pictures you want to take, as well as the types of amenities and descriptions you want to include in your FSBO MLS listing.
You don’t need an agent to sell your home. You just need to do your homework and take some great pictures!
2. List Your Home
Now, it’s time to secure that FSBO MLS listing!
MLS listings are typically done by the state. If you choose to go the FSBO MLS listing route, then you’ll want to check out what’s included in your area’s flat fee listing.
Also, you’ll want to double-check that your county is part of the MLS coverage area.
When you start the MLS listing process, you’ll be able to add some pictures of your home, as well as a description. This is where you really want to make your home shine!
Some of the most important things that buyers are looking for in a home are the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of home and property, as well as updates and additions.
If you want to make your home sound absolutely amazing, then you want to focus on these things in your description. Also, you may want to consider hiring someone to take photos to maximize the potential of your MLS listing.
There are many ways for how to sell your house without a realtor, and securing your listing is the first step! Once you secure your listing, your home will be visible to realtors and buyers in your area.
3. Show Your Home
You’ll want to check the types of people that are most interested in your area, or neighborhood. Depending on whether your home is perfect for singles, professionals, and/or families – you’ll want to market your home the right way.
For many home markets, it is a seller’s market right now!
The best way to get an offer on your home is to get people to walk through your home! Home showings are very important, so you’ll want to be available as much as possible.
With an FSBO MLS listing, you’ll have a healthy mix of buying agents calling to schedule showings. You may have a good amount of people, potential buyers, calling, as well.
People love driving through neighborhoods when they are in the early stages of home searching.
A great strategy when listing your home as an FSBO is to include information sheets. Make sure to have your phone number clearly visible, as well as some quality color photos available on that sheet.
Another great strategy is to host your own Open House. You can add this information to your listing, and you can advertise locally.
Just because you are selling your home without an agent, doesn’t mean you can’t sell your home like an agent! Get balloons, make signs, and advertise your Open House.
Bake some cookies, make some lemonade. Be ready to take potential home buyers on an amazing tour of your home.
And, of course, make sure your home is clean and free of clutter! Homebuyers want to imagine their photos and furniture in the house.
Once your home is live on the MLS listings, you’ll be another step closer to selling your home!
4. Set Realistic Expectations
Some homes will sell quicker than others. Do not stress out if your home isn’t sold within the first 48 hours of being listed with the other MLS home listings!
You may have a ton of showings that are scheduled within the first week, or two. You may not have any. There is one thing to remember, though – every home sells.
Make sure that you set realistic expectations for the sale of your home. Do not feel offended if someone offers you a lot less than you’re asking price. Everyone wants a good deal!
Also, do not be offended by someone that tours your home and doesn’t like what they see. Your home may have a very modern feel, but the potential buyer is looking for more of a country feel.
Your home will find the right buyer. You just have to give it time.
If your home has not sold within 6 months, maybe look at a few adjustments.
Could your home use a fresh coat of paint? Could you spruce up your bathrooms with some new towels and a bit of rearranging? Could your living room do without a few extra pieces of furniture to help show your home a bit better?
Think about some things that you could change or add.
Some other things to consider would be to offer your home a bit under market value. When you offer your home at a competitive, ‘priced to sell’ rate, you’ll see an influx in buyer interest. Also, there is always the option to offer your home as a ‘rent-to-own’ opportunity. This can be very alluring for home buyers that don’t have enough money for a strong down payment.
5. Close On Your Home
An FSBO MLS listing can make your home sale a reality.
Choosing to sell yourself can be a great way to save thousands on realtor commission fees, and act as your own agent.
When you get to the final stages of the home selling process, there are a number of options to help you close on your home. Using a real estate for sale by owner contract template will be a huge help in this process.
If you are familiar with the process and understand the legalities, you can probably complete the closing on your own.
However, the closing might be a good time to use a mortgage closing agent. This person can offer expertise at a flat fee. Also, a closing agent can offer some peace of mind to both you, the seller, as well as the buyer.
There are a number of virtual and/or mobile mortgage closing agents that you can find in your area. Also, you have the option of using a title agency to help you with this final process.
Due to the legal nature of the closing process, you may want to seek help from a professional. Closings involve lots of documents and many different signatures on forms. Missing just one of these signatures or documents could jeopardize the sale of your home.
Just make sure to proceed with caution. We are at the finish line!
So, whether you choose to attempt the closing on your own or you choose to use an agent – you’ve made it to the end!
Signed and Sold
Signatures have been signed on the dotted line. Mounds of paperwork and documents have been completed. The moving van has been contacted.
You have, officially, sold your home!
Depending on the agreements made during the closing, you’ve got a few things to get finished before the new owners move in.
You want to ensure that you are leaving your home clean and in the same condition as when it was sold to the buyer. If anything breaks or goes wrong before you completely vacate your home, you are responsible for fixing or repairing the damage.
The new homeowners are not liable for anything that happens in the house before they move in. There are legal consequences for vacating homeowners if anything is amiss, so make sure to keep your home move-in ready.
Enjoy the experience. Get excited about your new home and the upcoming move. Be proud that you did your own FSBO MLS listing and were able to successfully sell your home without an agent.
Whether you decide to move to another home, or you are excited to rent for a while, you have completed an impressive task!
Selling your home without an agent can be tricky and confusing. However, for home sellers, like yourself, that wasn’t afraid of a little hard work and time – your efforts have paid off!
Enjoy keeping those extra thousands of dollars! Enjoy knowing that your home selling efforts were successful and that you were able to sell your home on your own!
You are an FSBO listing expert, now! Enjoy your new adventure in your new home! Spend that saved commission money on something fabulous and enjoy your good fortune!