Home selling tips. How to Show your home. Sell FSBO quickly and get the most money possible. Free FSBO Guide to sell your house yourself.

Free Home Selling, FSBO tips from an industry expert in our office:

Thinking of selling your home? Before it becomes urgent, put a sign in the yard and try selling it FSBO. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

Determine the Sales Price:
Have at least two Real Estate Agents appraise your home.
RULE #1:
Do your homework. Look up listings and find out the price of homes like yours in your area. Add on for additions, pools, curb and inside appeal, and any extras that would make your home more valuable than your neighbors. Used houses in clean and great condition are not that common, if yours is it will have a major edge. A Realty Agent's goal may be to sell the property very quickly. It saves them time and thousands of dollars in marketing with costly TV and print ads and they may under price your property in order to do this. A fast sell at $200,000 yields them $12,000 commission, taking three months to get $240,000 yields them $14,400 commission but less profit. We have frequently seen Agents push people to list their houses for low numbers and also to negotiate and accept a lower price when a buyer is interested to sell the house ASAP. Make sure you find out how much it is really worth, whether you list with a Real Estate Agent or or not.

Market it FSBO, a half plan will not work, do it all the way:
After you know how much your house is worth, if you are on a busy street, a professional For Sale sign in the front yard, with your phone number and by-appointment-only should sell your home. It would also be nice to put a brochure holder on the sign so people can learn more and become motivated to call you, and to pre-screen the people who want something your house does not offer (fireplace, 4th bedroom, etc.) Also, place color flyers with photos in a newer church with young families, at work, and in corporate centers. Ads in the newspaper get mixed reviews. Grocery store bulletin boards also mixed reviews. Also put "For Sale" directional signs at major intersections.

Take Advantage of Extra Time:
Put your home for sale or try FSBO a month before it's crucial at the maximum possible price you think you may be able to obtain. A Real Estate Agent may try and discourage this, but if you have the time, you should "throw the bait out" for a few weeks and see if you get any bites. You have nothing to lose.  

Put it on the MLS:
In a down market, you need Realtors to bring you the limited amount of buyers. Many of the buyers driving buy and calling you from the brochure may be those who can not obtain a mortgage or have other issues. I use a flat fee MLS listing service that places my home on the MLS. I pay the selling agent 2.75%. It cost $900 for the MLS package and if your house does not sell, they credit it towards your listing with a Realtor.

Showing your home so it sells:

Your home has to sell itself, not you or an agent will have luck selling a too worn house for what it could be worth.

Make your house beautiful, fast. A sparkling home will make a prospect fall in love with your house - you know the feeling when you test drive a car or maybe when you bought this house - though you hide your excitement from the seller, you had to have it. You will pay a little more than you budgeted and let the seller call the shots, because there is no other house like this. With our plan, a few hundred dollars and less than 15 hours of work should make someone fall in love with your house and pay full price.

A clean house will sell. People need to picture themselves in it and feel at home. Ever go to an airy, clean hotel room? How about a dark and dirty one? Or maybe one that smells musty or like smoke, or has stains in it? Which one makes you feel more comfortable? We all prefer a new or just renovated hotel because it's clean. Your house should present itself like a nice hotel, no dirt, no clutter, not overdone with personal affects that say this is your home, no obvious deferred repairs, just welcoming and manicured.

Checklist Home showing checklist - do within two days of putting up sign:


Outside = Curb appeal (many people drive up to see a house and are turned off and drive away, canceling their appointment). First Impressions are VERY important:

  • Remove peeling exterior and touch up with fresh coat.
  • Plant flowers to brighten front walk.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Ensure all lights operate.
  • Remove any moss from the house or walk.
  • Remove weeds in beds or against house.
  • Mow and trim grass. Seed and fertilize if needed.
  • Prune overgrown plants/trees.
  • Remove or replace dead or diseased plants, shrubs and trees.
  • Clean grease and oil stains from driveway.
  • Clean and stain decks.
  • Remove weeds/grass in walkway cracks.
  • Check fences for loose/missing posts, clean fence, make sure gates work smoothly.
  • Shine front door hardware. Paint door. This is the first impression of your house itself and well worth it.
  • Lubricate all doors to eliminate squeaks.
  • All Doors - clean the glass, repair screen, ensure doorbells function.
  • Clean all windows-in and out.
  • Touch up window trim paint.
  • Make sure window screens are secure. If they are torn or unattractive take them out or clean and repair them.
  • Clean up or discard outside or indoor plants that are brown or losing their leaves.
  • No project cars, RV's, figurines, plastic decorations, or boats in the yard. The yard should be green and manicured - all natural.
  • Keep lights on at night so prospects can see the house

Taking offers - Make sure prospects are willing and able:

Make sure any prospects are pre qualified before you entertain their offer.  We will do this for free for Pennsylvania properties.  Many people are willing, but not able, to buy a home.  Don't get your hopes up too soon!   Keep your options open and keep showing the home until you have a nice deposit (at least 5%).  Do not take verbal offers seriously, many of them never come through or they wouldn't be verbal.  If someone wants your house badly, they will write a check for $1,000 right away so you take it off the market.  Anything else is talk - and not to be taken seriously! 

We offer free advice and pre qualifications to anyone in Pennsylvania. Call 610 882-4140.

Hire an attorney to draw up the sales contract.  It will cost only a few hundred dollars (you pay for it since it is your attorney, - don't use the buyers attorney) but an RE Agent usually will charge thousands just to draft a contract.  We believe a lawyer is more qualified, and they are thousands of dollars cheaper.

Good Luck!!!

Inside: Immaculate and uncluttered. Move in condition.

  • No clutter! No clutter!  Pack some decorations and personal photos away so the house has an airy feel. Hide CD's and videotapes, they do not make a nice decoration. A few hard cover books, a nice throw, some candles, and interesting artifacts will give it the perfect touch. No ironing boards or other signs of work. Clutter makes your house seem small, like you are bursting out of it, and gives some people an almost claustrophobic feeling. Think open, spacious, tasteful and clean.
  • Make sure your house smells good. Clean with a lemon cleaner before a showing, burn a candle - cinnamon works well. Use a swifter wet mop on the hard floors right before the showing for a very peasant odor. It is also good to air out the house with open windows an hour before a showing if weather permits.
  • No pets - many people are turned off or allergic to them, so why lose a prospective buyer. Hide them as best you can, and remove any pet hair and odors. A house that smells like cats will likely be a harder sell. You may not notice it if you are used to it.
  • Pack away about 1/2 of what is in stuffed closets and cabinets so it looks like you have plenty of closet space. You should be able to see the wall in back of 1/2 the closet or cabinet.
  • Make sure lights operate and are clean.
  • Give living areas a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
  • Spackle cracks and holes in ceiling and walls with no-sanding-required spackle, caulk cracks along baseboards and crown molding where they meet walls.
  • Glue peeling wallpaper seams.
  • Ensure blinds and curtains open and close. Clean them and open them fully to maximize light when showing home.
  • Steam-clean carpets. No stains or odors on floors.
  • Throw pillows should look new.
  • Replace attached items, such as lighting and window treatments that you wish to take with you.
  • Fix dripping faucets.
  • Clean the refrigerator, microwave, oven and range thoroughly. 
  • Replace cracked tiles & missing grout.
  • Make sure all seams are caulked in bath and kitchen..
  • Install a new fabric shower curtain.
  • Hide all bathroom supplies. Make those bathrooms sparkle and - no clutter!
  • Put away toys and clothes in bedrooms.
  • Make beds neatly. Throw pillows or shams look nice.
  • In basement remove dampness or water stains, rid of odors, clean, make sure lighting works, organize.

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This is our opinion and to be uses for informational purposes only.
Not to be redistributed or copied without express written permission from Allegiance Mortgage Services.