Although I always steer sellers towards using a real estate company to list their homes, some people want to go FSBO.

But if you are a DIY home stager, you might have what it takes to be a DIY home seller!

It will take some skills and determination to do it right, but that is what all DIY-ers have in common.

Many industries have been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the housing industry is one of them. People are now experiencing more virtual tours and online homebuying, effectively keeping people safe as they buy and sell houses. There is more familiarity with Zoom meetings and Facetime, and that removes some stumbling blocks that existed pre-pandemic.

There are multiple approaches to selling your own home. Read on to learn my advice if you decide to list and market your own home.

Get inspections done

Start your process by scheduling a home inspector to physically come and go over your structure with a fine comb. He'll examine your roof, foundation, HVAC, electrical systems, plumbing, and structural components. Then you'll have a printed inspection report. Anyone financing the purchase will need to buy a separate inspection to show his lender, but your report can build a buyer's confidence.

One inspection you might consider is having your home checked for radon. With more people concerned about healthful living conditions, it could become an issue during your negotiations. One in every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have radon levels at or above the EPA action level. You can also hire a pest control company to test for wood-destroying insects and other pests.

Keep a file of warranties and manuals that come with major appliances. Be prepared to document work that was done to make repairs in electrical or plumbing issues. Paperwork and computer files like this build trust for a potential buyer.

Take good photos and videos

Good images sell homes! Once you've de-cluttered and cleaned and staged your home, your next step is to hire a professional photographer. It's going to pay for itself as reflected in your asking price, selling price, the response you get, and the timing of the sale.

Make it easy for people to know what your home has to offer. Post only clear, accurate, well-lighted, high-quality pictures and videos Since COVID-19, many buyers submit a purchase offer based solely on the listing specs and those photos, something that was hardly conceivable until recently, but something that saves everyone valuable time and energy.

Just as important as the photos is the information you list about your property. I've blogged about how to write a good real estate listing sales copy and about the seven magic words that sell real estate.

Good photos show three surfaces -- ceiling, floor, and wall.
And they tell the viewer something about the floorplan. 

Stay safe

If you're going to be doing this kind of financially important business online, make sure you have good antivirus installed on your laptop or computer so that you are safe while online. The increasing use of the Internet has led to a rise in cybercrime. Don't be a victim. You'll be exchanging delicate, confidential data while your home sale is progressing and you can't risk being hacked. 

Keep yourself safe as well! One advantage to working with a Realtor is that professionals who show homes always get information about people before they take them on a home tour. Consider doing the same thing -- asking for contact information and such things as how the financing will be done. It will deter troublemakers and help you prequalify people. 

Consider working as a team so you are never alone with a prospect. Don't do spontaneous, unscheduled showings. Carry your phone. Consider having protection such as pepper spray or a stun gun. Here is a company I am familiar with that sells self-defense products especially for women.  

When showing your property, always act and dress
professionally and trust your instinct about the
people who are entering your home. Photo: BHG

 Let buyers know

Your next step is researching online to find the websites that have the best reviews and are the most popular. It's the only way to give your home the visibility it deserves and the credibility it needs. This kind of legit exposure will make it less likely for you to be targeted by scammers.

There are now a whopping 1.8 billion websites operating simultaneously throughout the world. You'll have your choice of many where you can advertise your home. You can list in multiple places, like Zillow or Trulia, and on sites such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. You can work with a real estate company or FSBO websites to have the home be on MLS listings. Don't forget to let friends, family, and co-workers know about your home. Have a sign on your property, if allowed by your local ordinances.

Some buyers begin their search for a home by visiting FSBO websites exclusively. If you have good photos and good data you will shine among the listings that look hack or poorly presented. The typical FSBO seller does not have the experience or the will to be a salesperson for his own house. Don't be that person. Get educated.

Many buyers think your home will be bargain-priced
if it is for sale by owner, but don't assume you have to sell
below fair market value. There's no reason to give away money 
 you saved by selling your own home. Photo: MLSmyhome 

Selling a home without a Realtor can be risky, but if you have some information technology skills and the ambition to devote yourself to the process, it can be satisfying and economical. Some Realtors will act as advisors for a reduced rate or make other arrangements to be of assistance. And you can always turn the job over to a qualified listing agent if you find the job gets overwhelming or not productive. You'll definitely want to hire an attorney for the closing.

Give these tips above some consideration, and you may land a buyer for your home faster than you anticipate.