How to Sell Your own Home Privately
Congrats on deciding to sell your own home privately! Whether you are still in the process of listing or already on the market, my goal is to help you sell your own home for the top price possible. In this article, I will give you all the necessary resources, tips, and strategies to help you market your own home and prepare to sell it.
My name is Manoj Kukreja. I am a Real Estate Agent with Re/max, and I believe everyone should have the right to save money wherever they can for themselves and for their family. Because of this, I give away most of my techniques for free to help you in this journey. There are other resources I use to market homes as a Professional Realtor that you don’t have access to, but at the end of the article I will include a link for you to access that information as well.
If you’re looking to buy a new home while you’re in the process of selling your old one, I have a link at the end of the presentation that will guide you step by step on how to most successfully buy a home and avoid some pitfalls.
Things to Know When Selling Your Own Home
- 90% of all buyers begin their search online.
- More exposure can mean selling your home quickly and at a higher price.
- People purchase homes based on emotional factors—the look and smell of the home needs to be welcoming and warm. Cooking fish or other fragrant foods, or using incense sticks or other aroma-heavy items, can be a major turnoff.
- Staged homes sell for 3-5% more.
- Staged homes spend half as much time on the market compared to other homes.
- Buyers that have viewed a staged home online are 46% more willing to do a walkthrough in person.
- 81% of buyers find it easy to visualize the property as a future home when it’s staged.
- I don’t believe every home should be staged or that every home needs to use the absolute best photography and virtual tours in the market. Every home is unique, and it requires a unique strategy. For example, fixer-uppers and older homes shouldn’t necessarily be staged.
- You will need a photographer and a virtual tour company
There are tons of companies you can use to for photography or to create a virtual tour—I recommend Real Media. You can get in touch with them at their company website: http://www.realmedia.ca/
They provide amazing photography & virtual tours, from basic all the way up to luxury tours, and all for a very reasonable price. All their tours include:
- Stunning HDR Photography
- HD Web Gallery & Local Amenities
- YouTube & Social Media Integration (so you can easily share the tour)
- Detailed Traffic Analytics
- Built-in Lead Generation
For a minimal extra cost, which I’d recommend you invest in unless you’re a web designer or graphic designer, you can get:
- Feature Sheets starting at $25-$75 – Here is a sample feature sheet that I had my designers create for me, and I am sure if you send this to them, they will be able to create one for you just like this.( Sell-Your-Own-Home-Feature-Sheet)
- Custom Domain – This is very important for anyone trying to sell their own home, since you will need a place to drive traffic to. I will show you some ways to get the word out to the highest number of people possible for you as a non-realtor.
Sample Domain: https://mediatours.ca/property/7-morris-trail-welland/
- Postcards – Here is a sample of a postcard I make for an open house—you can use Canada Post to distribute these postcards for you: Sample Postcard
I generally send anywhere between 1,000 to 2,500 around the area, but you can choose to send out as many as you like.
If you want to create your own marketing materials like postcards, a website, or feature sheets, here are some free resources that will help you:
www.canva.com – (for creating free fliers and postcards)
www.wix.com – (for easy-to-create websites)
www.walkscore.com – (app makes it easy to get info on any area)
- You will need signs and a lockbox
If your listing company provides a lockbox, a For Sale sign, an Open House sign, or a newly renovated/income property/any other sign, then great. If not, here are some resources:
- Real media (as mentioned before, also offers this service)
- Signs in the Making – http://www.signsinthemaking.com/ – Offers custom signs, postcards, fliers, etc.
***Use Precaution when handing out the lockbox code*****
- You may want to get professional staging or do it yourself
As mentioned before, staging can seriously impact the timeline of your listing, along with the final sale price. You can find some additional benefits of this in my blog, here: Benefits of Staging your Home
Here are some professional staging resources:
Black Diamond Home Staging – By Carol D’Avolio
Milo Vision – By Sasha Milo
If you want to stage your own home but need furniture you don’t currently have, here is a list of places that you can rent it from to save on staging costs:
- Marketing your home
Now that your home is staged, has amazing photography, a lockbox, and signs, and you’ve mailed out postcards, it’s time to get the word out. Of course, the home is already listed with one of the discount brokerages that list homes for free or a nominal fee, so your home is likely on MLS, Realtor.ca, and a few other sites. This may be enough when you are in a seller’s market, but in a buyer’s market, you need to be more aggressive to get top dollar. I don’t personally use all these methods, because I have access to better ones as a realtor, but for you these are the best strategies. If you come across more, please leave a comment below and help others sell their own home!
Let’s begin to market your home. Here are my tips for using various sites:
- Kijiji – I recommend posting an ad three times a day: in the morning (before 9:00 a.m.), at lunch (around noon), and then again around 5:00 p.m. Delete the old one create a new one each time. If you just create a single ad, in a few hours you will end up on page 10, and let’s be realistic, barely anyone who’s browsing makes it to page 10. Unless you want to pay for top/urgent ads here, just repost your ad regularly throughout the day.
- Craigslist – Once a day is fine.
- Your personal Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, or any other social media platform – It’s a great idea to advertise your home on these platforms as well. Go on YouTube and you can find many different videos showing you how to get set up on any of the platforms
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook Groups: If you don’t have or make a business page, you technically cannot create ads for Facebook and Instagram. If you want to create a whole business page for your home, hats off to you, because that’s a lot of work. What I would do instead, if I were you, is simply join different groups and promote my listing organically. For example, I might post it to these groups:
- Mississauga Residents
- Vaughan Residents
- Brampton Residents
You can post it to a residents’ group for your particular community, and there are also buy-and-sell groups in various communities that are a great option as well.
Please follow group advertising rules, and most importantly, don’t start posting your home listing on a different realtor’s business page. That’s just not polite.
Now let’s get into some paid advertising options.
Look for local print media that serves your target market as well, such as community or neighborhood newspapers or magazines.
- Checklist of items before a showing.
For a standard showing with a realtor involved, please use caution when handing out a lockbox code to anyone, and follow precautionary measures as outlined by your listing brokerage. I always tell my clients this: don’t leave any money or jewelry lying around at home. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Keep your valuables in a safety deposit box or a family or friend’s home while the property is on the market. Here are some additional tips:
A) Keep the place neat and tidy.
B) Make sure the house temperature is comfortable—warm in the winters and cool in the summers. It’s the best feeling to walk into a nice, cold home on a hot summer day or a nice, hot home on a cold winter day.
C) Open all the blinds in the house (let the natural sunlight in).
D) Turn on all the lights in the house and leave them on.
E) Make sure the home smells nice and fresh (don’t cook foods with strong odours for the duration of the listing).
F) Leave the house 5-10 minutes before each showing if there is a realtor involved—people want to see the house alone and be able to freely talk amongst themselves and their realtor.
G) Don’t leave the house if it’s a private showing—you don’t know who is entering the house. Don’t oversell the home—you’ll end up seeming desperate. Remain calm and do a walkthrough with them. Create a features and benefits list about the home and the area, and hand that to them as you show them around.
- Get a Lawyer.
If you’re not using a realtor, your legal fees will be slightly higher, since your lawyer will need to do more paperwork for you and guide you in each step. I try to get my clients to use Nanda Law & Associates, because I have had great experiences with them and they are extremely knowledgeable and reasonably priced. Here is a link to their website: www.nanda.ca
Here is a sample of the documents and clauses you can expect to see when you get an offer: Check out Page 6 for some of the clauses that you can expect to see in an Agreement of Purchase and Sale
***Always consult a lawyer when it comes to legal documents—these are just samples for your knowledge and they will change over time.***
- Home inspector
If you need to consult a home inspector or would like to get a home inspection before you list your home, I would highly recommend you use www.homestars.com. I tell all my clients to use HomeStars because it keeps my hands clean—there are hundreds of professionals and I don’t know who you are going to call. I have noticed in the past that people always complaint about issues in their house and blame their realtor for referring his own Home Inspector. This way if there is an issue you can go and rate the Home Inspector and it’s not reflected on the work I do.
As a matter of fact, you can use this site for any type of contractors when it comes your home. People like yourself will go and rate other professional here.
Here is the link to my marketing Plan that I am currently using to sell home
Here is the link you will need to find out steps to buying a home more efficiently
I hope this has been an informative blog for you and wish you all the very best when it comes to selling your home. This blog is not intended to solicit anyone under a contract. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (416) 994-0188 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org