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By owner sales tips in 2019

8 important facts for selling your own home by owner

Photo by Brian Babb

1. Take the “personal” out of the real estate selling process.

Remove the personal relationship you have with your home by treating your home sale as a business.  Forget the fond memories and consider all of the features, and benefits your home has to offer.

2. Pricing your home accurately is critical.

The financial markets change on a dime.  Just because you invest $1,000 for a share of stock at the beginning of the year doesn’t mean it’s going to be worth that same price at year’s end. Understand that the real estate market is similar. Your home may have been worth $500,000 in 2000, but the value will probably be considerably different in 2019. Value is dependent on the outcome of a thorough comparative market analysis or appraisal, supply and demand of the market, appreciation or depreciation and micro-economics.

3. Pricing your home accurately is critical, part II.  

Figuring out the current market price of your home is paramount in selling your home close to the list price and in a timely fashion.  Remember with any typeof financing, appraisers are going to adjust your home’s value up or down compared to other similarly sold properties based on the property location, age, condition, lot size and improvements made. If an appraiser comes in with a value lower than your agreed sales contract price, you may be forced to reduce the selling price to the value of the appraisal. Real Estate websites can assist you in determining market value such as Zillow, Google or even local sites that publish closed home sales.

4. Real estate is hyer-local.

Comparing your property’s value to another property in a different neighborhood, town or village is counter-productive. One town/village/area of the city may be up in value while another may be down. Today’s Millennial buyers are seeking properties with a close proximity to urban areas where there is outstanding walkability and easy access to transportation, restaurants, gyms and coffee shops.

5. De-clutter, De-clutter, De-clutter.

If you’ve been in your home for many years you’ve most likely accumulated lots of stuff.  A seasoned realtor or professional organizer or stager can help you determine what items can be sold, stored or donated.  For example, they’ll remove area rugs to showcase hardwood flooring and increase the size of a room, take down personal photos, store religious accessories, replace or remove cat-dog pillows, clean carpets, and add accessories such as small plants, bowl of fruit, fresh towels for that extra special touch.

6. Freshen up your home to increase price.  

If you want to get the highest price for your property, consider making improvements. Examples include painting walls and baseboard with light colors, cleaning the front door and windows-window sills, taking down old wall paper if dark or frilly, changing outdated light fixtures, installing brighter & consistent lightbulbs throughout, adding a NEST or similar digitally programmed thermostat, and replacing old heating and air systems, roofs and water heaters.

7. First Impressions are everything.

You’ve heard it before, you only get once chance to make a first impression.  That’s why it’s critical to put your best foot forward by having the best photographs taken and floorplans created that will highlight your property. Consider a video or 3D Tour for added exposure.

8. List on the MLS

Even if you decide to sell your home on your own, consider listing it on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Although you’ll have to hire a discount brokerage firm and potentially pay a co-operative commission to a buyer’s realtor, listing your home on the MLS allows the greatest exposure for your property.  The MLS syndicates its listings to all of the major real estate/realtor websites such as Zillow,, Trulia, @Properties, and other major real estate websites.

Harry Maisel is Illinois licensed real estate broker with @ Properties and is consistently in the top 1% of Chicago real estate brokers.  He has assisted hundreds of sellers and buyers in more than $200 million of transactions over the last 18 years. Connect with Harry at 773-502-7622 or

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