For Sale by Owner: Six Tips on Getting It Done

Real Estate Agent with inactive - license is on ice with State of MN

For Sale by Owner: Six Tips on Getting It Done

Sometimes you need to sell your home, but for one reason or another, you'd like to go it alone as a FSBO (For Sale by Owner). Of course, I could give you dozens of reasons why it's better to have a listing agent, but that's a different article.

Consider these six tips as you plan for selling your own home:Selling Your Home FSBO

Set the Right Price  No amount of advertising or marketing will overcome the obstacle of pricing your home too high. Today's buyer has access to more information than ever before. They will likely bring their own agent (be prepared to pay the buyer's agent a commission), who will give them the cold, hard facts about your home's value . You have ONE chance to make a good impression.

To determine your asking price, calculate the average sales price to the list price ratio in your neighborhood. If you are serious about selling, consider an incentive. Be careful when you price: national statistics show that FSBOs average 9% less than what they could have gotten with a broker.

Create a Marketing Plan  An ad, a yard sign, and word-of-mouth are a good start....but where do you go from there? With over 80% of buyers find the home they end up buying on the Internet, make sure your home is posted, with a virtual tour, on all of the websites possible. Consider Trulia, Zillow, Homeseekers, Homefinders....the list is endless. (My team personally posts our listings, with virtual tours, on over 90 websites, and it is a full time job keeping it all updated.)

Prepare Your Product  Many factors impact showing your property. Consider hiring a stager to come in and help you select paint colors, declutter, and go on the market with your best foot forward. Be careful that you don't spend money on things that bring little return; you want the most bang for your buck. You have to look at your home the way the buyer will see it.

Four Questions for Every Caller  You need to separate the lookers from the buyers. Ask everyone who calls if they are pre-approved, who pre-approved them, how much they are pre-approved for, and their purchase deadline. Don't risk a contract with someone who cannot buy your home. My team can put you in touch with several lenders who can help you pre-approve your callers.

Properly Present Your Property  When agents show your home, we don't want the seller present because it inhibits the buyer. They need to be able to speak freely, and see themselves living in your home. So resist the urge to show off the hand-railing you installed yourself, and try not to regale them with stories of how hard it was to tile the bathroom. Lock up your prescriptions and valuables during showings, as well. As the owner, you can't (and shouldn't) be glued to their hip the entire time.

Negotiate the Sale  It's a fact, over 90% of homes sell for less than the asking price. Prepare for lower offers, and don't be insulted -- after all, your buyer is likely considering a FSBO because they expect to get a discounted price. they know you are not paying a commission, so be prepared with evidence (facts and statistics) of your home's value.

Selling your home on your own can be done, if you consider these and other factors. Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to discuss your home sale further!

Posted by

Barbara Charlton, REALTOR, GRI
License voluntarily ON ICE with State of MN
Cell/Text: 612-414-6721
Office: 952-898-5800
Fax: 612-677-3710

Comments (3)

Tamara Schuster
Naperville Glen Ellyn Lisle Plainfield Wheaton Illinois - Naperville, IL
Realtor Broker - Naperville

Your list is very helpful and informative for sellers.

Jul 06, 2011 04:22 AM
Jimmy Katz
Wynd Realty & Katz Realty Group - Alpharetta, GA
"REAL Solutions for Real Estate!"

the for sale by owners that i encounter are usually very stubborn, unrealistic and overpriced.  #1 on this list should be 'listen to a professional's advice, cause you do not know how to do this yourself!'

Jul 06, 2011 04:24 AM
Barbara Charlton
inactive - license is on ice with State of MN - Lakeville, MN

Hi Tamara! Good to hear from you, and thanks!

James, 1000 times YES, you are SOOoooo right, and we could write a book on that :)

Jul 06, 2011 04:52 AM