Selling your home privately is extremely time consuming and many people just don’t realise how complicated this process becomes when unfamiliar. Typically most people only make such a major transaction between 3 and 4 times during their whole life. Below are the steps that one needs to undertake when selling their home privately (as you can see… the list is exhaustive).
Carefully research information regarding the price and terms of sales in today’s real estate market. Investigate recent sale prices of properties similar to yours in the immediate area. Know lot size, current tax information and relevant property disclosure laws. Then establish a realistic price for your property based on that information.
Know current lending institution guidelines and borrowing criteria to determine alternatives for your prospective buyers.
Conduct your own mini walk-through inspection. Make note of all the items that need repair or improvement. Your check may include:
- Fresh clean paint throughout
- Clean windows and window coverings throughout
- Well manicured lawn and yard
- Plumbing and all appliances in working order
- All sealants (window, tub, shower, sink etc) in good condition
- Roof and gutters in good condition, no repair needed
Be careful not to overcapitalize. Only do jobs that will enhance the price and saleability of your property.
Make all necessary repairs and improvements before you begin to advertise your property.
Determine if your property is susceptible to termite attack and organize a pest report and/or treatment. Be prepared.
Be aware of any relevant council zoning or building infringements and either rectify the fault or obtain the appropriate certificates from council.
Be available at all times so that you can walk through the property with prospective buyers to answer their questions and offer information about local schools, parks, transportation, shopping, churches etc
Establish a marketing budget
Determine which newspapers will best advertise your property. Call them for rates and deadlines and negotiate the best deal.
As you don’t have access to an existing data base of buyers, you will be more dependent on advertising. Prepare a professional, attention-getting advertisement that will attract the right buyers to your property. Place your advertisement in the newspaper and any home buyer magazines that are effective in your area.
Prepare a plan to reach local buyers plus those out of town buyers who account for a large portion of today’s home purchasers.
Purchase an eye-catching and weatherproof yard sign; install it in the front of your property.
Prepare a “feature/benefit fact sheet” outlining specific features of your home and corresponding benefits to prospective purchasers. Also, prepare a list of inclusions that will stay with the property and any other items that may stay by negotiation.
Step Fourteen Schedule and conduct inspections with qualified buyers only. Ensure they are really looking to buy a home and do not have a “hidden agenda”.
Learn how to separate the “lookers” from qualified buyers. Ask for names and phone numbers and be sure to follow up with telephone calls.
Be prepared to negotiate with the buyer(s) as though you are an impartial third party. Remain calm and refrain from any emotional outbursts that might spoil a sale or jeopardize your sale price.
Obtain all forms necessary for the legal sale of real property such as a Contract For Sale of Land and ensure it includes current…
- Zoning certificate
- Drainage diagram
- Certificate of Title
- Section 66W certificate (if required)
- Relevant special conditions
- Relevant disclosures
- Survey report (if required)
- Building certificate (if required)
Determine the type(s) of financing or contractual terms that you are willing to consider such as:
- Vendor finance
- Option sale
- Extended settlement
- Sale subject to council approval
- Sale subject to building certificate
- Sale on lease back
- Access under licence agreement
Negotiate with the buyer(s) all final terms of the sale including price, financing, inspections, date of closing, date of possession and other pertinent considerations. Have a solicitor review contracts if appropriate.
Step Twenty Plan a final walk through with the buyer(s) just before the settlement process is complete in order to resolve any dispute. Have a witness present.
Step Twenty One
While you are marketing your current property, locate and negotiate to purchase your next home. Attempt to schedule both transactions so that they close simultaneously. In this way, you and the buyer are able to move at the same time.
As you can see, it is a very extensive process to sell your home privately without a Real Estate Agent’s assistance! It is important to take this into consideration when deciding whether to list your home with an agent or on your own.