Get Started With This For Sale By Owner Checklist

Sep 11, 2019Blog, Home Sales

Getting ready to sell your home is no small task, especially if you aren’t planning on hiring a listing agent. There are financial terms you’ll need to know, preparation tips to keep in mind, and a whole new professional mindset – a “new you,” if you will – to think about. Learning all these new things is overwhelming and even a little worrisome. Some homeowners worry that they’ll miss a good deal. But that doesn’t have to be the case! To help ease your mind as you venture into this new territory, we’ve created a for sale by owner checklist.

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Getting started on your for sale by owner checklist: make your home look its best

Obviously, if you want to attract potential buyers, you’ll want to have your home looking its best. Get started by checking off as many cleaning/home staging tips as you can.

  • Clean your house! Thorough, regular cleanings are one of the most basic ways to make a home look and feel clean during showings. Don’t neglect to clean your home just because you aren’t going to live there anymore.
  • Clean up clutter to make your home look more spacious. Letting in plenty of light helps with this as well.
  • A home with a tasteful amount of furniture and decor is generally attractive to a possible buyer. It looks more professional and shows the home’s potential in terms of space and cleanliness. In other words, you should probably find somewhere else to store most of your personal belongings during showings. 
  • Consider updating areas like your kitchen and bathroom (many buyers will be especially interested in these rooms.) Something as simple as a new coat of paint can work wonders in an outdated room, whether it’s a kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Keep in mind that it’s important to avoid spending too much on these types of renovations. In the end, you still want to make money from your sale, not lose it. 

Prepare yourself mentally

You might not think it’s a big deal to prepare mentally for selling your home, but sometimes it is. If you can check off all these items in good conscience, you’re ready to go.

  • It’s okay if you’re emotionally attached to your home, but don’t let your memories get in the way of a successful sale. Make sure you actually want to sell your house before putting it up for sale.

Man thinking

  • Don’t be afraid to stick to your price (so long as it’s reasonable) if a potential buyer is trying to lowball you. Sticking to your price doesn’t make you “rude” or “unfair.” 
  • Keep in mind that constructive criticism is a good thing. Instead of getting upset, learn from it. 

Don’t leave yourself open to legal issues

The last thing you want is to end up with legal issues in the middle of trying to sell your home. Here are some suggestions to help you start preparing now: 

  • Get your legal documents together before trying to sell your home. For example, you should always make sure you have a title before you even list your property. Other documents may include home occupancy papers or proof that you’ve paid for utilities. 
  • While it is possible to gather/fill out the correct paperwork yourself, you don’t have to do it on your own. A real estate attorney can help you ensure that you’ve got everything in order, leaving you less open to legal problems. 
  • Once you’ve found a buyer, a disclosure agreement and a legal agreement are absolutely necessary to protect yourself from legal issues. As much as you’d like to call it a day and move on, don’t neglect these important parts of the process. 

Price your home correctly

Pricing your home correctly is one of the most important parts of a for sale by owner checklist. 

Planning tools

  • Start by looking at homes similar to yours to see how much they’re selling for. This will give you an idea of what your home is worth. 
  • Look at homes that are for sale or have recently sold in your area and try to price your home accordingly.
  • Even if it seems tempting, don’t price your home too high. More often than not, you won’t be able to sell a home you’re asking too much for. 
  • Finally, know what your home is worth, and don’t be afraid to ask that much for it! 

Don’t give up

Perhaps the best advice of all is this: if your home doesn’t sell right away, don’t give up. More than likely, it’s worth a second try, or even a third. Keep on adding tips to your personal for sale by owner checklist until you feel like a professional. Your hard work will pay off one way or another! 

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