If you’re selling your home in the DC Metro area (whether it's in Maryland, Virginia or Washington DC), you’ve no doubt contemplated paying thousands of dollars in commission fees. The question is, would you rather pay a real estate agent to sell your house, or pocket the fees and sell your home yourself?
DIY home improvement toolsGoing full steam ahead and putting your home for sale by owner (FSBO) is no easy task, but it’s a decision countless others have made. If you choose the DIY home selling method, be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into it.
You’ll basically have to act as your own real estate agent, accomplishing each task successfully to ensure that your home sells for the right price. So if you’re committed to selling your FSBO home, here are the roles that you will be filling.
Be an Exterior Landscaper and Interior Decorator
When you’re preparing your DC Metro home to sell on the market, you’ll first have to stage it so that it brings across the best first impression to potential home buyers. The interior and exterior decorating of your home truly impacts the way your home sells.
Potential home buyers perceive that the outside of your home reflects what’s on inside, so you’ll also want to make sure that the way your home looks from the curb beckons visitors to take a closer look.
Jump into the role of a landscaper to spruce up your home’s curb appeal from the outside, and then move indoors to set the stage for your visitors. Here are the elements you should definitely consider when decorating your DC Metro home:
scrubbing carpets to seem like new
deep cleaning pet odors out of your home
filling cracks in your driveway
power washing the outside of your house
decluttering your closets and living areas
painting your rooms with neutral colors
Be a Professional Photographer
Once you’ve cleaned your house inside and out, it’s time to capture your home’s visual appeal. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. Stunning photos of your home say more about your home’s beauty than a description ever could.
It’s not enough to professionally stage your home and depersonalize your living spaces. You need to make sure your hard work gets noticed in your home marketing materials or on the local Washington, D.C. MLS.
If you want home buyers to take notice of your property, you will need to take immaculate photos that show off your home’s best features. This means ditching your iPhone and upgrading to a professional camera. Savvy real estate agents also know a video tour of a home gives it even more exposure, especially when it’s posted to YouTube.
Become a Home Appraiser
If you’re going to find that sweet price — not too high, and not too low — you will need to research the current DC Metro real estate market. Really research it.
You’ll want to find out how much homes have sold for in your neighborhood in the last 6 months — especially those properties that are similar to yours in size, features, condition and floor plan.
The true market value of your home can come from a comparative market analysis. It will take all your property upgrades and your neighborhood’s property values into account when finding the value.
Be an Effective Home Marketer
open house sign in yardSticking a sign into your front lawn will probably only broadcast your home for sale within your DC Metro subdivision. When you’re selling your home yourself, you need to become your own online and print marketer to effectively reach the largest audience of DC Metro home buyers possible.
Print brochures, host an open house, and broadcast your FSBO home on social media. This is where you can add the stunning home photos, descriptions of your home’s features, and the appeal of your property and neighborhood.
Remember, you’re not just trying to sell your house locally. You’re attempting to reach home buyers from across the country or even the globe. This will take a great website
optimized for these buyers so it offers tons of information about your home. Today’s real estate marketers are experts at web design, coding, search engine optimization, social marketing, and content generation. You’ll need to fulfill these roles as well.
Be Your Own Representative
Real estate agents act with the home seller’s best interests in mind when showing potential buyers around a home. Selling your home yourself means that you need to act as the real estate agent, accepting all forms of feedback — both good and bad.
Some DC Metro home buyers may not be comfortable expressing their honest opinion of the wallpaper in your living room or the smell of kitty litter that you’ve grown accustomed to. They may also feel like they’re invading your personal space by touring their potential new house with you, the homeowner, next to them.
We all look at our home through rose-colored glasses. Listening to negative feedback is crucial to sell your home, but it’s not something that’s pleasant to hear.
Be a Security Guard
When you’re starting to show potential buyers your new home, you need to make sure that your property is secure. When someone shows up at your door, are they truly interested in buying home? Or are they burglars? You can’t know for sure.
And what if you’re not at home and someone requests a showing for that very moment? Real estate agents either elect to show homes for sale themselves or leave your house keys in a lockbox. But even if you put a combination lock on your home, it still runs the risk of getting broken into.
You need to act as your own security guard to protect the home that you still own and the belongings within it.
Other Hats You Need to Wear
These few aspects to the home selling process are by no means an exhaustive list. You also have to play the part of:
home improvement expert
home financing guru
and many, many more…
I’ve Seen Enough!
Rarely do FSBO homes even sell successfully without the assistance from a real estate agent. Even if you consider keeping the single-digit commission fees, selling your own DC Metro home comes with a lot of headaches that you'll find may not be worth it.
At this point, you may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even fearful of the home selling process. But don’t worry!
Enjoy Peace of Mind with Our DC Metro Real Estate Team
We take on all of these roles for you, and then some. So when you’re selling your DC Metro home, you can save yourself the stress and let us guide you through the real estate process, from listing to closing.
We are here to save you time, money, and worry. Contact us to get started.
Work With Us
We have the real estate experience, marketing prowess, and in-depth local knowledge to help you buy or sell your dream home.