Real Estate Insights


Tips When Selling by Owner

Selling your home by owner is the ultimate challenge in our great DIY culture.  But do you really know what you are getting yourself into?  Beyond the contracts, negotiations, and local certifications for resale, I have compiled a few key tips to help you increase the odds of attracting serious buyers and getting your home sold… yourself, fast, and at top dollar!

Understand Your Market

Before placing your home on the market it is vital that you understand local conditions.  Research similarly sold and listed homes and understand their days on market and why.  Just because a neighbor sets a certain price for their home does not necessarily mean you should be at the same price.  Understand your comparables and price competitively. 

Kick Up the Marketing... BIG TIME!

From the start you will be at a disadvantage to agent-listed homes for market exposure (87% of buyers work with an agent) and Listing Agents do this for a living.  Because of this you will need to put your marketing in overdrive.  

  • Get professional photos and a 3D tour
  • Hold Open Houses and record contact info for all guests
  • Diligently follow up with all buyer inquiries and open houses guests
  • Setup a webpage to showcase your home and collect potential buyer details
  • Run paid ad campaigns on Facebook and Google
  • Leverage Facebook free platform for ads
  • Mail postcards to a targeted audience
  • Get on the phones... start notifying as many REALTORS as possible that your home is available

GET THE WORD OUT!  The more exposure… the more buyers see your home… the better your chances are of selling at top dollar. 

Have a Pricing Strategy

Always remember why you are selling.  Don’t linger on price, be aggressive with the timing of your price adjustments and set realistic expectations.  You are selling by owner, so buyers will expect to reap some of the commission savings as well, so be sure to factor that in.  Remember, people and price sell a home, so before you drop the price and cost yourself thousands, be sure that you have done everything you can to gain exposure of your home and attract buyers.  

Know Your Buyer and the Contract

When presented with an offer it is important to understand the commitment you are making to this buyer just as they are committing to you.  When you accept an offer you are taking your home off the market and bypassing other potential buyers for anywhere from 15-45 days on average.  For this reason it is important to go beyond offer price and look at some of the other details of the contract AND THE BUYER!   

Know Your Math

There are two parts that make up the total commission a seller pays when using an agent, the “buy side” and the “list side”.  When you sell by owner, typically you are saving the commission paid on the “list side”.  It is recommended that even when selling by owner you offer a “buy side” commission.  Why???  Because most buyers use an agent to help them (87%), so the best way to attract agents with buyers is to offer at least one side of the commission.  What you then have to ask yourself is, “Am I really saving that much money selling on my own”?  My suggestion would be to talk with a REALTOR®, see how their commission structure works, then make the decision that is right for you.  All commissions are negotiable, so it is worth your time to speak with a licensed professional.  

Educating yourself on your options is free, making a mistake could cost you thousands! 


I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Matt Kapusta, Licensed PA & NJ REALTOR
215-431-8412 (m)

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