Most of the time, when people try to sell a home by themselves, things don’t go as planned. Learning how to sell a house by owner — commonly called a FSBO — can be a daunting task, especially in competitive real estate markets like Northern Virginia and the hot neighborhoods in Washington DC

Part of the reason that trying to do a FSBO is so difficult and stressful is because most home owners do not have the experience or education necessary to get a good deal. Selling a home quickly takes a lot of knowledge and market savvy, which is why good real estate agents spend so much time on training. 

With that being said, there are some things that a real estate agent will not tell you about how to get the most money for your home is a FSBO. 

How To Market Your Home

Selling a home isn’t as easy as simply putting it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and waiting for buyers to show up at your door. If you want to compete with other owners, you need to be able to market your home effectively. 

Odds are, however, you don’t have the budget or technology to give your home the marketing it needs. At the Keri Shull Team, we spend tens of thousands of dollars marketing our listings every single month. We also use the most cutting-edge strategies and technology to put your home in front of the most buyers possible, so that we can drive bidding wars and competing offers on your home. 

We employ a full team of marketing professionals to share your home through social media, paid advertisements, and top-notch email marketing. This means that any time someone lists their home with us, we can guarantee to find a buyer for their home — or else we will buy it ourselves!

How to Find Off-Market Buyers

Selling your house off-market is a great option for many home owners. When you do a deal off-market, you can avoid the stresses of listing the property, hosting open houses, and showing the home to random buyers. 

In a traditional sale, you list your home as available on the MLS. This allows home search tools to automatically pull your listing and show it on their database. Then, your agent would run ads for your home, share information about it on social media, and use other marketing techniques to raise awareness of the property. 

After getting buyers into your home and having them put offers down, you choose the one that appeals most to you and move to the closing table. 

But that’s not how things work in an off-market sale. Although it is technically possible (if highly risky and stressful) to sell a home by yourself in the traditional way, it is almost impossible to do an off-market sale on your own. 

This is because off-market homes cannot be marketed under most MLS regulations. Therefore, your home will not appear on home search sites, and you cannot share it through social media or advertisements. 

Instead, homes are usually sold off-market when the real estate agent or team connects a buyer and seller directly, without any need for direct marketing — and without ever having the stress that can come with listing your house!

Off-market sales are also great if you are interested in buying and selling a home at the same time. Because you have more control over the timing of the sale, you can avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that move-up buyers tend to make

It’s important to note, however, that not every real estate agent can help you sell a home before it goes live on the market. It takes a lot of dedication and a large network of motivated buyers. Most teams do 1 or 2 of these deals in a given year — and that’s if they are lucky. 

At the Keri Shull Team, 30% of all of our home sales happen before the house hits the market

We are able to do this because we have a database of over 30,000 people who are looking to buy a home — and we want to connect you with the perfect one! 

How to Know What Your Home is Worth

You’ve probably heard the word comps. It’s short for comparables — and it essentially refers to homes that have sold recently and that are comparable to your own. A lot of home owners think that they can find out what their home is worth by simply looking at other places for sale nearby — but that does not tell you the full story!

A lot of factors go into determining a house’s value. Location, layout, features, construction date, landscaping, renovations — the list goes on! Discovering what your home is worth is a complex process that involves a lot of market knowledge and research. And, to be frank, most home owners don’t have the time or experience to know how to properly price their property.

There are high-quality Home Valuation Tools out there that can help you get a handle on what your home might fetch on the open market, but they are no substitute for the real thing!

The only way to get a 100% personalized, completely up-to-date valuation on your house is to work with the right agent!

How to Stage Your Own Home

Whether you like it or not, staging a home is an important part of the selling process. By having a well-staged listing, you can drive the price of your home significantly higher. Not only does good staging maximize the available space in the property, but it inspires viewers to imagine themselves living in your house — this is a great way to get them to fall in love with the home!

Like any other aspect of real estate, however, staging takes a lot of time and experience to do well. Simply shifting around the furniture in your living room won’t get the same results as hiring a staging service to do their magic. 

So, how are you supposed to find a good stager? It’s simple — you ask your real estate agent! Most high-quality agents will have a list of vendors with whom they like working and they will be more than happy to make an introduction. 

How to Deal With A Bidding War

Having a bidding war on your home is an ideal scenario for most home owners. When two or more potential buyers are competing for your attention, they will put forth the most attractive offers that they can — which means a better home sale for you!

With that being said, it’s important to mention that a bidding war isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. If you are trying to do it alone, handling a competing offer on your home can be very stressful.

If you work with an agent, however, you don’t have to deal with the stress at all! They will handle collecting the offers and will talk through the merits of each one with you, so you can be confident that you are making the right choice when selling your home. 

How to Negotiate at the Closing Table 

So, you’ve found a buyer, and they have put in an offer. The hardest part is done, right?


Negotiation is an integral part of selling your home. If you don’t have a confident and experienced negotiator on your side, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars when it comes time to close. 

Simply put, almost no home owners have the experience, confidence, and knowledge that it takes to negotiate the best deal for their property. 

For all of these reasons — and many more — we simply cannot recommend that you attempt to sell a house by owner. Not only does it cause completely unnecessary stress, but it also makes it nearly impossible to sell your home for the most amount of money

At the Keri Shull Team, we believe that it is our responsibility to help people sell their homes faster, with zero stress, and for the absolute best price possible! That’s why we want to invite you to join us for a 100% free Home Value Consultation. In this meeting, a home selling expert will walk you through our unique marketing strategy, robust off-market opportunities, expert pricing plan, and aggressive negotiation tactics. 

No matter whether you are selling a home in Alexandria VA, Washington DC, or anywhere else in the DC metro area, we have agents standing by to help you! All you have to do is click here and schedule a time to meet with us!