3 Steps on How to Sell your Own Home : FSBO / For Sale By Owner

Step 1.

Research: How, where and how much to sell your house for

Now that you’ve realized the importance of hiring a professional real estate photographer to have your home professionally beautified, there are other questions that we’re sure you may have also.

Should I sell my house myself or have a realtor sell it?

Here are the two sides to it:

Sell my House Privately
Three Economy Professors at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences found that in Madison, Wisconsin For Sale by Owner homes averaged $175,068 compared to $173,205 for homes sold by Realtors.

Read the study (rather long pdf)

Sell with a Real Estate Agent
Realator.com states that by selling through an agent you will get, on average a 16% higher price.

See their article

An About.com article with 10 reasons of “Why should we hire a real estate agent?”

How much should I sell my house for?

About.com states “The Worst Home Selling Mistake a Seller Can Make” is to overprice your house… under is not so go either though.

“The question is how much money have those expired listings cost the sellers? The financial loss often exceeds the extra mortgage payments paid and goes beyond the uncompensated hassle factor of trying to keep a home spotless during showings…”

Thankfully there are some wonderful tools out there to answer the questions:

What are houses selling for in my area?
What did my neighbor’s house sell for?
How much should I sell my house for?

Free Home Valuation Tools

Zillow – A database of over 70,000,00 homes are used to by formula estimate a value for your home. They do say on their site that it shouldn’t be the only method, and has a margin of error around 10%. But it is free so nothing to loose. You can even publicly post your valuation.

HomeGain A* – Free home valuation that is based on 66 million property records. It also shows comparable sales on a map, with dates and property details. HomeGain also has a service where your can compare Realtors.

Trulia – Free real estate price and popularity trends.

Home Valuation with Cost

Electronic Appraiser A* – This is less formulaic, but instead gives you a print out of all the homes in your area that have sold recently, with the price that they sold for as well as property value averaged, tax data and trends. This one isn’t free but at $30, not too painful either. This is the service that powers many of the sites where you can get a home valuation, like For Sale By Owner.

How would I sell my house without a real estate agent?

   It’s no small task to sell your home privately, but the payouts can be thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of dollars in savings.

Start here: WikiHow’s — How to sell your own house

There are many sources for advertising your home, and we’ll talk more about that in Step 3, along with statistics to see where people are going to look for a new home.

As for the technical aspects and to see if you are up for the task at hand, head over to ForSaleByOwner.com and download their free e-book that has the how’s, why’s and even the contracts that will need to be signed.

How can I find a good Real Estate Agent / Realtor?

Home Thinking – Helps you to find real estate agents in your area by showing you what each real estate agent has done in the past and allows you to see client reviews and ratings.

HomeGain A* – Get real estate agents to compete for your business while remaining anonymous. They will send you offers on Home Gain with their fees, history, reviews and credentials.

Once you find a realtor with a good reputation, either from referrals by friends/family, or from a site like Home Thinking or Home Gain, be sure to take the time to interview the Realtor.

Interviewing your Realtor not only lets you know the commitment level of your Realtor, but also you can take a look at how they plan on getting people to look at and see your house.

  • Find out how much they know about your neighborhood. What they can tell you about your neighborhood is what they can tell potential buyers.
  • Find out how, where and when your house will be advertised. Are they just going to hope someone finds the house off of the MLS or do they have a plan to aggressively market your house (web and print)
  • Can they provide you with professional looking photos? Will there be video? How will buyers find and see the pictures and video of your house? (Will they have the photographs beautified by us *wink*)
  • How involved with the process will they be? Are they going to be there through signing and be available to answer all questions?
  • What are their stats? How many homes are they currently listing? how many have they sold in the past 6 months? What have their past clients said about them? (A site like Home Thinking can be a big help for this)
  • What about commission? How much? Can the commission be lowered? Can it be lowered if the buyer isn’t using an agent?You’ll also want to double check the numbers your Realtor gives you for your house pricing. New agents, or those desperate for a quick sale, may price your house too low, while a high volume agent may price your house too high (since he has the time to try and get a higher amount even if you don’t). The point, Know your house value.

Can I sell my house online?

   That is the best place to start! Over 80% of those looking to buy a house begin their search on the Internet (According to The National Association of Realtors).

If you have a good price, can get enough potential buyers to look at and then want to find out more about your house, there is going to be little standing in your way of completing the sale. This is why we feel the images that you post with your house are so important! It makes the difference between a buyer clicking on your listing or the one below it.sell your own home

Step 2.

Prepare – Getting Ready To Sell

Get ready to create something beautiful! And once you do we want to emphasize that beauty by helping you to have beautiful pictures for all of your house selling ads.

Prepare Yourself!

There is a reason Real Estate Agents call a house a home when talking to buyers and a home a house when talking to sellers…

The CEO of Unique Real Estate Solutions says that:

They are buying your house and nothing more. The memories are still yours.

The sooner you can divest yourself from your home and focus on selling your house the quicker you will be able to get it sold.

It’s not an easy process, it’s okay to have a hard time with it! But eventually the home needs to become a house and be seen as a product to be marketed and sold. There is an exciting and beautiful future ahead of you!

Prepare Your House!


There is a enormous amount of information on how to prepare your house for selling. We want to help you sift through it and find what type of house preparation you can invest in to sell your house faster and for more money.

We’ll break home preparation into two steps:

  • Repairing – There are some repairs that add value, inexpensively, which will enable you to sell for a higher price.

    This is a great resource by Home Gain:

    The home sale maximizer calculator

    Here are some examples from it:

    Let there be light! Replace burnt out lights, get higher wattage, better color spectrum… keep the blinds and curtains open and all the lights on when showing the house. — Recommended on many different sites and has a 939% return on investment!

    Clean up and get the clutter out! Rent a storage space and move everything that doesn’t have to be there out! Think clean, bright, simple… think 758% return on investment!

  • Staging -Staging is all about creating an atmosphere, or as we like to put it, draw out the beauty in a house.

    Staging your house is about looking through the buyers eyes.
    You want them saying:
    “Wow! this is right where we would put…”
    “This is the perfect spot for…”

        The first, cheapest and most important step to doing this is to clean out! Whether it is throwing away, giving away, selling or moving to storage, open up your house by getting rid of all the clutter. Simple is beautiful and simple opens up a room, simple allows a person to imagine what could be there instead of what is there.

    Brighten up the house! Make sure to open windows and turn on lights when a buyer comes to look at the house. Think bright, cheerful, a place that they want to spend their time!

    Remove all of your personal items! You want people to be able to picture themselves living there.

    Need some staging ideas? Head over to Starbucks, or any cafe that is designed to make people feel comfortable and want to stay for another cup of coffee.

    If opening up space and creating an open, bright atmosphere isn’t something for you then you always can higher a professional at home staging.

    For more information on staging your house REALTOR.org has put together a quite exhaustive list of home preparation and staging articles.

About.com has an article entitled “How to Sell Your House for the Most Money” this links to a huge amount of information on preparing your house for sale, including an article specifically on staging.

Step 3.

Sell – Sell it Well

How to sell your house, sell it quickly and for a good price…

The National Association of Realtors estimates that more than 80% of home buyers start their search on the Internet. So let’s start there too!

  1. Get the highest number of people to see your ad.
  2. Get the highest number of people to click on your ad.
  3. Get the highest number of people fall in love with your house. (And the idea of living in it!)

1. Get the highest number of people to see your ad.

If you a REALTOR or listing with one, you have your main base covered, REALTOR.com, the most trafficed site for buying a home. You get listed here by being listed in the MLS.

If you are using FSBO then it is possible to get listed on the MLS, through a service like ForSaleByOwner, though it isn’t mandatory. The top FSBO sites bring in millions of unique visitors per month who are specifically looking for a home sold by its owner.

Here is a list of FSBO sites that could be a great resource to you!

1. ForSaleByOwner – $89
2. Fsbo – $69.95
3. Owners – free
4. Homesbyowner– free basic – $99
5. Virtualfsbo – free

Get your house out there! On FSBO site(s), on Craigslist, wherever you can!

2. Get the highest number of people to click on your ad.

A great headline. Hop into the buyers shoes, what do they want to hear? Grab their emotions, intrigue them… use those “Beautiful” and “Gorgeous” words!

Search Google for a enormous amount of information on writing stunning headlines .

3. Get the highest number of people fall in love with your house.

We’ll start with an article with the subtitle, “Use Artwork to Make People Fall in Love with Your Home“…

So get ready for when that first potential buyer calls (and they will), make sure that they know that they are important to you and be sincere about it… let them know how special your house is going to be to them…

And while you are at it, read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, because it’s an amazing book and will give you new tools to smoothly walk through the selling process and come out with a happy new friend who is living in your wonderful old house!

The goal of these steps is not to tell you how to do it, but to lay out some facts and web statistics to help you decide the way you want to sell your house, and when you decide, to help you get the most out of your decision.

These are big decisions, but at least you we covered here the basics of selling your home!

Best of luck to you!

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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