Thinking of selling your home by owner? A by owner home sale can be tricky – unless you know how to do it. Here’s a successful by owner home sale story.

Q: I enjoy reading your column in our local paper. I sold my dad’s house on Facebook in three days. No sign, agents or photos. I used a simple description of his home on my personal page and in two groups. And, that was all it took.

In my posting, I listed the current Zillow and Redfin values for the home and requested that interested parties to message me privately for the address or for a showing. I showed it eight different times: twice to one person and three to another. It was very simple.

Selling by owner: Get the word out

Demand is high now and the inventory is low in our area. The attorney I hired did all of the heavy lifting, and it saved my dad about $15,000 in commissions. Selling by owner can be done. Thank you for your information and keep up your terrific work.

A: Congratulations. Selling by owner isn’t always as easy as it was for you. In terms of getting to a successful close, you’re in the minority. Almost all homes sold in the United States are sold with the help of a real estate agent.

It’s easier to sell by owner when demand is high and inventory is low

Right now the market is seeing decreased volume in sales, which is pushing up prices in many areas. Rising interest rates mean fewer home buyers can afford to purchase a home. Homeowners who otherwise would be looking to sell and trade up or down are staying put because they know they can’t replace the uber-low interest rate mortgages they currently have. This leads to a tightness in the market for those that have relocated or can’t stay in their current homes.

Someone like your father benefits from this market. It doesn’t matter as much whether they use a real estate agent or sell by owner. With few homes on the market, buyers don’t have much to choose from. With more buyers chasing fewer homes, the laws of supply and demand kick in. Prices go up. Sometimes, there are bidding wars.

Selling by owner: Price your home competitively

So kudos to you. You’ve seen firsthand how tight your local market is and were able to capitalize on that. And, you obviously hit a sweet spot price-wise for your area. That’s why so many buyers approach you to buy your dad’s home.

If you’re going to sell by owner, you have to watch your local market. If there are a lot of homes available, then you’re competing with agents who want to keep buyers in house. They’re less likely to look around for other homes to show, even if you’re offering a commission to the buyer’s agent.

Clean and stage your home

If there are few homes for sale, it should be a good time to sell by owner. But you still need to make the home look its best. That may mean repainting the interiors in white, adding some more light, and even staging the property. Most importantly, you’ve got to price the property correctly. You used Zillow and Redfin’s algorithms to price the property. That can work – except in areas where their pricing algorithm isn’t on target. Knowing what other homes have sold for can help lock down the best pricing.

Make sure you have someone on hand who can help with the paperwork. Real estate deals typically have a lot of paperwork and you want to make sure the buyer is legit – and will show up at closing with the money.

Online home sale sites are useful but don’t forget about signage

We love how you spread the word that your Dad’s house was for sale. Signage can work. And, there are neighborhood apps that may also be helpful in spreading the word. Setting up an easy website or a Facebook page for the property is another smart move.

A warning: when you list a property for sale, you’re inviting con artists and other bad actors to the party. Be careful about disclosing private information. Hire a reputable attorney and closing or settlement agent to process the transaction and protect your information. And make sure you remove all valuables, including computers and all financial information, from the property before you show it.

Thanks for sharing your successful selling by owner experience.

Read more about selling by owner:

For Sale By Owner: 6 Hints for Selling Your Home

©2023 by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. REM A1599