Selling a home with a Realtor or as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be hard - and costly. There are quite literally thousands of things that can keep you from a successful and trouble-free sale, but there are many simple things you can do to minimize risk.
Whether it's your first time or the tenth time, here's a list of just a few things to do when selling a home to ensure a smoother process.
1. Hire the right agent
Don't just choose your uncle or cousin who sell houses part time. Pick a full-time, professional agent with a very solid brand in your market. Also, make sure they're busy and tech-savvy. If not? Your house will likely sit for a while.
Top Tip: Search Google. If they're on the first two pages, interview them and pick one. You can do much worse.
2. Get exposure for your listing
Make sure your agent will do more than just put your home in MLS and sit back. When you choose, make sure they know digital marketing. Again, if not, you're gonna wait a while - and may not sell at all. if you're selling yourself as an FSBO, getting as many people as possible to see your home is the single most critical key. If no one sees it, it won't sell. Craigslist does not equal marketing. Get your home online asap to web and mobile audiences!
3. Get an informational home inspection
The number one place home sellers lose money, time and buyers? The home inspection. Pay the $300 and know what the contracted buyer will know soon enough. Fix the big stuff, gamble on the small items and that the buyer's inspector won't find them. You can always lower the price a few dollars when items do pop up and still seal the deal.
Top Tip: Tell your inspector what you're doing. Most will offer VERY helpful advice on what issues you'll get dinged on.
4. Get a lawyer
Selling a home today means big liability. The vast majority of Realtors can't even keep up with legalities of property law at the federal, state and local level. Pay the $500 to have a real estate lawyer in your area review the paperwork your agent and the buyer's agent send. Trust us, you'll be glad you did.
Top Tip: Introduce your agent to your lawyer and let them know they'll be reviewing contracts and other docs. We guarantee fewer mistakes will be made and more diligence.
5. Clean out your house and stage it
Having sold many, many homes ourselves and crunched lots of data on seller experiences, one thing jumps out as a big help when trying to sell your home: clean it out thoroughly and stage it to be as attractive (and clean smelling) as possible. Open, well-lit spaces free of clutter and personal items that smell mildly like a spa sell faster. It's simply a truism.
Top Tip: Buy a mild, but fresh-scented spa candle and light it when you have showings. It's amazing how powerful odor is on the human mind an perception.
This "Top 5" is but a few of things you can do to help yourself have a more successful, profitable sale. We'll be adding more items soon in this series.
In the meantime, post your home and get it more exposure today! It's free, so what's there to lose?
About the Author
Jason Polancich is founder and lead architect of HomePocket, a data-driven, residential real estate marketing and listing network. Polancich also founded SurfWatch Labs, a cyber data analytics firm founded in 2013 that provides highly accurate, timely and actionable information to businesses regarding the cybercrime threats they face. Polancich is a serial entrepreneur focused on solving complex internet security and cyber-defense problems. Novii Design, a company he co-founded in 2005 with Rebekah Lewis-Polancich, was based on his contributions to cloud architectures, distributed computing, data analysis and systems integration. The company assisted the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense in building some of the largest data warehouse and analysis systems ever put into operation within the government and defense contracting sectors. Novii Design was sold to Six3 Systems in 2010.Follow on Twitter More Content by Jason Polancich