“Can I sell my house on my own?” This is a question that most people who are thinking of selling their house ask themselves at some point. After all, today second-hand sale is much simpler: The Internet allows us not only to advertise anything we want to sell to thousands of people with a few clicks, but to learn things that were previously more difficult to find out. In fact, you may have come to this article looking for advice to sell your house without a real estate agency, and we have the answers for you. Shall we start?
How to price my house?
Without an agency, the job of putting a price your home rests on your shoulders, with all the research it entails. Of course, you can choose to sell the house for what you consider fair, without doing any research, but then you incur the risk of selling your house for a lower value than you deserve, or never selling it because it’s too expensive.
To do the research, you have to study other houses that are similar to yours and more or less in the same area, and know the market conditions well (whether the price is rising or falling, or the country is in recession, etc.). Selling a house in La Mata is not the same as selling a house in Torretas, and you have to be aware of each of the differences involved.
Also, if you can, you should figure out the situation that your buyers are going to face; what price will the mortgage have? Will they be able to access a loan, or is it difficult? How much money should they have in cash?
Finally, decide the margin of negotiation on the price, since it is very possible that your possible buyer wants to negotiate. That way, you’ll make sure that the transaction is satisfactory for both parties.
The fearsome bureaucracy.
Gathering all the necessary documentation to sell the home can be a long and laborious process that must be planned in advance, and carefully investigated. You will need a Certificate of Energy Efficiency, a Certificate of Habitability, proof of being up to date with the payments of the community if you live in one… those are just some of the documents that you will need, besides, of course, a bulletproof earnest money contract.
The earnest money contract (contrato de arras, in Spanish) is prior to the contract of sale of the house, and is essentially a guarantee for buyer and seller, which formalizes the reservation of the house and stipulates what each party is committed to, especially in relation to costs associated with the sale.
The lack of a document, or not calling a professional to draft contracts, can cause many problems that slow down the sale or ruin it completely. We know that there are many contract models hanging around the Internet, but our advice is that you never trust one of those.
Oh! And don’t forget to keep track of each visit you make to the house, just in case. After all, you don’t know the people you’re showing your house to, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Advertise your home.
In a previous post we gave you some tips to make your home attractive to potential buyers, both when taking pictures for advertising and when you’re bringing visitors. Nowadays, putting a sign for sale on the balcony is not enough; buyers have access to hundreds of homes online, and you have to make yours stand out. Make good photos, an amazing description, tell everyone why your home is the best option on the market. Make it different.
In a market like the one in Torrevieja, where so many houses are sold, putting a house for sale without a marketing strategy is almost like not doing it at all. Investigate the best real estate portals, optimize your ads, and see how the offers rain down on you.
… and if they do not rain on you, it’s time to analyse the competition. If nobody is calling you, despite having good photos, a good description, and a good price, there’s something other home sellers are doing that you aren’t.
Prepare for the visits.
Some recommend buying a second phone to answer calls from interested individuals, so that you don’t have to provide your personal number and you can filter calls more easily. The subject of availability is complicated; you should be able to answer calls at any time, and not only outside working hours, since you never know when the ideal buyer will arrive. In Torrevieja, many of the buyers are retired, or come from other places in Spain, which means that their schedules are different from yours. By the time you return the call, they may have already found another property that interests them.
It’s also convenient that you learn to differentiate between a serious buyer and one that isn’t, to make sure you don’t waste your time. Preparing your home for a visit is complicated (you need to clean it, tidy it up, and then conduct the visit itself) and the last thing you need is a buyer who just wants to window shop.
You will also have to be able to answer all the questions posed by prospective buyers, as this will generate confidence and greater purchase intention.