As we've discussed, selling the home yourself will help you avoid real estate commissions. Chances are the buyer knows this and will expect an equivalent reduction in selling price. When the dust settles, you may be no better off than you would have been by letting an agent do the legwork for you. Nevertheless, if you feel you can still come out ahead, here are some steps you can take to make your experience more successful:
IMPORTANT NOTE: When showing the home, stay with the prospective buyer throughout the touring process. If possible, for security purposes, arrange your showings when someone else, such as a spouse, will be present with you.
Mortgage Debt Ratios
Since you will be pre-qualifying prospective buyers for financial suitability, it is useful to understand the ratios lenders use to screen mortgage applicants:
Full Disclosure Issues
If you're selling your home yourself, you need to be aware of your legal liability for full disclosure. Keeping silent on a material defect in your home, about which you have knowledge, can cost you plenty. Buyers, upon discovery of your omission, could sue you for damages. The definition of what is a material defect can be subjective. For example, you may not consider an occasional flooded basement a material defect, whereas your buyer might.To protect yourself, consider hiring a home inspector to go through your home and issue a report. While normally this is a buyer expense (they'll probably have their own done anyway), it may be worth spending a few extra dollars to document the true condition of the house at the time of sale. Plan on spending about $300 to $500 for the service now to avoid headaches in the future.