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by Sally Boone
(Los Angeles, California, USA)

If you have a real estate agent, he or she will help you discover what upgrades, renovations, and clean up jobs need to occur. But if you took the do it yourself route, then you have to analyze everything on your own – from the foundation of your home to the roof and everything in between.

Marketing your home will be on the shoulders of the agent if you have one. If not, you’ll need to begin the process by yourself. Selling a homedoesn’t require a large ad budget. You can use online listings, but first you have to have a ballpark figure to list your home for sale.

Get a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) and an Appraisal. The CMA will tell you what homes in your area that are comparable to yours (key phrase there!) are selling for. The appraisal will give you an idea of your own home’s value and worth.

Not every marketing method is free, but some are low-cost so that you don’t have to shell out a fortune. If you take the do it yourself path, then recognize that the investment of advertising your home for sale isn’t as much as you’d have to pay in commission to a real estate agent doing the work for you.

Start with a For Sale By Owner sign in your front yard. List your home for sale in real estate magazines, in the local paper and on flyers if you have somewhere you feel would reach buyers.

Use the Internet to help you reach prospects, too! The ‘net is free, viral (meaning people share the information), and available 24/7. You can promote your home with a video on YouTube, list it on Craig’s List, or create a simple website with its own domain where you list pictures and details about your house to generate interest in your home.

Many home buyers are doing most of the initial work themselves – looking online for homes they want to consider, doing an initial drive-by of the location, and then contacting an agent to show them the houses they’ve narrowed it down to.

Remember how we talked about using a lawyer to draw up the necessary paperwork for the do it yourself process? Well you can also find discount brokerage co-ops where they handle some of the real estate agent tasks for you for a smaller fee, which is often charged to the buyer!

As Kirk Lautensleger, a co-op discount brokerage firm founder said, “Rather than giving our clients a fruit basket when they close on a house, we give them a check for several thousand dollars.”

Buyers save commission to their agents, so your Internet listing can help you get a better price for the sale of the home. If they save $7,000 to their own agent, that’s $7,000 more they can afford to spend on yourhome.

These firms can help you put your home in the MLS listings and they can add it to other online advertising spots you can’t access. But you don’t have to pay the entire agent commission as you would if you hired an agent for the full process.

Updated: November 11, 2012 — 3:53 am

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