First Person: Three Rules for Selling Your Home Yourself

Yahoo Contributor Network

I've worked in real estate for years and one thing I've heard over and over again is that you can't sell your house yourself. For sale by owners have a reputation for being undersold or sitting on the market for months. The truth is, you can sale your house yourself and make a profit, but you'll have to work hard to do it. If you plan on skipping the real estate agent fees and going on your own, there are three golden rules you should follow.

Get an Appraisal

One of the biggest benefits to working with a real estate agent is having a wealth of knowledge at your disposal. Most real estate agents know the going prices for homes in their neighborhoods, and the seller doesn't have to do too much research on their own to come up with an asking price. However, you can still set a fair asking price without a real estate agent. The best place to start is by having your home appraised. A home appraiser will consider the size, condition, and location of your home and come up with a value. You can use that value to decide what your asking price will be.

Advertise

Real estate agents spend a lot of time and money advertising their properties. As a homeowner, you won't have access to as many tools, but that doesn't mean you can't get your house in front of thousands of potential buyers. Start by taking a few photos of the interior and exterior of your home and writing a three to five line ad. Make sure your ad covers the size of your house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and any special features like granite countertops or hardwood floors. Once you have an ad and photos, use real estate listing websites and your local newspaper to post weekly ads until you find a buyer.

Stage Your Home

Before you start showing your home, make sure it is presentation ready. Mow the lawn and remove any weeds. Clean the inside of the house. Box up your personal items and knick knacks and store them out of plain sight. Finally, on the day of your showing, use scented plug-ins or sprays to make your house smell inviting. Real estate agents have been using scents for years to make houses seem more appealing. You'll attract the most buyers if your house is tidy, clean, and sweet smelling.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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