Selling your own home
Published: Sep 18, 2013
Selling your property without the assistance of a licensed Bahamas real estate agent may sound easy enough. However, if you decide to sell your home on your own, be aware that there are several very important steps for you to take into consideration before properly marketing your home.
Now, before you decide to take on a second job as a real estate agent, make sure you know what you’re getting into first.
Learn as much as you can about the sales process and exactly what it will entail in order for you to attract those very precious qualified buyers. By being properly informed, you will be better suited to decide whether or not it’s a good idea for you to go about selling your property on your own.
I have listed below several important steps you must take in order to attract qualified buyers that will be willing and able to pay your price. These are some of the immediate steps we real estate agents take upon your signing a listing agreement.
1. Evaluate the local market and comparable home values according to recent sales in your area.
2. Price your home according to the recent sale comparables to make sure you will be competitive in a very competitive market.
3. Staging your home can require taking care of painters, repair persons, etc.
4. Take interior and exterior pictures.
5. Place a sign on the front yard and directional signs in main traffic areas so people can find your home.
6. Create advertising material to share with clients.
7. Placing the listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is only available to BREA agents. As an owner without a real estate license, you will be excluded from entering your property on the Multiple Listing Service. The MLS is a very important marketing tool which reaches over 200 plus agents and their clients in The Bahamas.
8. Send out postcards and emails to prospective buyers in your database (if you do not have a database of potential buyers, this may also be a difficult task for you to do).
9. Prepare an inventory of what will be included in the sale of your home.
10. Prepare media advertising and be ready to answer every phone call from people calling about your home. Failing to answer your phone may cause you to lose the one important buyer you are looking for. With many properties to choose from, a buyers will quickly move on to the next listing if they do not get immediate answers to all of their questions.
11. Arranging for buyer’s visits to your property can be time consuming and hard to organize. You must be available when the buyers want to see your home.
12. Qualify buyers before they come into your property. Be careful about just opening your doors to strangers being lured by your sign. With today’s crime escalating, you must be very cautious; the last thing you want is to find yourself standing at your front door with a gun to your head. A real estate agent will ask the right questions before they bring a stranger into your home to make sure they are legitimate buyers.
13. Hold one or more open houses which should include weekdays and weekends. Make sure to provide refreshments and to place signs in strategic areas announcing the open house. Agents in The Bahamas will usually host brokers and clients open houses by invitation only.
14. Make sure you evaluate the strength of each offer and strategize on issues like whether to accept or reject an offer outright or make a counteroffer, and whether to also look for, or arrange a backup offer.
15. Once you have a sale, you will need to coordinate the closing process with your attorney and make sure to follow up throughout the entire process. Closing a sale may take up to 90 days or longer.
16. Be prepared to be a messenger and to carry documents from one attorney to the other.
17. Follow up with bankers to make sure the buyer’s financing is being processed.
If the above sounds like a lot of work to you, well, you are right. A real estate career is a 24/7 job and at times it may not be a very glamorous one. Be sure you are prepared to take the task of selling seriously, failing to do so will translate into total aggravation and a waste of time and money.
• Carmen Massoni is president of Bahama Islands Realty and has 18 years of experience in the real estate profession in The Bahamas. She has been the recipient of many international awards recognizing her as a top producer amongst her peers. If you have any questions or need real estate advice, call 322-7770 or email Carmen@BahamaIslandsRealty.com.