FSBO – What You Should Know About Selling Your Own Home

The key to selling your home yourself is being properly prepared. If you aren’t, your home may remain on the market longer than you expect because you aren’t attracting and getting offers from qualified buyers. And this is where many homeowners become frustrated and start to think about giving up the dream of selling their homes themselves. However, some sellers are very successful at selling their own homes, and you can be one of them.

This report has been especially prepared to assist home sellers like yourself understand the process so you can sell your home quickly and for the price you want. To help you prepare, be aware of the following tips before deciding whether or not this is the right approach for you.

  1. Price your home correctly. Setting the correct asking price is critical. Setting the price too high can be as bad as setting it too low. Home prices are determined by fluctuations in the marketplace, and not by your emotional attachment to your home or what you think your home is worth. To establish a realistic price, compare the price, features, and condition of similar homes in both your neighbourhood and locations where similar homes have sold in the last few months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in the current market. Work up a careful budget of your selling costs, and prepare a net proceeds sheet to determine an informed estimate of what you can expect to earn from the sale of your home. Prospective buyers may request a similar analysis of buying costs.
  2. Prepare your home for sale. First impressions are crucial. Ensure that your home makes a positive statement by carefully inspecting all details and viewing it, as objectively as possible, through the eyes of a buyer. Don’t ignore needed repairs and fix-ups: your prospective buyers certainly won’t! Your job is to make sure your home stands out favourably from the competition.
  3. Make sure you have all the necessary legal documentation. There are many important legal contracts and documents which you need to assemble, complete, and understand when selling your home. Below is a partial checklist of forms you will need for prospective buyers and for legal documentation.
    • Mortgage Payoff
    • Loan Application
    • Deposit Receipt
    • Property Profile Fact Sheet
    • Buyer’s Cost Sheet
    • Closing & Settlement
    • Personal Property
    • Exclusion List
    • Property Survey
    • Sellers Statement /Plot Plan of Representation
  4. Market Your Home Effectively. Beyond the sign on your lawn, you need to find effective ways to spread the word that your home is for sale. You can reach local buyers with ads in a newspaper, but you will reach just a small part of the possible market. Be sure to include buyers who may already be working with a realtor. To locate them, notify as many top agents as possible in your market in case their client’s criteria match what your home has to offer. Out-of-town buyers are an important target too, so create a strategy to reach them as well. Above all, be very customer service oriented and make it easy for pre-qualified buyers to view your home. That means making sure that someone is always available to answer the phone, respond promptly to messages, and be ready to give qualified prospects a tour of your home as quickly as possible.
  5. Remain objective when showing your home. Be sure to keep your emotions out of the sale of your home. The best way to do this during a showing is to remain physically in the background. If a prospective buyer says something negative about your home, you’re better off counter-balancing this point of view by calling attention to the positives instead of becoming defensive.
  6. Pre-qualify prospective buyers. Don’t waste time entertaining buyers who cannot afford to buy your home. Research their financial situation with respect to job security, salary, debts, liabilities and credit standing.
  7. Negotiate effectively and knowledgeably. There are a great many details that need to be resolved before a sale is considered final: price, terms, inspections, possession date, and buyer concerns and objections, to name a few. You must fully understand the contract you have drawn up so you can, in turn, explain the details and ramifications to the buyer, and make any necessary amendments to the sale. Have the contract you use thoroughly examined by your real estate attorney. Some real estate brokers may be willing to help you do this. While this is going on, work to maintain the buyer’s interest in your home so it doesn’t wane during negotiations.
  8. Know your buyer. Your objective during negotiations is to control the pace and set the duration. Try to determine what’s motivating potential buyers. Do they need to move quickly? Can they afford to pay the asking price for your home? Answering these questions will give you an advantage in the negotiations: you’ll know what you need to do to get what you want.
  9. Do not move out before you sell. Studies show that selling a vacant home is more difficult than selling one that is occupied. A vacant home looks forlorn, forgotten, and simply unappealing. And it could even cost you money. If you move out before you sell, you’re also letting prospective buyers know that you have a new home and are motivated to sell quickly. That can, of course, give the buyer an advantage at the negotiating table.
  10. Understand why you’re selling, but keep your reasons to yourself. Just as important as understanding your buyer is understanding yourself. Your reasons for selling can affect everything from how you price your home to how much time and money you invest in preparing it for sale. And knowing your motivation helps you determine your priorities: the money you walk away with, how long your property is on the market, or perhaps both. Different goals dictate different strategies. Someone who prefers to sell without a real estate agent to save the commission would indicate that money is a primary considerations (see “How to Assess Your Net Gain” below). Whatever your reasons may be, it is very important to keep them to yourself so you don’t put yourself at a disadvantage during negotiations. If anyone asks why you’re selling, simply tell them that your housing needs have changed.

How to Assess Your Net Gain

To find out whether or not you’ll come out ahead by selling your home yourself, consider that most buyers use real estate agents because it doesn’t cost them anything (the seller pays the agent’s fee). Be cautious: buyers, investors, and speculators who seek out For Sale by Owner properties are usually in search of a bargain. Low-ball offers from these buyers will usually net you a lot less in the long run. Determine for yourself the following:

  1. You need to be as prepared as possible with your marketing, negotiations, evaluations, showings, and all legal matters.
  2. Calculate what it will cost you to effectively market your home and put together all the necessary materials, from the “For Sale” sign to the contracts.
  3. What price will a buyer offer you as a For Sale by Owner, minus the costs identified in number 2 above? Is this net amount higher or lower than the price an experienced agent could net for you minus his/her commission?

Sell Your Own Home Tips

Home values these past sixty years has steadily risen. Everyone (even those who should have known better) believed that the rise would continue forever and the entire realty industry was established upon that concept. So, the worst takes place after hyper-inflation of house values starts to tank. That bursting of the real estate bubble has caused a re-evaluation how one is to interact or should work with the real estate industry.

Sell Your Own Home Without Agents
Realtors make a lot of sense when home values are steadily increasing. Surrendering six percent commission to real estate agents was not an issue when someone was likely to make a significant profit on their property sale. However, we live in sadder, poorer time, a real estate agent becomes an issue as many people may actually be selling their home at a lost.

Sell Your Own Home Legal Assistance
Realize that title companies and escrow companies will be providing a massive amount of assistance in selling your own home. Even so, for legal paperwork inquire at a form and contract provider like We The People for a retailer or LegalZoom for someone online. A free source of information to answer basic questions if used sparingly and politely is a title company. Should more unique issues arise, seek legal help from real estate attorneys. Many will have flat rates for those doing a FSBO (For Sale By Owner).

Sell Your Own Home Marketing
Put the advertisements of the house on every free Internet classified service you are able to discover. Web sites such as Craigslist, USFreeads, and Backpage, do not overlook national services as they may provide you with an investor looking at your area. Position signage about the property, thus notifying every passerby that the home is purchasable. Advertise in newspaper publishers like the Penny Saver or Thrifty Nickel, they will be more inexpensive than the general, local papers. Lastly, construct a list of a hundred people you are able to contact who may come across other people who are looking to buy a home. Your hairdresser, insurance broker, instructors, pastors, everybody who is continually in contact with or in front of people, make sure they know you’re selling a home.

Tips For Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner

When you sell your home yourself, you are doing what is known as a for sale by owner, of FSBO. Many people choose to go this route to avoid hefty fees charged by real estate brokers. Avoiding these thousand dollar fees is just a good a reason as any to sell your home FSBO. If you choose to go this route to sell your home, you should keep in mind that the process requires some dedication, persistence, and a little bit of know how.

To sell real estate in Connecticut you must first determine the value of your home. This step is necessary so you can properly price your home. You can find out the value by doing some research on similar homes in your neighborhood that have recently been sold. The homes that are currently on the market are also a good indicator for valuing your home.

Once you determine a price for your home, the next step is to advertise it. One of the best ways you can advertise real estate in Connecticut is through use of a FSBO website. These websites allow you to list your home similar to a newspaper listing. Using a FBSO website increases your ad’s exposure to tens of thousands of people. This is the easiest and most convenient way to advertise your website since more people are using the internet to search for homes.

After listing your home, you will soon begin to receive inquiries. Some of these will be from people who are just trying to find out more information and some will be from serious buyers. In either case, you should be prepared to show your home to prospective buyers. Make sure repairs have been completed and your house is presentable for showing. The last thing you want is for your advertising efforts to go to waste because the house was not presentable.

For Sale By Owner Tips For Success

For Sale by Owner (or FSBO) signs are popping up through cities across the nation. Seems the homeowners are becoming more determined to compete with, or eliminate the real estate Agent. Each FSBO has their reason for not using an agent. Some have had a less than pleasant past experiences with agents, and feel they can do a better job at getting their property sold. Others must sell their home on their own, simply due to the declining property values; they can not afford to pay an agent. Also there is the “experienced” home seller; they have purchased and sold before therefore they do not feel the need to share proceeds with an Agent.

What ever the reason, home sellers are determined to act as their own agent. Here are a few tips for you FSBO sellers to consider when selling your home.

  • CLEAN and STAGE. You must keep your home extra clean and clear away the clutter. Fancy up the curb appeal by manicuring the lawn and add some flowers for a splash of color. Use a pressure washer to clean up the exterior (in our “red clay” country, so many homes have a shabby or premature aged appearance due to the clay formed around the lower half of the exterior).
  • ADVERTISE. You must get your home in front of buyers. Dropping a sign in the front yard and telling the neighbors you want to sell, will not cut it. You must utilize the publications in your area and invest money in advertising. Also, you must get your home online. There are several online resources; some are free to homeowners, that will allow you to list your property on high traffic websites. This is a technology based world, and buyers look for homes online. Avoiding the tech savvy world, is only avoiding potential buyers.
  • PRICE ACCORDINGLY. The number one mistake FSBO’s make is pricing the property. Most buyers prefer to enlist the services of an agent (read my blog regarding Buyers Agents) and will not purchase a home without representation. Buyers who are willing to purchase direct from the owner have one intention in mind; ironically the same intention as you FSBO’s…SAVE MONEY. Don’t become greedy, because buyers are educated these days and they have the power to pull comparable home sales in your neighborhood. Today’s buyer will also realize that YOU are not paying an agent, so they expect that your property should be priced far lower than a listed home.
  • ALLOW a BUYERS AGENT to SELL your property. Understandably, some FSBO’s feel the Agent is the “enemy”. Often, homeowners become inundated with calls from agents requesting to list the home; coupled with prior unpleasant experiences, this may cause the homeowner to resent agents. Not all agents are looking for the listing. If you are clear upfront (and in print) that you will offer a percentage to a buyers agent, this will give more exposure to your property. If an agent has a buyer, and you want to sell, working together will net the desired end result for everyone. True, you will have to sacrifice a portion of your proceeds; however, it may make the difference between “for sale” and “sold”. Having your home sit on the market will net you ZERO proceeds. Offering a percentage to a buyers agent will save you money since you will not be paying a listing agent, not to mention it may reduce the time on the market which ultimately adds money in your pocket.

Ultimately, a listed home will likely sell faster and for a higher amount than a FSBO property. The key is to find an Agent that will work with you, and for you. Your prospective agent should be able to offer a guarantee, which will release you from your listing agreement should you feel they are not fulfilling their obligations.

FSBO Tips – Telling Potential Buyers There Are Other Offers

This practice is often done with different types of major purchases: automobiles, business deals, and yes (we know) homes!! Is this a good idea, especially when it comes to a For Sale by Owner home? Let us take a look at this concept.

There are occasions when an FSBO will receive multiple offers on their home. In that case they have a few ways available they can deal with this. One way is to let each potential buyer know that there ARE other offers being made to them. They can even “play a game” of telling the other prospects when a counter offer is made. An important thing this will do is jack up the selling price of your home. The logic being, whoever wants it badly enough will pay the highest price to you. This is almost like being at an auction. In this type of a scenario, telling prospective buyers about other offers is a good thing.

However, before utilizing this type of strategy you must understand any negative effects this could have on your sale. If one or more of your prospective buyers feels they have already proposed a fair price for your home; continuing to play this game could only aggravate them. You may well wind up with everyone getting disgusted with the process and NOBODY buying your house. Then YOU will be the loser, as the possible buyers will likely all go elsewhere instead.

Something else about an FSBO entertaining multiple offers for their home and telling the other buyers about them is this. Both the seller and the buyer run the risk of missing out on a great opportunity. This is an especially good point to make to the other potential buyers in a multiple-offer situation. Be sure to tell them all the great features of your home, yard and neighborhood. Do not leave out any important details. Let each prospect know what they will be missing if they drop out of the process. Remember – it is highly likely they already view your home as a “deal they cannot refuse.” Then they could wind up just as disappointed as you are if they miss out on the opportunity to purchase your home.

One thing you can do to make the most out of entertaining multiple offers for your home is to be prepared in the first place. BEFORE you begin as an FSBO do some research on this scenario. Go onto pertinent websites, talk to experts, find out how you should best deal with this concept; should it arise. Practice your negotiating techniques of this type beforehand, then you will be ready to deal with it. Another thing you can do is to get to know each potential buyer when they begin to make an offer. Learn about any limitations they may have financially or even mentally. Perhaps their personality type makes them adverse to this type of negotiating deal. You will want to know that before telling them about other offers. The best advice you can get on this subject is – to be prepared!

Selling Your Home – FSBO – Is it Time For a Total Shock and Awe Marketing Campaign For Your Home?

In today’s over-crowded real estate market to pull out all the stops when creating a marketing campaign for your home. You need to use every marketing means available.

You need to overwhelm the market with information about your property. If you don’t your home is likely to get lost in the sea of other properties on the market. You might want professional help for planning out your campaign, or else do a lot of reading to get knowledgeable on real estate marketing.

The first thing you will learn is that there are literally dozens of places to advertise your home-for-sale website. You will also learn that many of them are free to use if you comply with the website terms.

The only cost to advertise on these sites is the time to register at the site and set up your property advertisement. It may be more efficient to hire somebody to do this for you because there is a learning curve in working with all these websites out there for you to advertise on.

The same is true for other places online you can list information about your property for sale. By this I mean social bookmarking sites, social networking sites, blogs, forums and directories. There are more of these than you think, i.e., dozens of each kind that are available to you.

Then there is the non-internet advertising media. There are more of these than you think too. People think there are only two newspapers in Maryland (in Baltimore and Annapolis) but there are actually 36. The same for magazines and free distribution “shopper” type papers for classified ads.

The thing you won’t want to do is blow a lot of your money on one or two expensive ads (like a display ad in the Washington Post, for example). Every dollar you spend has to be analyzed to give you the most “bang for the buck” in terms of exposure, readership, and traffic.

Paying an internet marketing consultant with expertise in real estate marketing will give you access to dozens of free (or very cheap) advertising vehicles, and this will cost less than some expensive ads can cost.

Internet marketing even allows you to set up “word of mouth” advertising campaigns, which can be the most effective. There are dozens of paid advertisement websites online also, including Google, which now gives local real estate search results.

Some For Sale By Owner Guidelines

Selling your home via the FSBO method has some particular areas of concern for the home owner that should be understood before the sale process begins. When selling your home yourself you are essentially un-insulated from the potential buyers. In using a realtor there is a intermediary working between the two parties and that is one thing that FSBO sellers have to learn to do without. This layer of insulation can be handy as it separates the qualified buyers from the lookers. In selling FSBO you should always be sure to qualify potential clients so that you are sure that your time is not being wasted. The easiest way to do this is to require a letter of approval from the buyer’s lender. Don’t be afraid to ask for this as you don’t want to deal with unqualified buyers or just people who happen to be looking. Time is money and in a FSBO sale that concept holds true.

Another good thing to shoot for when selling via FSBO is a professional grade marketing plan. This can be a difficult thing to achieve on a reasonable budget but there are ways to do it. A good place to start is a flat-fee MLS listing. This will ensure that realtors in your area know about your listing and can direct clients towards your home. not having your home listed on the MLS can mean much longer before word gets out about your home and the average sellers would like to see a quick and clean sale. Try inviting the local realtors to an open house. You can make it clear that you aren’t interested in retaining their services, merely that you want them to know that your home is for sale and open to their clients.

One last thing that you should try to remember when showing the home. It may be difficult to remove yourself emotionally from the sale of the home. As difficult as this may seem it is necessary. People may have trouble mentally removing your family from their view of the home. The ideal situation would be a buyer coming into the home and instantly being able to see themselves living there. This may be hard to do if you are recalling the things that happened to you and your family while living there. Try to detach emotionally. I know it’s hard but it will assist the sale greatly.

The FSBO Seller’s Top Ten Tips For Selling Their Home For Sale By Owner

If you’re considering selling your home by owner, congratulations! You’re part of a growing trend toward FSBO property sales. If you’re worried that going the FSBO seller route means that you’ll miss out on all of those great agency sales tactics, you’re wrong. You can do the same things that any real estate agent would suggest. To get you started, here’s a list of the top ten things you can do for your home when you’re trying to sell your home by owner.

1. Create multiple means of exposure. Houses sell when they’re exposed to potential buyers. The more exposure you create, the more likely you are to sell. “Multiple means of exposure” means listing it on a FSBO site, providing pictures, tours, and information buyers want to know. Advertise your home in the newspaper. Print flyers that list the details of your home and be available to show home. Some buyers have turned to television ads for sale on real estate channels to attract buyers. The more exposure you provide, the easier it is for potential buyers to find.

2. De-clutter rooms and closets. A home looks nicer and shows better when it isn’t cluttered. Remove magazines, books, furniture, stored items and things you no longer want. You’ll have to pack all of this stuff before you move, so why not get an early start?

3. Fix peeling paint and other minor imperfections. Peeling paint can be a sign of deferred maintenance, bad painting or water damage. All of these things will turn off a buyer. Putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls and ceilings is easy and inexpensive.

4. Consider staging and research some ideas on the internet. Staging involves making your home visually attractive to potential buyers. It may involve re-arranging the furniture, renting new furniture, repainting, re-carpeting or minor redecoration to show off your home’s best qualities. Staging doesn’t have to break the bank, but a home that shows well sells. Whatever you can do to improve the look of your home will help your buyer see its potential.

5. Price the home right. Check recent sales in your neighborhood for an idea of what your home is worth. Do not overprice your home because if your price is substantially higher than other homes in your neighborhood. You will not be able to sell because overpriced homes whether Fsbo or MLS do not sell. Buyers want to feel as though they’re getting value for their money. If your home is the most expensive one in the area, buyers will focus on finding a comparable home that’s priced lower than yours.

6. Always have a yard sign and flyers. When potential buyers visit your neighborhood to see a particular home, they’ll look for other homes that are for sale. If visitors don’t know your home is for sale, you may miss potential sale opportunities.

7. Fsbo sellers need to create an online listing for their home on the internet and may consider using the FSBO marketing services that are available on the web. The key to selling your home is proper exposure and your chances of finding a buyer are greater when you make it highly visible to potential buyers.

8. Answering your phone is paramount as a Fsbo seller. It sounds simple, but many people who are selling their homes Fsbo miss potential buyers who are calling to inquire. Make absolutely certain you or someone else is available to take calls. Don’t assume that an answering machine or voice mail service is sufficient because many potential buyers won’t leave a message when they call.

9. Spend some time on landscaping. Making the outside of a home look appealing and fresh is just as important as making the inside look nice. Remove or trim bushes. In the summer, plant attractive flowers, cover beds with wood chips or mulch and keep things weed free. Mow the lawn frequently. If you don’t know anything about landscaping, check with a local nursery, gardening club or even a nearby university with a botanical program. Students are often willing to take on landscaping projects.

10. Partner with a bank or lender to offer potential financing sources for prospective buyers. Local banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers may be able to offer financing deals that can help a buyer get into your home. Offer all visitors financing information from your local bank or lender when they tour your home. You want to make sure any potential buyer is qualified to buy the home.

These are just a few of the things you can do to help your home stand out. In current market conditions, selling a home is about pricing, location and exposure. If you have all three of these elements in place, there is no reason to think you won’t sell your home as effectively as any real estate agent.

Real Estate Text Messaging Benefits When Marketing FSBOs

Due to the rising popularity of robust smart phones, real estate agents who utilize text messaging systems can benefit, substantially, from an exposure and lead generation perspective. On a “for sale” sign, your text messaging code can help you share information about properties with people that pass by through a message that sends out detailed property specs and photos. Chances are that the vast majority of passers by who notice a property you’ve listed will have a cell phone and by texting the system right then and there, they can quickly receive detailed listing information on a home. As soon as they do, you’ve gotten a lead that you can follow up with on that property or another listing. Did you know that this could also work to your advantage with FSBO (for sale by owner) properties? Read on to learn how.

Many realtors have realized the potential benefits of marketing through mobile messaging. By subscribing to a real estate industry messaging service, you can market to people via their cell phones. Not only can this tool help you market through properties that you are listing but you can also extend this ability to help you market through properties that you’re not listing. Any realtor that sees a FSBO sign can take that as an opportunity to build their brand and get new leads as well. Approach the homeowner and position the messaging service as a free and valuable marketing tool and you could both benefit.

If you already use real estate text messaging services, you know that it can help you capture new buyer leads. But did you know that you can also use your account on more than just your own listings? By offering use of the service to homeowners attempting to sell their home on their own, this could benefit in several ways:

Build Relationships with FSBO Homeowners

By offering to share your lead generation service for free with FSBO homeowners who don’t have the benefit of marketing and exposure offered by a real estate agent, you can build a relationship that results in business and / or referrals. For example, if the homeowner that is trying to sell without a realtor is unable to sell the property on their own, they may turn to you for assistance later on. It costs you nothing to share your service with the homeowner and in the meantime, if people text for info on the FSBO property and they don’t buy it, they become a lead for you.

Branding

Increased exposure in your area is always good, especially if you’re focused on a community that is highly competitive. People who get text messages from properties on your subscription will learn about you. And, they may or may not choose to look at that FSBO property but even if they do, they may also want to look at other neighborhood listings (that are listed by you). And, if the lead doesn’t already have a buyer’s agent, this is an opportunity for you to extend your services.

Lead capture possibilities of real estate text messaging are substantial. By utilizing this service and by offering use of your service as a free marketing tool to local homeowners, you can increase your exposure, build relationships, and sell more homes.

Real Estate FSBO Scripts

So you have decided to sell your home the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) way. You have already learned the steps necessary for you to do this. What about the things YOU should say to a prospective buyer? What is important for them to know about your home? How do you overcome objections and answer all their questions? The best way for you to do this is to develop a script for yourself. This article will talk about exactly that.

To start with you can listen to the sales pitches of professional real estate agents. They earn a living selling homes, so surely they must have some pretty successful techniques. Then do the same for other successful FSBOs in your neighborhood. In the case of each group, study what they say and the methods they use when preparing their scripts. One way to do the above-mentioned step; without directly encroaching on the jobs of actual real estate agents, is to go online and observe several videos. Combine that with learning about what prospective home buyers for your town are looking for. Study all of that information, then use all of that information to develop a script of your own.

Another thing you can do after you develop your script is practice it. Have your family or friends act as a prospective buyer. Then practice your script on them. Encourage them to play Devil's Advocate with you and ask you all sorts of tough questions. You know the old saying – practice makes perfect! Nowhere is that more true than if you are an FSBO.

Some things you might want to be able to tell a prospect for an FSBO buyer include: is the property you are seeking actually available to you? Sometimes people will forget to take down their signs after it sells. Other times a seller might think they have a deal, but then it falls through at the last minute. Therefore, this is a legitimate question that could be posed to you. You must be prepared to answer it honestly and completely.

Other questions may pertain to the structure, type of property, and your neighborhood. Questions such as: how large is your home? How big is your yard? Is there a Homeowner's Association? What type of community is it? How are the schools there? Again, you must fully answer these questions as related to YOUR home. Better yet, include them in your script to begin with. Then prospective buyers will not need to actually ask them.

A great idea to begin with when it comes to writing an FSBO script is to prepare your skills and knowledge ahead of time. By that I mean – educate yourself! Take a class in selling real estate, or in preparing a real estate pitch. If you lack the time to go to an educational facility, do it over the Internet. At least watch and take notes on pertinent videos. Talk to experts, find out how they are successful. The more education you have on this, the better your chances of success will be.