5 Steps on How to sell a house by owner in NJ

Richard Latimer

February 8, 2021

There is a growing interest in how to sell a house “by owner” in NJ due to the sizable real estate commission that the alternative demands. This article aims to help those attempting to sell their homes without an experienced real estate agent’s aid.

Also, note that if you are looking to sell your house in New Jersey, we buy houses in NJ and would love to give a free estimate!

Accurate knowledge of the market comes with years of experience, and that is why a real estate expert’s services are so valued. However, a house for sale “by owner” in New Jersey can obtain the same price if the seller follows a few simple rules.

The process may seem daunting at first, yet it is manageable if you take the time to research each step.

Why bother with learning how to sell a house by “by owner” in NJ?

Why should an owner bother to go through the arduous process of being his/her own real estate agent?

The process will involve a lot of research regarding your local market. Also, the seller has to handle all of the paperwork.

Old Man And Women Want To Sell A House By Owner In Nj

This extra work is an investment, yet it is balanced by what you stand to gain.

The medium commission in New Jersey is approximately 4.8% to 5.6%. This statistic means that you will pay around $20,300 in real estate commissions for a property whose value is $364,000. For any person, that amount is not negligible.

You will also eliminate the listing commission, which is 2.7% on average. On top of all these costs, you also have the buyer’s agent’s commission, which is 2.5%. Of course, averages imply that half of the payments are even higher than the rates listed.

As an additional benefit, you will be in control of the entire process. Those who own houses that are for sale “by owner”  in NJ real estate can establish the schedule of showings, determine every step of the negotiation process, and flesh-out the pricing strategy.

It should be noted that property for sale “by owner” in New Jersey goes for 6% less on average than their agent-managed counterparts. That price reduction represents a sizable risk. Yet, for an increasing number of people, the risk is offset by the benefits.

That being said, let’s take a look at the top five steps on how to sell a house “by owner” in NJ:

1. Learn to evaluate the real market value of your property accurately.

The step in our 5 steps of "how to sell a house by owner in NJ" is finding the market value. This action represents the foundation of the entire process. Underselling your own house is a frustrating mistake. Many homeowners describe this mistake as “gnawing at them,” as they realize that the house sold for less than it was actually worth.

Yet, the opposite mistake can be made, where an owner sets an unreasonably high price. As a result, months and even years can pass before the house receives an offer.

Here are a few ways to establish the real market value of your home:

Use the Internet

The Internet will be your most dependable resource as you research how to sell your house by owner in NJ. You can use Zestimate on or access a similar site such as Trulia.

These platforms will not charge you anything for evaluating the cost of your house. Yet, it can be argued that these numbers are not entirely accurate. Values can have a hefty margin of error, often miscalculating by thousands of dollars.

Ask an agent

Having your house for sale “by owner” in New Jersey implies that you do not want to pay a real estate agent’s commission. However, most agents will happily evaluate your home. Their guess will be an informed one, given their knowledge of the local market.

The seller should be careful. The real estate agent is hoping to get a chance to list the house, so his/her estimate might be a little high. This high-ball number is quoted in hopes of tempting you into hiring the agent, yet it will be one of the most accurate values that you can get for free.

Contact a specialized appraiser.

The two methods mentioned previously cost nothing. This third method of appraisal is not free, but it is by far the most accurate. Some licensed appraisers specialize in estimating the actual market value of your house.

Sell A House By Owner In Nj

Accuracy is not the only advantage. The appraiser will put his name on the estimation, meaning that you can use it in price negotiations with potential buyers. An assessment that was done by the owner, no matter how accurate, will never carry so much weight.

The cost represents the major drawback. In New Jersey, an expert appraiser will offer his/her services for around $300 - $500. Also, while the report may be useful in negotiation with the buyer, it cannot be used as an appraisal for the mortgage application because you commissioned it.

2. Get the house ready for visits.

The second step in our 5 steps of "how to sell a house by owner in NJ" is the preparation phase. You would have to go through this step even if the house wasn’t for sale “by owner” in the NJ real estate market. As the seller, you have to play devil’s advocate and walk through your home while trying to find flaws.

This process can be a little demoralizing, but it matches the attitude of an interested client. He understands that he will inherit all of your property’s problems, along with its comforts. Also, pointing out flaws usually gives buyers leverage in negotiations.

If you think that you are too subjective, it is possible to ask a friend to do a walk through and point out flaws. Of course, this may strain your relationship, so make an effort not to take it personally.

It may be too late to redecorate, but there are ways to improve the aesthetics without straining your budget. Small additions and trinkets will leave a better subconscious impression.

Understandably, you cannot turn your house into a showroom, especially if you need to live in it. However, here are a few tips to improve the aesthetics of a home that is for sale “by owner” in NJ real estate:

  • The walls are essential. If the color is looking worn-out and faded, try and repaint. The effort is moderate to minimal, but the effect is priceless. It can leave even a lackluster room looking crisp and new. In terms of color, side with neutral shades. Most clients prefer these inoffensive variants.
  • More is less when it comes to object density and clutter. The lines and spaces of a home must have a particular flow. Try to keep areas free, and make sure to review the number of furnishings and decorations in every room.

This also includes the garage or attic.

  • No matter how luxurious or large property, it will repel clients if it’s perceived to be unclean. Bad smells and messes hit the back of our lizard brain, triggering a disgusted reaction.  Make sure to air out the home at all times, and use some room fresheners. Most people hate that dank, moist smell of a house that hasn’t been aired out.

If all else fails and you do not have time to handle your private affairs and a job while keeping your home in showroom condition, it is possible to invest in a home staging agency. Their services aren’t free, but they can increase your chances of getting an offer.

3. Marketing and advertising

The 3rd step in our 5 steps of "how to sell a house by owner in NJ" is how to market your house. The greatest mistake that you can make is to rely on a single advertisement method. You need as much exposure as possible, even though it is time-consuming to explore all marketing options.

  • Make brochures, flyers, and lawn signs.

It takes less than an hour to make a brochure or a flyer. If you want to include pictures or graphics, it can take a little more.  Regardless, you can edit these in almost any word processor such as Microsoft Word.

They should contain essential information such as the number of rooms, the address, the price, and the seller’s contact info. Pamphlets can be distributed whenever someone does express even vague interest in purchasing a property.

The benefits of lawn signs are apparent, as they can advertise to people who aren’t necessarily in your circle of acquaintances. Anyone passing by will be notified of your intent to sell.

  • Use online advertising

It is possible to post info regarding a house for sale “by owner” in New Jersey on many online platforms. First, the seller can market to their social media circle. Also, there are specialized platforms such as Craigslist or Zillow.com.

  • Hold an open house event.

Just as the name suggests, the owner is opening his house to the public.

These special days are usually held on weekends when the weather is pleasant. It is ideal to begin advertising the event about two weeks before it occurs.

4. Take charge of negotiations.

The 4th step in our 5 steps of "how to sell a house by owner in NJ" is negotiating like a boss. The most challenging aspect of how to sell a house “by owner” in NJ may be the negotiation stage. Given the lack of a real estate agent, the seller must deal directly with the buyer. Of course, most buyers will seek to advance what is in their best interest, such as asking for a lower price. Also, potential buyers may even demand that the owner pays for the closing costs.

Compromising too much will result in a smaller amount of money for the owner. However, an overly-rigid approach will cause clients to move on and seek other properties.  A balance must be struck via discussion.

The first stage of negotiation usually involves verbal haggling. After, the potential buyer will provide a written offer.

Those who want to learn how to sell a house “by owner” in NJ must have a few state-specific real estate contracts available. The blank templates can be found on the web, then downloaded and printed.

Ensure that the contract includes all relevant details such as the closing costs, the total price, the closing date, and the items included in the transaction (furniture, appliances, etc.).

Parties can also include contingencies. Clients can insist on a visit from a specialized home inspector, while the seller can demand to see a copy of the buyer’s mortgage status.

The location of the closing must be agreed upon by both parties.

     5.Manage the closing process

The last step in our 5 steps of "how to sell a house by owner in NJ" is handling the closing process!

Having a property for sale “by owner” in New Jersey gives the seller almost complete control and autonomy. However, the closing process must involve a title agent or a lawyer. They will instruct the seller regarding the legal procedures.

The closing agent will make sure that the process is successfully completed. He may contact you along the way, asking for certain documents and information. It is in your best interest to provide those docs as soon as possible.

There will be a time gap between the contract signing and the closing time. The sellers and buyers should stay in contact and maintain good relations. Parties who get along are much more likely to resolve contentions swiftly.

Owners need to realize that even approved loans can have their approval revoked. The mortgage approval can have conditions that must be met between the loan’s validation and the final closing date. If conditions are not met, the deal can fall through.

The seller, buyer, mortgage agent, and closing agent must maintain a four-way communication loop.

Conclusion of "How to sell a house by owner in NJ"

Learning how to sell a house by owner in NJ is not difficult if given the right information. The advantages are clear, as that the owner gets to keep most of his money. Also, he maintains complete control over the entire process.

However, those who wish to enjoy the benefits of having a house for sale ” by owner” in New Jersey real estate must also do a sizable amount of extra work.

Sellers must accurately evaluate the actual market price of their home. After, they have to review and fix any flaws, market the property online and offline, negotiate with the clients, and manage the closing.

If you like this article we wrote a similar article but instead of being "How to sell a house by owner in NJ" it is "How to sell a house without a realtor" check it out!

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