5 Steps to Selling a Home by Owner in Birmingham, AL

steps to selling a home by owner

If you’re looking to sell your Birmingham, AL home by yourself or without the help of an agent, you’ll need to be equipped with the right knowledge.

After all, there’s a reason why real estate agents are so effective at buying and selling property: it’s because they know the market like the back of their hand and know how to sell. 

This is not to say that selling your own home on your own isn’t doable, and you can even save thousands of dollars by avoiding paying the real estate commission (which is valued anywhere from three to six percent of your home’s value).

It’s important to expect that the process won’t be easy, though, and that you might face stressful times. 

In this article, we’ll tell you the 5 steps to selling a home by owner you need to know before you start the process.

1. Learn the Fair Market Value of Your Home 

The first thing you need to determine is the fair market value of your home. There are plenty of ways to go about this. 

  • Websites – Websites like Zillow and Trulia can give you the value of your home fairly quickly, but they’re estimates at best and can turn out to be quite inaccurate (by thousands of dollars sometimes). 
  • Real Estate Agents – Real estate agents can also give you a fair market price for your home. This is a pretty reliable estimate since they understand the market and know about comparable pricing. They can also give you the estimate for free, but you should expect a sales pitch somewhere along the way since they’ll encourage you to hire them for assistance. They may also give a slightly higher estimate. 
  • Licensed Appraisers – This is the most accurate appraisal you can get for your home, but you should expect a fee of anywhere from $300 to $500 for the report. You can also use the appraisal for negotiating the price with potential buyers. 

2. Prepare Your Home

Take a look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. What are some aspects of the home that you will and won’t like? Also, check for improvements that you can make, like minor repairs—leaky faucets, faulty doorknobs, electrical switches that don’t work, old lightbulbs that need replacement, and windows that don’t open or close properly. 

Repaint rooms and surfaces that have seen better days (neutral paint is your best bet). Make it a point to declutter, too. Make sure that there aren’t any unnecessary items spilling out of closets and that the attic and basement don’t look messy. 

Stage each room with your own furniture or hire a professional stager so each room looks professional, presentable, and organized. Cleanliness should also be a top priority. Your home should look and smell clean at all times. 

3. Study Home Marketing and Advertising 

A real estate agent is armed with multiple tools for advertising and marketing homes for sale to put them in front of buyers. Start by letting friends and family know that you’re selling your home; perhaps they can refer you to a mutual friend who might be interested. Furthermore, you can take a page out of a real estate agent’s book and use the following advertising and marketing tactics.

  • Yard Sign – You’ve probably seen these signs many times in your life. Invest in a good-quality yard sign that you can get in an office supply store. 
  • Create Flyers and Brochures – Hire a professional photographer to take gorgeous pictures of both the exterior and interior of your home. Arrange the pictures in a photo editing tool along with contact information about the house for sale, such as the property address, phone number, and email address. Information such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, valuable features of your home such as hardwood floors, and neighborhood features like proximity to schools and public transportation should also be included. These brochures can be given away to people who view your home or to those who express interest. 
  • Advertise Online – Aside from giving away physical flyers, you can also post the same information online. Zillow is a great website where there is even a dedicated FSBO (for sale by owner) page. You can also put up the property for sale on Craigslist or Facebook. 

4. Negotiate the Price

You’ll have to negotiate directly with buyers. They might initially offer something way lower than your asking price, and if that’s unacceptable for you, you’ll have to negotiate back and forth. 

Once you agree on the basics, the buyer will have to submit a written offer. You may want to print out real estate contracts specific to Birmingham, AL, which you can find online.

Make sure the contract states clearly the details of the sale, such as the purchase price, items included in the sale, the location of the closing, and the closing concessions. The agreed-upon contingencies must also be written in the contract, and as a seller, you must have a copy of the buyer’s mortgage approval. 

5. Handle the Closing Deal 

This is an entirely legal affair and is often handled in the office of an attorney or a title agent. There is a specific process to this, and the subsequent steps and procedures will be provided to you, depending on who you decide to go with. Most of the work that is required in closing the deal is handled by the closing agent, but you may need to provide supplemental documents. 

Keep the communication lines open between you and the buyer to smooth out any bumps along the way. 

Final Thoughts 

FSBOing your home may prove to be stressful, but think of the thousands of dollars you can save by choosing not to hire a real estate agent. 

Cash Home Offer USA buys Birmingham, AL property at fair prices— there’s no need to wait six to 12 months to sell your property. There’s no need to worry about paperwork, finding a buyer, or even cleaning up and repairing the property.

We can make you a fair cash offer for your property and close on it when you’re ready to sell.

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