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The housing market is booming, and it's time to put your home on the market. You have a new house in mind, and want yours to sell fast at a reasonable price. You want to save some money and decide to list the home For Sale By Owner. But wait, you say you don't actually know how to sell your own home? We've got you covered with seven great tips.

1. List your Home on the MLS

The Multiple Listing Service is a database that real estate agents use to find homes for their clients. It has information such as the number of bedrooms, the acreage of the property, the year the house was built, and the loans accepted. The MLS helps agents narrow down hundreds of thousands of properties to fit their client's needs. It's also the search engine more prominent sites like Zillow and Realtor use to show you houses in the area.

More people will find your home when you use the MLS. Sticking up a sign in your yard is an excellent way to spread the word, but won't reach enough people fast enough if you're in a time crunch. You can't put yourself on the MLS, however. Only brokerages have access to the MLS.

To list your home on the MLS, you are going to have to use either a real estate agent or a listing service. A listing service provides some of the services real estate agents offer but in al la carte fashion. Listing services usually charge a flat fee, although you may want to check to see what's included in the price if you go with them.

If you are looking to save money on the commission of a real estate agent but don't want to use a listing service, check out a discount agent near you. Some of them just offer listing services, and others are full-service agents for a fraction of the price of a regular real estate agent.

2. Advertise Your Home

Deciding to sell is the easy part, getting the word out about ANYTHING besides free food is difficult. So how do you let the world know your home is for sale? The same way you spread the word about birthday parties and births: Family and friends, social media, signs, and even handwritten letters.

Reach out to your family and friends. Tell them as much information as they can handle about your house, emphasizing key features, square footage, location, and price. Ask them to spread the word. They will be your biggest allies because they care about you and seeing you succeed.

Social media isn't just good for stalking your high school ex. It's a great place to spread the word about your house. Post your listing online and ask your friends to share it. You could even get creative with it! Feature certain rooms in your home on SnapChat, do a house tour on YouTube and take original photos on Instagram. Using hashtags and location tags will also help you spread the word a lot faster.

Then, there are the excellent old-fashioned signs. Having a quality sign in your yard that is not only visible from the road, but also make sure the necessary details like your contact information can easily be seen by passing cars. A few other ways to get the word out are holding open houses, creating flyers, and posting the listing on sites like Craigslist.

3. Touch-up Paint

You want potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in your house. To do this, you may have to paint over the Barbie mural in your three-year-old's bedroom. As stressful as it may seem, painting your home will add immediate perceived value and help buyers make an offer that is more in line with your listing price.

It's best to stick with neutral colors such as soft whites, light grays, and natural beige. You don't want anything to stand out or be too flashy. Accent walls may look nice for your nautical themed kitchen, but a potential buyer might see a massive wall that they immediately want to paint. By sticking to your neutral swatches, more buyers will be able to see themselves at home in your listing.

4. Price It Right

Pricing a home is tricky! Seasons matter when it comes to supply and demand, and although markets tend to fluctuate, you don't want to price too much higher than the appraisal value if there are plenty of homes on the market. It's always a good idea to do a comparative market analysis or CMA.

A CMA takes into consideration the homes in your area with the most similar square footage, features, and the shape it is in. To get a feel for this, attend some open houses and ask some new neighbors who just bought their home if you can tour their property to get a feel for what yours is worth. Also, look at what homes in the area sold for as well as the length of time they spent on the market.

5. Best Home Improvements

As you're touring homes in your neighborhood, you may notice that homes that have updated kitchen and bathrooms tend to fetch a higher sale price. Updating those two rooms goes a long way for selling your home fast for the amount you want. Beyond that, the kitchen and bathroom are relatively affordable and easy to update. With a little paint on the cabinets and new hardware, your kitchen and bathroom will look so fresh, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

Some other improvements to keep in mind are the ones that you know are going to come up in the inspection. A new roof, for example, could deter a potential buyer from jumping on the deal or will make them bid $10,000-$20,000 lower. If a new roof only costs $5,000, it is in your best interest to fix it up now and make a profit on the sale. Keep an eye out for other crucial fixes such as mold, water damage, and any electrical and plumbing that is no longer up to code.

6. Offer Incentives

Sweeten the pot and have your house shown to more people by offering a buyer's commission. This does mean you will have to pay out some of that hard-earned cash but will ensure the home is shown more often. Typically, a buyer's commission is between 2% and 3% of the sale price. You could also add other incentives such as the flexibility to contingencies or including specific features in the deal.

7. Be Willing to Negotiate

Ultimately, everyone who sells For Sale By Owner needs to be prepared to negotiate. People see the money you save from listing the home yourself as money that can be bargained for. Brush up on your negotiation skills and prepare to fight for your price. If you have the luxury of being in a seller's market, the home may turn into a bidding war. Which means more money in your pocket. If the market is anywhere near healthy, however, decide what price you won't go below, and stick to your guns.

Saving on commission doesn't mean you have to do all the work yourself. If you want the ease of a full-service agent without the large commission, Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.


Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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