For Sale by Owner

Planning and Preparing Your Home for Sale – Without a Realtor!

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How to Show (and SELL) Your Home

You’ve done your research. You’ve priced your home, cleaned and freshened it up. Your sign is hung out and you’ve worked hard on creating an intriguing ad. You told everyone you know that you’re selling your home. Now you wait for the phone to ring.


How do you handle calls from buyers? What do you ask? How do you get them to come visit?

First of all, make sure you get the call. If you only have one line then sign up for the call waiting feature from your telephone company. Instruct everyone in the household to take calls that come through and pass on to you any calls for inquiries on the house.

Second, try to take the call in a quiet (or quieter) area with all your information in front of you. Have your feature list handy to answer any of their questions and have a list of your own. Have a calendar to book appointments.

Ask them for their name and phone number, in case you need to contact them. Set up a time for them to come over, and try to motivate them to come as soon as possible. If your home has been viewed before, mention to them that there is interest so they should try to come as soon as convenient. Also mention if you are having an open house since the added traffic will make your home more desirable.

Tips on Booking Appointments

Try to book appointments on the same day and in 15 to 20 minute intervals. One potential buyer will be walking in the door just as another is leaving. The increased activity will create a feeling of urgency in your prospects. Do they really want to loose the home to the nice couple that came out ahead of them? Or to the family that is heading in while they’re still looking around? You have to work the angles if you want to compete with the realtor selling down the street.

You don’t want to waste your time or your caller’s. You might be able to push for some extra information if the caller permits. Keep your voice friendly (smiling while talking on the phone will help – just consider it mind over matter). And try not to be too put off by the caller’s phone manner, they may be nervous or hate talking on the phone.

Ask them questions about what kind of home they are looking for and try to get a feel for the price range. If you know they wouldn’t be interested or can’t afford it (perhaps they are downsizing and you’re selling a three bedroom home) you shouldn’t bother booking an appointment.

You might ask if they are currently selling a home or renting. When do they need to move in and have they already been approved for a mortgage? If they haven’t been pre-qualified you might ask questions about where they work, how long they’ve been looking for a place, etc. Be very tactful and conversational. You don’t want to interrogate them.

If you get this information you will have an idea if they are really ready to buy your property if they’re interested. It will also tell you how much help they may still need if they like the place but are unsure how to proceed.

In some cases you will find that these few comments may weed out some who are not reasonably able to work with you. This will avoid the exasperation and disappointment of showing your home too many times to unlikely buyers. However, in most cases you will want to encourage a viewing so keep their answers for referral later.

Having an Open House

It’s time to open your home to the masses.

The most common day to choose for an open house is Sunday. Sunday is relaxed, the errands are done and people can see the home during the day. It is an excellent time to find people in a buying mood.

Put an announcement in the paper earlier in the week, as well as Saturday and Sunday. Your ad might read as follows:


13 - 1233 Roberts Lane, Anytown

2 Bedroom, 2 bath Condo – Great Views! $133,000

Visit or call Dean xxx-xxxx

Be sure to give an indication of what size or type of home they are viewing as well as price and area. These are typically the criteria that most prospects make their judgments by. Leave out any other details since you’d rather they just come and see for themselves.

You should list a phone number in case an interested prospect can’t make it to the open house.

If you miss the deadline, put out an open house sign in your yard anyway. You should be able to find one at your home and garden center or a sign shop. You may be able to pick up traffic from browsers as they drive around the areas they’re looking for a home.

Now that your advertising is done, get everything ready for scrutiny. Most of the tasks of repair and maintenance have already been done in preparation for putting your home on the market. Some people, however, forget the last minute upkeep that will strongly influence a buyer’s perspective.



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