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!

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.

Top 10 FSBO Tips to Selling Your Home by Owner

By using some simple FSBO (For Sale by Owner) tips and techniques, the average homeowner can sell his or her own home without the assistance of a real estate agent. Just as many others have done in the past. You can sell your own home and save thousands, but it takes work and commitment.

Below you will read some simple strategies that can stack the odds in your favor, greatly increasing your chances for success when selling on your own.

FSBO Tip 1. Understanding the real estate market.

Getting an idea of your local market conditions makes good sense. Just like any other product getting a feel of what’s hot and what’s not can help you make decisions that affect the sale of your home. Consider your neighborhood and the features that distinguish it from others. If you’re comfortable, contact a real estate agent to discuss what the current market environment is like.

FSBO Tip 2. Timing is everything.

Timing the decision to sell and gauging the current market conditions could be two of the most critical decisions you make. If you need to sell your home quickly, the less flexibility, you’ll be able to have. Conversely, if you’re not in a big hurry you can sit back and wait for the perfect buyer. Just remember the real estate market is a cyclical environment. If it’s a slow period now and you’re in a position to wait it out then it might be a good idea to wait for the next upswing.

FSBO Tip 3. Assemble a team of professionals to help you.

While it’s nice to think that you can handle things on your own, selling a home takes specialized knowledge. It’s more than just writing up a sales agreement. Depending on what part of the country you’re in you’ll either need to find a real estate attorney or a title / escrow company to help with the legal details. As a rule of thumb, if you’re east of the Mississippi it’s usually a real estate attorney. If you’re west of the Mississippi, it’s a title company. Either way they’ll be an indispensable part of your home selling process. Another important partner to consider is a reputable mortgage banker/lender. They can assist in helping you prequalify buyer prospects. We’ll talk more about qualifying prospects as you read on.

FSBO Tip 4.How to determine the fair market price of your home.

This always seems to be a real tricky one. For many home sellers this typically reveals itself as a major point of contention. When trying to decide on a price guessing or basing your asking price on hearsay or nontraditional methods immediately reduces your negotiating advantage. Basing your price on what the house down the street sold for or what media outlets perceives as increased market value is not the way to get a legitimate price either. There are only two legitimate and well-recognized ways of determining a fair market value. One way is to contact a real estate agent or broker to provide you with a CMA otherwise known as a comparative market analysis. The best and most accurate way of determining price comes from a full-blown appraisal done by a professional real estate appraiser.

FSBO Tip 5. You’re selling a house not a home.

While it’s important to become emotionally detached, you don’t have to become a robot. After all this is your home, be objective but don’t be cold. Keep in mind that people are going to perceive your home differently than you do. Either way remain positive and ultimately the right person will walk through the door and buy your home.

FSBO Tip 6. Preparing your home for sale.

Today’s real estate market rewards those homeowners that place a high-value on neatnessas well as cleanliness. It not only adds value but alsogenerally promotes a quicker and more profitable sale. Once again the depersonalizing of your home helps your prospect with such an emotional decision. Decluttering the inside of a home is also key to your preparation. If necessary, rent out a small storage space and store some household items there. Just as a side note, having a garage sale is also a great way of getting rid of items that clutter up the house. Not only do you get rid of the items but also you make a little money in the process.

FSBO Tip 7. Start spreading the news.

It should be understood if you’re going to sell your home and you’re going to do it yourself, the easiest way to get the word out is to put a sign in your yard. This will immediately get the attention of anybody that happens to ride by. Naturally, this is the essence of selling on your own. Coming up with a highlight sheet to outline the key features of your home is a must. With the readily available use of word processing programs putting together a simple highlight sheet is easy.

FSBO Tip 8. Knowing a few, negotiating skills will get you a long way.

It’s not necessary to become the next great diplomat. You will want to keep in mind that it’s necessary to keep your emotions and personal feelings regarding the negotiating price of your property in check. When discussing the selling price it’s important that your calculations and numbers are correct. This allows you to have greater flexibility and leverage and you can negotiate from a position of strength.

FSBO Tip 9. Qualifying buyers and stopping the lookie loos.

So what’s a lookie loo? A lookie loo is a person that comes to your house and looks in everything. They,look in cabinets,closets and drawers check everything out but never make you a serious offer. You need qualified buyers looking at your home or it’s going to get very discouraging. One of the best ways of getting qualified prospects is to have them referred by your mortgage broker/lender. You can also take the direct approach. If you’re arranging a showing over the phone, go ahead and ask them if they are pre-qualified. Don’t be too shy when it comes to your prospects. If you’re holding an open house and someone expresses interest in your home go-ahead and ask. Most of the time if they’re pre- qualified they love to tell you. So don’t worry about asking, it’s the right thing to do.

FSBO Tip 10. If all else fails go to where the realtors hang out.

If after a while, you’re not getting the results that you were hoping for you can always go to the MLS option. This doesn’t mean that you have to list with a real estate agent or broker. As a private party, you can list your home with your local multiple listing service. Usually this cost a fee but by doing this you automatically expose your house to thousands of potential prospects all over the country. The upside is that you should be able to sell your home in short order. The obvious downside will be that you will have to pay co-op to an agent. Only in unique situations would the cost of co-opting be virtually impossible, due to low equity or some other extenuating circumstance.

These FSBO tips should give you a solid foundation to successfully selling your own home. There’s many specific ideas and recommendations that are beyond the scope of this article when it comes to pricing, preparing and staging your home, and all of the items previously outlined. You should definitely research and prepare yourself for the selling of your own home process. In the long run,it will make things easier and could either save you or even make you thousands of dollars.

Tips on Showing Your FSBO Property

As a FSBO seller, you are responsible for handling all of the aspects of selling your home. So, how do you go about showing the property to interested buyers?

Tips on Showing Your FSBO Property

The huge advantage of selling your property for sale by owner is you save a ton of money on real estate agent commissions. At six percent a pop, the savings literally amount to tens of thousands of dollars. The potential downside is you actually have to do the work. One aspect where this is particularly true is when it comes time to show the property to interested buyers. Here are some tips to help you with the process.

First and foremost, it is important to time the showing. If you have multiple parties showing interest in the home, try to set a single time to show the home. The goal is to have them at the property at the same time. This creates the impression there is a lot of interest in the home. This impression will then motivate the buyers to make offers on your property.

A second tip is not to show your home on your own. As sad as it is, there are cranks and weirdoes out there. Make sure you have at least one other person with you when showing the property. If you need some help with this, mortgage brokers are often willing to come to showing. There goal is to snag one of the potential buyers as a mortgage client. Regardless, it gives you multiple people in the home and cuts down on any risk of something bad happening.

The third tip is to get your marketing brochures together. Buyers rarely look at just one home. You want to give them a brochure so they can remember and visual your home. The brochure should contain all the relevant information about your home including price, square footage, unique aspects, your contact information and pictures, pictures, pictures! Did I mention pictures?

Finally, make sure you have a guest book for potential buyers to sign. Ask for them to sign their names and provide a phone number. This will create a record for you of everyone that saw your home. It will also provide you with phone numbers so you can call them back if necessary.

Showing your home is a critical part of the real estate process. Follow these tips and it should go off without a hitch.