Ready to sell your house in Georgia, but don’t want to spend the money to hire a real estate agent? Read our latest article on 7 steps that you can take to sell your house by owner in Georgia.
Reasons to Sell Your House By Owner
The most likely reason that you are considering For Sale By Owner (FSBO), is that you simply don’t want to pay real estate agent commissions.
In Georgia, home sellers typically pay both the seller’s and buyer’s agent commissions, which normally total 6% total of the selling price. On a $200,000 house, that is $12,000, so why not just sell it yourself and save some of that?
There are also some reasons that you may NEED to sell your house by owner, so let’s take a look at those quickly:
- No Equity – If you don’t have any equity, you may not be able to afford to pay agent commissions.
- Pre-Foreclosure – if you are in pre-foreclosure, you don’t time to sell with an agent. You need to sell your house or stop the foreclosure now.
- Agent Won’t Help – If your house is inexpensive and needs a lot of repairs, you may have a hard time finding an agent to help you in this busy seller’s market.
Whatever your reason, there are ways to sell your house yourself here in the local Atlanta real estate market.
Since we are in a seller’s market, you can absolutely sell your house by owner using smart marketing and some persistence. You also need to be realistic about how much your house is worth as well as how much work this can be.
So let’s look at 7 steps that you can take to sell your Georgia house by owner.
Step 1: Know Your Market
Assuming that you are not in pre-foreclosure and you have some time, then the first step is to do some research and see what homes are selling for in your area. This is very easy to do with multiple resources online such as Eppraisal, Nerd Wallet, Zillow, or Redfin.
These online estimators are not super-accurate, but can give you a starting point. To get more specific, check out my video on how we estimate home values for free using Zillow.
If you know an agent, you can also call them to get a sense of what your home is worth. Lastly, you can hire a licensed appraiser to give you an in-depth report.
Step 2: Consider the Condition of Your House
So now that you have a sense of what homes are selling for in your area, do an honest assessment of what your house is worth. These online estimators assume that your house is fixed-up, clean, and needs no major repairs.
If the home needs repairs, or hasn’t been updated in a decade or more (do you have wood paneling? Popcorn ceiling?) – then you may have to discount the price.
Look at some pictures online of recent homes that have sold in your area and see if they still have some interior photos up on Zillow, Redfin, or Trulia. Check our their appliances, bathrooms, and paint colors and see how your house compares.
You can update your house to look similar, or you can discount your price to sell faster.
Step 3: Consider Non-Changeable Factors
A lot of homes have factors that are outside of the homeowner’s control, but must still be factored into the selling price if you are selling by owner. Here are a few common examples:
- The house sits on a major highway
- Next to a busy commercial area, like a gas station or grocery store
- Nearby crime zones
- Flood zone
These are things that will turn off home buyers, so you just have to take this into consideration when trying to sell.
Step 4: Clean Up, Declutter, & Take Good Photos
Yes, cleaning is a pain, but you need to do it. It can literally make the difference between months of waiting, thousands of dollars, or just not selling at all. Remember that homes are bought and sold online these days – so good pictures are more important than ever.
Check out this article for more tips.
Better yet – also consider doing a walkthrough video and posting it online. This gives buyers a chance to see the house like they are walking through it, but more importantly, gives you a chance to sell by talking about how much you love it.
While you are filming, tell potential buyers all the special features about the house that they will love when they buy it.
Step 5: List the Home Online
Now that the house is clean and you have some great photos & a walkthrough video, it’s time to post it online for people to see. Put it everywhere that you can. You can list it directly on Zillow and put in your details on their FSBO site. This will also list it on Trulia since Zillow owns Trulia.
To list on Redfin, you will have to list the house at FSBO.com (which you will want to do anyway). Look into other online listing services, and even some local brokerage websites may let you list it for a fee. Check around.
Make sure you put up a sign in the yard with your phone number on it! I see a lot of FSBO signs with email addresses but no phone numbers. If you really want to sell your house in any reasonable amount of time, you are going to have to talk to people.
You also need to talk it up all over social media. Put up posts on Facebook, Instagram, Craigslist, Twitter, and whatever social platforms you are subscribed to. Check out this great list for more ideas.
Lastly, you can list the house on the MLS for a few hundred bucks. This will get your house in front of buyer’s agents who are looking for homes to buy. Call up a local realtor and ask them if they can help you do this.
Step 6: Answer the Phone and Show the House
Once your house is listed online, you’ll start getting some phone calls. Answer the phone and talk to people. You’ll probably get even more text messages. Respond to them.
I know this sounds really basic, but I call a lot of FSBO listings, and guess what? Nobody answers, replies to my text, or calls me back. And the voicemail is full. You are not going to sell your house over email, text message, or Facebook DM, so answer the phone.
You can put your phone on silent after a certain time if you like so your phone isn’t blowing up all night, but leave a message about this on your voicemail.
Something like: “thank you for calling about my house at 123 Main St. If you are getting this voicemail, then I am on another call or you are calling after hours. Leave me a message and a good time to call you back, or please call me during our business hours from 8am – 8pm.”
Step 7: Put the House Under Contract
Now you’ve found someone who wants to buy your house – awesome! Now you need to put the house under contract and close the transaction. You will need a Purchase & Sale Agreement to put the house under contract. Call some closing attorneys in your area and see if they will draft a P&S agreement for you.
Don’t use the free templates online. This is a legal contract, and you don’t want to mess up the transaction with a generic and non-viable agreement. Find a local attorney to help you. You will pay for it, but you’re going to have to pay the attorney to close the deal anyway, so give them a call.
Also, if you use that attorney to help you with the contract, then make sure to use them for the closing as well.
Let Us Help
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it is! Realtors earn their commissions.
We can save you a lot of time, hassle, and money, or at least give you more information to consider.
We never have any fees or obligations, so you really don’t have anything to lose by contacting us. Our goal is to help you sell your house or save it from vacancy, foreclosure, and disrepair.