selling a house by owner
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Is Selling a House By Owner Worth It?

Selling a house by owner is a great way to pocket some extra cash but you will have to work for it!
First off, if you do attempt this, make sure you get a good real estate lawyer that can draw up contracts and advise you as to the legalities, otherwise you may really get your self into trouble! The second thing is, be prepared to set aside a lot of time for your house selling activities - it can almost become a full time job!

When you are selling a house by owner, you will be doing most of the work that a real estate professional usually does for you so you best be prepared!

Here's a list of the tasks that you'll be doing in lieu of professional services:

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Marketing the house
When selling a house by owner, you don't have the advantage of listing it in the MLS system that Realtors use, so how are you going to let people know it's available? You could join a for sale by owner program that has listings on line and in special booklets but you should also advertise in the paper and put a sign out in front of the house. You should also prepare some marketing materials listing the great benefits of your house - play up the good features and what is great about the area. Have these printed on nice sheets of paper and hand them out to prospective buyers.

Showing the house
When you opt for selling a house by owner, you will be the one showing the house to the prospective buyer. This may put some buyers off as they are used to the owner not being present so that they can feel free to comment to themselves about what they like or don't like. You can use this to your advantage, however by making it a time to comment about the great features and how your family has benefitted. Don't go overboard, though as it might sound like you are trying to cover up other flaws! Lead the prospective buyers around the house but let them have time to look over everything while you point out the positive things.

Answering phone queries
Anyone who is selling a house by owner should be prepared to spend a lot of time on the phone answering questions about the house. It helps to keep your sheet that you have prepared handy so all the answers are right in front of you. Make sure you have a professional message on your answering machine and return all calls as any one of the queries could turn into your buyer!

Have an open house
To get a bunch of lookers and hopefully some real estate people too you could run an open house. Advertise it in the paper and make sure the house is in tip top shape. It's always nice to have some baked goodies available to make a good impression. Be available to answer questions but don't hound the people that show up - and make sure you have plenty of marketing sheets available to hand out.

This is the final step in selling a house by owner and, perhaps the most intimidating. Typically, this is done with the realtor as a buffer, but in this case you will be dealing with the buyer or his representative directly. The main thing is to keep a professional attitude. Don't take it personally if the buyer points out flaws in the house in order to try to get a reduction in price. You need to think about all offers objectively and be able to compromise a bit in some cases.

Once you have an agreement, get the buyer to sign a purchase and sale agreement. Make sure you use a lawyer who specializes in real estate to draw up the agreement and to go over it to make sure you are not making a costly mistake!

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