The real estate market is booming in Florida right now. Sales figures are impressive and properties are being swapped off the market like hot cakes. With so much going on, sellers in the state might be curious about how to sell a house by owner in Florida and make the maximum from it.
While this route works for many, it does have its own set of challenges, including selling the property for less than its fair market value.
In this article, we cover practical steps on how to sell a house by owner in Florida. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Make your home sale-ready
This is the first and most important step when selling a house without a realtor. Basic updates like repairing dents, simple landscaping, a fresh coat of paint, etc. give buyers peace of mind when they make an offer and also help avoid any inspection-related closing delays.
Declutter your home to give it a good feel. Then comes staging. You can hire a professional stager to make your house picture-perfect for showings. However, this could be expensive.
In Florida, hiring a professional stager will cost you around $3,100. This will give you 60-90 days of fully designed kitchen, living room, dining, master bedroom, and bathrooms.
So, if you have the time and energy, then you can save on this cost by staging your home yourself. A pro tip here: avoid carpet as it is very unpopular in the Sunshine state.
Once the house is nicely staged, photograph it. High-quality images of your property can make a big difference in drawing buyers.
Step 2: Price your home
It could be difficult to price your home accurately without top real estate agents. But worry not. These days, home sellers have many online tools at their disposal. You can look at comparable listings in your area online.
Sites like Zillow, Redfin, and other listing platforms give you features like Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help with pricing.
If you are not too comfortable with your estimates, you can opt for a professional appraisal of your home. In Florida, an appraisal costs $300 to $400.
Never price your home too low or too high. Your pricing strategy will decide how much money you take off the table.
Step 3: Market your home
Today’s internet-savvy buyers rely on the internet to look for their next home. Therefore, having an online presence should be your number one priority when it comes to marketing.
Listing your house on the multiple listing service (MLS) will give you maximum exposure. But since you don’t have a realtor, you cannot list on the MLS by yourself.
Using the services of a flat fee MLS Florida company will help you list on the local MLS. A flat fee MLS Florida company like Houzeo will charge an upfront fee (usually between $100 and $400) to list your house.
These companies offer packages, which include other services in addition to basic listings.
Social media is a great tool to spread the word about your house. Leverage these channels to their fullest.
Step 4: Manage showings
If you have priced your home competitively and marketed it efficiently, chances are you will start getting leads.
Once buyers start contacting you, you would require a system to track your showing appointments.
Set up a digital calendar to remind you of the showing appointments and take notes about the buyer.
Step 5: Negotiate
Negotiations go much beyond the final sale price. You and your buyer will need to agree upon the timelines, contract contingencies, division of closing costs, and more.
As an FSBO seller, you should be mindful of the home appraisal contingency, which buyers usually add as a safeguard if the appraised value of the property is lower than the purchase price. You are unlikely to find a contingency-free contract, but as Florida is a seller’s market, your buyer can waive one or more conditions to strengthen their offer.
If you wish to get more leverage, try offering seller concessions. This may cost you a little more at closing, but will incline the buyer in your favor and can result in a higher final price.
Step 6: Close
Once you go under contract with your buyer and finalize the purchase agreement, escrow opens. In Florida, real-estate closings are facilitated and funds distributed through a title company.
The title company collects and distributes closing costs, gets signatures, ensures sellers have the correct documents and file them with the pertinent authorities.
This was an overview of how to sell a house by owner in Florida. If you are a tenacious seller, you will not bat an eyelid at the above-outlined steps. However, for many FSBO sellers, the actual execution could a very challenging.
Weigh in all your options before deciding how you want to sell your house. After all, this is a major life decision and cannot be taken in a vacuum.