FOR SALE BY OWNER: ROADMAP TO SELL IT YOURSELF!
At present, we are seeing a pretty active real estate market in the Greater Baltimore area coupled with low interest rates that should continue for the foreseeable future. If you need or want to sell your home in Maryland, and live in an area where there is low inventory and properties tend to sell quickly, consider trying to sell without the high expense of a real estate broker.
STEPS FOR FSBO IN MARYLAND
Here’s how it’s quite possible to create marketing plan without a real estate agent being involved at all. There is no harm in hanging a for sale sign on your house for thirty days to see what happens. Oftentimes your neighbors will reach out to their friends and family who may be shopping to let them know that your house is available. Couple that possibility with the rise of do-it-yourself online marketplaces like Zillow, Craigslist and Facebook.
And if all else fails, the decision to market your house as a for sale by owner in Maryland is not irrevocable, you can change course at any point and involve an agent.
MARYLAND FSBO TIPS
Price to attract buyers. Take a step back and put your emotional attachments aside, you need to figure out what your house is realistically worth. For a few weeks leading up to your offering pretend you are a buyer shopping for a house in your neighborhood. Go to open houses, search public sale records, research on Zillow and see what kind of value nearby houses have. You may also consider asking an agent for a comparative market analysis to see what their opinion is. Most agents will willingly do this with the thought that you will go back to them if you eventually decide to list the house for sale.
Protect agents. Make it clear that if a potential purchaser is working with a buyer’s agent that you will pay out one-half of a typical commission. This will be in the 2% to 3% range and will keep those agents showing your house and interest high.
Make your Maryland house a grabber. As you travel through open houses in your research phase take note of what those sellers have done to make their house attractive. Is the landscaping tidy and fresh? How is the curb appeal? Does the appearance of the house make it appear well kept and loved? Has the house been decluttered inside? Now take a critical look at your house and decide what you need to do to compete.
Marketing your Maryland property. Spend a few extra dollars and get an attractive sign made by a local sign shop. That will show that you are serious about the sale and projects a professional and prepared image. Prepare some quality color flyers with a few photos and detailing the highlights of the home. There are so many resources available online now such as Vistaprint or Fiverr that there is no reason not to bring your best efforts.
Stay relaxed. When you have a potential buyer and are negotiating the terms of the sale be calm. Try not to be too pushy, or impose unrealistic requirements, or you run the risk of running your potential buyer right into the arms of a buyer’s agent eroding your savings.
Give a little. A Buyer coming into a for sale by owner transaction without an agent is going to have to do a fair amount of work on their own. They will have to identify their own lender, home inspector, title company and other third party service providers. They will also likely have to engage an attorney to review or prepare the contract. What is the trade off? Discount your asking price a bit below market or offer a buyer credit so that your buyer can also enjoy some of your savings on real estate commissions. This will entice them to have patience with the process and see the purchase through.
Know when to call in the Maryland real estate professionals. While you can handle most home sale activities on your own you want to draw the line when it comes to preparing or reviewing a contract. This is where you want to engage an attorney to paper the transaction and ensure you are protected and entering into a binding agreement.
Click here for additional FSBO resources for Maryland homeowners.
Still have more questions? Contact our Baltimore real estate law firm today.