Looking to sell your house via "For Sale By Owner" in Los Angeles County or Orange County? Here a few tips to point you in the right direction.
1. Get a price quote.
Local independent real estate appraisers are easy to find via a simple Google search: “<Insert Town Name Here> real estate appraiser”. They typically run about a couple hundred dollars and will give you an unbiased and accurate assessment of what your house is worth. Often times, for sale by owner homes fail to sell because the owners refuse to lower the price to match the market. Listen to your appraiser; they are your best asset for pricing your house correctly.
2. Hire an inspector.
Home inspectors will give you an accurate picture of any and all repairs that the home requires. If your home is in need of major repair (i.e. the roof leaks) then be prepared for that to make selling far more difficult. Homes with major repairs either take major price hits, or must be repaired prior to selling. Some buyers would rather pay less and do it themselves, while others would not even consider purchasing a home that needs major repairs. It is up to you to decide if it’s worth the time-and-cost-commitment for you to make these repairs, or if you’d rather save yourself the time and take the price hit.
3. Know your selling points.
Always lead with your best face forward. What are the best features of your property? Do you have an exceptionally large backyard? An updated kitchen and/or bathrooms? Energy-efficient appliances? Is your house located in a particularly prominent school district? All of these things could attract buyers to your home and should be emphasized in all marketing materials for the sale. Make a list of all of your home’s positive attributes and highlight these in any ads you post. Memorize it so that you can continue to sell the house’s finer points during open houses.
Placing a “For Sale by Owner” sign in front of your house is a great first step, but it will only get you so far. These days, most people use the internet to search for properties. You can list the home on websites such as Zillow or Craigslist. You should also make people in your social media networks aware that your home is for sale, and ask them to pass that information on to anyone they know who is in the market for a new house. Place an ad with the local newspaper (many people still browse them for local real estate investments). A lot of times the newspapers will list your property in the “classifieds” or “real estate” section of their website, and you can use this link to help with other online marketing.
5. De-clutter and clean.
You may think that your house is clutter-free, but there is always something to get rid of. Before you show your house it’s best to minimalize: the papers you’ve collected over the years, the stacks of candles or family photos, and the collection of boxes you’ve amassed in the attic must all be removed. Buyers want to see your house as a beautiful shiny oasis for them to build a life in, not as a lived-in home littered with someone else’s memories.
6. Host an open house.
Most open houses take place on weekends so they don’t conflict with the work week. Place signs in busy intersections near your house and throughout your town. Make sure that your home is in good showing condition.
7. Be flexible.
Most home-owners overprice their house and keep it overpriced for too long. If your house has been on the market for several months and you have had no offers, consider lowering your price. Before listing your house, make a long-term plan for yourself and decide on three price points: your listing price, your ideal price, and your absolute lowest price. Be willing to bounce between those three in order to sell your home.
8. Find a good Real Estate Lawyer
When you’ve found a buyer, you will be caught in a mess of legal jargon and paperwork. Normally, a broker would help you with this. However, if you have chosen to go at it alone then a good real estate lawyer can help you navigate that terrain. Have someone in mind before you start the selling process so that you aren’t scrambling to locate a lawyer in the middle of negotiations.
9. Be open to non-traditional buyers.
The fastest and easiest way to sell a home without a broker is to contact a local company who trades in buying homes as-is. Companies like Blake Buys Homes in Orange County, CA focus on streamlining the sales process for owners looking to sell quickly. Their network of investors are always looking for good purchases, and working with them is an efficient way to sell your home with minimal effort and minimal cost. Check out their “How it Works” page to see if this option is ideal for you, or to register for a free price quote. Here is a list of areas they service:
Aliso Viejo, California
Buena Park, California
Costa Mesa, California
Dana Point, California
Fountain Valley, California
Garden Grove, California
Huntington Beach, California
La Habra, California
La Palma, California
Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Hills, California
Laguna Niguel, California
Laguna Woods, California
Lake Forest, California
Los Alamitos, California
Mission Viejo, California
Newport Beach, California
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
San Clemente, California
San Juan Capistrano, California
Santa Ana, California
Seal Beach, California
Villa Park, California
Yorba Linda, California