According to the National Association of Realtors, approximately 5.34 million homes sold in 2018 alone. Many of those homes sold with the help of a real estate agent every one of those agents received a commission on the sale.
That means thousands of dollars of the sellers’ profits never made it to their bank accounts.
If you’re cringing at the thought, you’re not alone. Listing a home for sale by an owner in Atlanta instead of relying on a real estate agent can save you serious money. But you need to know what to expect before you decide to put your house on the market.
Here’s what you need to know to list your home for sale by the owner.
Research Homes in Your Atlanta Neighborhood
The key to every successful sale by owner listing is determining the right price for your house. This means you’ll need to know what other homes in your neighborhood sell for and which features can command higher asking prices.
Do a little research. Run a search online to see what other homeowners are asking for their homes. Browse the listings to see which features those homes have.
Make note of the homes that are most similar to yours and use those listings to help you determine your asking price. This will help you be competitive in the market and can make it easier to attract buyers.
Remember, what you paid for the house may not be what you can get for it when you sell. Pricing can vary by the year and if the market isn’t working in your favor, you may want to consider putting the sale off.
Get The House Appraised and Inspected
Researching homes in your area is a great place to start, but the only way to know exactly how much you can ask for the house is to get it appraised.
During the appraisal, the appraiser will look for any obvious signs of disrepair that could impact your asking price. They’ll also take the features, appliances, and existing improvements you made into consideration.
Once the appraisal is over, you’ll have a general idea of what the home is worth in its current condition. You may also want to schedule a pre-sale home inspection.
The inspection is more thorough than the appraisal and can help you prioritize repairs and upgrades. They may even find issues you didn’t know about! When combined with the appraisal, you’ll be able to set a fair asking price quickly.
Just remember that pricing your home significantly lower than others in the neighborhood may not lead to a faster sale. In fact, it could drive buyers away. Low prices often tell buyers that there’s something inherently (and expensively) wrong with the house.
Get the Inside Ready
The average home stays on the market for just 68 days, but within those 68 days, you can expect to have multiple buyers express their interest. The best way to encourage them to buy your home is to let them see the property in person, not just on the internet.
Showings are the bread and butter of every home sale, but the property needs to look its best before you can host your first showing.
Start by decluttering every room. Get rid of items that you haven’t used in a while or sell them in a garage sale. This will help speed up the packing process in the long-run, but will immediately make your house look nicer.
You’ll also want to make the house as impersonal as possible. This means packing up knickknacks and removing family photos or decorations that may not resonate with buyers.
Remember, buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your house. They’ll find it easier if they’re not distracted by your personal touches.
Give It a Good Deep Cleaning
Once you declutter the rooms, give them a thorough cleaning. Dust all surfaces, vacuum and sweep the floors, and clean the windows inside and out.
If the house smells musty or stale, open the windows and air it out for a few hours. This will make the home smell clean even if you don’t have time to clean thoroughly before a showing.
Take Care of Repairs and Upgrades
Remember that home inspection you got? Start making the repairs the inspector suggested and take care of any upgrades you think might add value to your property.
When you fix those things, you’ll be able to set a higher asking price than you otherwise would get. Most buyers look for homes that are move-in ready. They’ll happily pay a higher price if it means they’re not going to have a bunch of repairs to take care of down the road.
Invest in a Professional Real Estate Photographer
People like to preview homes before they tour them in-person. This means you’ll want to take great pictures of your property to highlight its assets and draw attention away from the features that you’re not wild about.
Unfortunately, taking photos with your smartphone will instantly tell buyers that you’re trying to sell your home yourself. In some cases, this may drive qualified buyers away.
Your best option is to hire a professional real estate photographer. They know which angles to use, how to improve lighting, and can make your home look more attractive online.
List Your Home the Right Way
Once you have an idea of what your asking price will be, you’ll need to list the property. The listing is what advertises your home to both buyers and real estate agents in the area.
The more you can get it in front of people, the easier it will be to sell your home. But many real estate agents only look for MLS listings. These are the listings that professional real estate agents use for their clients’ homes.
Getting a house that’s for sale by an owner in Atlanta on the registry can be tough. The best way to do it is to partner with a real estate brokerage. They’ll help you get on the listing service quickly so you can get your home’s details in front of the right people quickly.
You’ll still have the same control over listing your house and selling it to a qualified buyer, but you’ll get the support you need to reach those buyers in the first place.
When you list a home for sale by an owner in Atlanta, you’re assuming the role of a real estate agent. It’s your job to follow up with buyers, coordinate showings, and communicate with their real estate agents.
This means you’ll want to be as professional as possible when dealing with prospective buyers.
If they criticize a part of your house, don’t respond emotionally and do what you can to answer their questions as accurately as possible. The more professional you are, the more confident the buyers will be in making an offer.
Ask for Qualified Buyers Only
You’re looking to sell your house as quickly as possible. This means you’ll want to only deal with qualified offers.
When you’re selling your house, don’t be afraid to ask for pre-approved offers only. That pre-approval ensures the prospective buyers are already approved for a mortgage before they can make an offer on your home.
With pre-approved offers, you’ll avoid the deal falling through and won’t have to worry about having to turn down other interested parties only to get disappointed.
Hire a Real Estate Attorney
When you’re selling your home on your own, it’s always a good idea to have a real estate attorney inspect all forms and documents relating to the sale. This way, you’ll know that you’re in compliance with local laws and that all aspects of the sale are valid.
They’ll even be able to draft the contract for you. If you have specific terms in mind for the contract, the attorney will include them whenever legally possible.
Over the course of the home closing, the real estate attorney can make sure everything gets done properly without charging you the often high commission rates real estate agents require.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
The buyer will almost always negotiate the asking price before closing on the home. Be ready for it and don’t be afraid to stand your ground.
Listen to their proposals and their justifications for their requests. If they’re reasonable, you may want to be flexible on the asking price. But if the buyers are asking you to cut tens of thousands of dollars off just because they’re “nice people,” fire back with a counteroffer.
Skip the Hassle of Listing Your Home For Sale By Owner in Atlanta
If you’re thinking of listing your home for sale by an owner in Atlanta, it’s likely because you want control over the process. After all, paying high real estate commission fees can eat away at your profits.
But you don’t have to go through the process completely alone. At BlueMatch, we want to take the stress out of selling your house.
Contact us today for more information and see just how easy it is to list your house without paying for an over-priced real estate agent.