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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Don't want to pay a real estate agent?

Blog posting adapted from Sun-Sentinel / MartketWatch written by Amy Hoak of MarketWatch. Click here for original news article.

Be prepared to do some work yourself.

With all the online real estate information available to home sellers nowadays, it's not surprising that some of them consider selling without the help of a real estate agent.

The biggest advantage of the for-sale-by-owner strategy is not having to pay commission to a listing agent. But those taking on the job themselves need to roll up their sleeves and prepare for a little work to get the home sold, understanding that they will be the ones taking care of tasks ranging from marketing to showing the property to interested buyers.

Prepare the house.

Before doing anything, make sure that the house is in good shape to show, said Piper Nichole, author of The For Sale By Owner Handbook. That means making sure it is clean, decluttered, odor-free, brightly lit and freshly painted. Curb appeal is also important.
She also advises thinking about offering buyer incentives such as flexible move-in arrangementsand providing a home warranty.

Price it correctly.

"The biggest mistake for-sale-by-owners make is pricing their home too high," Nichole said in an e-mail interview. If the home subsequently ends up sitting too long on the market and the asking price is lower, a potential buyer might speculate that something is wrong with the property, she said.

You can use or to get a starting idea of what a house is worth. A look at a listings site, such as, will reveal what sellers are asking for in the neighborhood, he added.

If the home is unique and difficult to compare to others, consider having it appraised, Nichole said.

Decide how to use the savings.

Sellers also need to ask themselves if they want to use all or part of the commission they would otherwise pay in order to discount the property. A good route for most people is an in-between-approach use part of savings to attract a buyer faster and part of the savings as added profit.

Market it correctly.

The Internet can be a big help in marketing a property. has partners with over 20 top "For Sale By Owner" websites which allows a seller to post a listing to gain Internet exposure on their site and with no additional costs. Other online options include community marketplaces such as and portals such as Yahoo. When placing a newspaper ad, make sure to ask if it will be posted online for free.

Don't underestimate the power of a sign. And consider listing on the Multiple Listing Service as well.

Additional Books and Resources To Help You Sell Your Home

For more information and to view recent property listings, please visit or Electronic Appraiser for instant home valution reports at - for more information.

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