Deanna here... OK, I got the "From A-Z" idea off a different blog, but imitation is a form of flattery, right? OK, here goes a selling by owner version of "From A-Z":
A - Appraisal: This is something to seriously consider to make the process of selling your home as smooth as possible. It will not only give you an unbiased value to help with pricing, but it shows buyers you can be taken seriously.
B - Beware of Signing Documents: There are a lot of good people out there, but we recommend you have legal counsel to make sure nothing comes as a surprise after the house is sold.
C - Comparable Prices: We recommend that you get these values from a title company. Agents have a motive for how they use comps to come up with a price, whereas a title company will just give you raw information to review yourself.
D - Diligence: Selling by owner will save you money, but it does take effort to follow up with people and make a sale..
E - Exposure: The three main variables in selling a home are timing, price, and EXPOSURE. Make sure you are letting people know about your home!
F - Facts: When you're selling your home, suddenly everybody is a real estate expert. Make sure you're getting the facts from people who are experts in their field.
G - Guest Registry: Not only do you have a record of visitors for safety reasons, but you also have a list of interested buyers to follow up with.
H - Home Inspection: This, like an appraisal, is also a helpful tool to keep things running smoothly and to show the buyer you're serious.
I - Interest of Buyers: It can be tricky to judge the interest of buyers as the homeowner because they won't want to hurt your feelings when viewing the home. With a third party buyers will be much more candid. The best clues are return visits and continual contacts.
J - Jumping the Gun: Remember that the house is not sold until the closing papers are signed. It's a good idea to take back-up offers or at least keep names and phone numbers of interested buyers in case something happens to the sale.
K - Know Your Options: Don't let any real estate professionals pressure you into anything. Remember you have a team of experts who are working with you and they are responsible for knowing the logistics.
L - Lenders: Lenders are always willing to help home sellers because it keeps them in contact with buyers who need loans. Check out this resource to see what they can do for you.
M - Market Time: Remember to consider the average market time for the area. If you underestimate the amount of time it will take to sell a house you will be easily frustrated.
N - Newspaper Ad: Get your home in the newspaper. Now that classifieds are online it opens you up to buyers from anywhere in the world.
O - Open House: When selling by owner it's important that your open houses be done differently than a real estate agent style open house. Attend one of our free workshops to learn more.
P - Paperwork: This can be intimidating. Don't worry, there are different experts who can walk you through the whole process.
Q - Questions: It's OK to ask questions! Never be afraid to ask.
R - Return Your Phone Calls: This sounds obvious, but many people expect the buyer to persist. Buyers will move on after running into the slightest trouble.
S - Sanity: A house is a huge transaction. If you are selling it under any outside pressure (e.g. you are making two house payments, you need the money) problems can seem much larger. Sometimes this stress will affect your ability to do your part of the transaction. It is important to know when it is time to hand off some responsibility.
T - Team of Experts: When selling by owner, you are in charge of two things. Knowing your home and hiring a team of experts who will take care of the rest.
U - Understand Your Buyer: Remember that your buyer wants to get the most for their dollar. This is the biggest purchase most people will make so they WILL do their research and know what to expect in their price range.
V - Viewing: When prospective buyers do come to view your home it's good to declutter to make it look more spacious. You will also want your home to be as light and bright as possible. You want them to picture themselves at home there..
W - Wait: Sometimes there is nothing left to do but wait for the right buyer. Remember the 'M' for market time.
X - X Factor: You were wondering what I was going to say for 'X', weren't you? Each house has a huge selling factor (e.g. great view, huge shop, original woodwork, etc.). You need to find out the 'X' factor for your home and really show it off.
Y - Yard Sign: Although a yard sign can not advertise to people in other communities, it is one of the biggest advertisers you will have... especially in high traffic areas and on sunny, Sunday afternoons.
Z - Zeal: One of our customers describes this best in an email, "Love your home so much that you don't want to sell it. (Believe me, that spirit comes through to the potential Buyer)."