Thinking of selling your own home? Tips for Sale By Owners.....

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Prestige Properties

Thinking of selling your own home? Congratulations! You are about to begin a journey filled with excitement and activities. The preparation for putting a home on the market and all the activities are what I enjoy the most in my career of being a seller's real estate agent.For Sale By Owner Sign

I've come across many, "For Sale By Owners" or FSBOs (fizz-bos) as we call them. There are many different reasons they decide to go it alone. I applaud them for I know from first hand experience the tough job they are about to begin. While I do not have enough space and time to detail all of the activities and tasks that keep me busy for 40-60 hours a week, as a full-time agent, allow me to share a few highlights that will get you started on the path to salesmanship.

Get ready for the market:

1. Conduct an inspection of the property. This is very important. For my opinion of why click here

2. Put on your "buyer's glasses". Look at your home with a stranger's eye. Look for anything that needs painting, cleaning, and might be a hazard which may cause potential buyers to pause. Fix the items and then conduct a final walk-through to make sure everything is picture perfect.

3. Next you'll need at least 20 fabulously clear and beautiful pictures of your home to load them on the top 25+ Internet websites. Take pictures of each room and multiple pictures of the exterior. Make sure the lighting is good. These photos are your property's first impression to the buying public. I hire a professional photographer and personally stage my listings prior to market. You might want to consider these options to make your property best in show.

4. Visit your town or city hall and pull copies of the deed, survey and current tax bill. You should be able to look these items up with the help of the tax assessor and/or county clerk. 

5. Check out your competition. Plan your next few Sundays for driving around to look at open houses conducted by realtors and other FSBOs. Look closely at how the houses are presented, staged and priced. Currently we are in what I call " a price war and a beauty contest". Your job as the seller is to make your house the best looking house in its price range. How do you figure out the price range? Well, you have to get out and learn the market. On a weekly basis, I preview no less than 25 homes on the market. Not to mention the homes I show to my buyer clients.  But this is key. You must know your competition and stand out from it.

Get "in" the market:

1. Price your home to sell. The price you put on your home has nothing to do with the amount of money you owe the bank.  My recommendation? Call an appraiser and get your house appraised. In this market unless someone has several hundred dollars in cash, they will need a mortgage from a lender. The lender will send out an appraiser to evaluate the value of the property. Why not find this out ahead of time?

2. Great, now you have the price, photos and everything's sparkling. You're ready to advertise.  Decide which websites, newspapers, home magazines, and social media venues you want to use to  get your property the maximum exposure. I use multiple social media avenues, about 25 websites, flyers and direct and electronic marketing to get the word out about my listings. Find out the costs, deadlines, preferred file of the individual advertising avenues. Prepare a budget for the initial advertising campaign and then a second, just in case the house does not sell as quickly as you anticipate.  Remember you'll need to reach the "out of town" buyers as well. 

3. Buy your weatherproof "For  Sale By Owner" sign. Make sure you have a phone number for calls and/or texts inquiries from the sign. Make sure you answer your phone at all times. People will drive buy and see your sign.  You never know when the buyer will call to make an appointment to view your home. Don't forget to stay flexible for the showings appointments you're sure to get.

open house signs


4. Open houses are conducted on Sunday's usually between 1-4pm. Make sure you have multiple signs to direct people to your home. I usually put up no less than 5 per property, with directional arrows guiding the traffic to your front door. If you'd like to have realtors stop by and view your home. Call the local real estate firms and agents and invite us. We have the direct link to buyers and may have someone perfect for your house. In the current market, you may want to plan and hold multiple open house activities. I hold at least one open house every 3 weeks for my listings. Sometimes more...And don't forget to advertise the open house in your advertising as well.

5.Hopefully you'll find a buyer and can begin negotiations quickly. The buyer will want to conduct an inspection. You should attend and be available for any questions that may come up.  

6. Make sure you hire an attorney. This is a very important part of the transaction. You should have legal counsel to guide you to the closing.  

Time to close: 

While you've marketed and negotiated your current home, it's time to coordinate the selection and purchase of your new home. Make sure you communicate to all parties, the buyer and their agent, the seller of your next home, the 3 or 4 attorneys handling the multiple transactions, lenders, and the moving companies to coordinate the closing dates and times to make sure that you and the buyer are able to move into your new home simultaneously.

Great job! You did it!

Thank you for taking a moment to read my offering. Again, I applaud your decision to sell on your on. It's tough, but with patience and hard work you can do it. I hope this helps. But be prepared and flexible for the unknown. As I realize everyday in this great business of real estate, each transaction is an adventure.

Should you have any questions about selling your home in Fairfield County CT , please contact me. I'm here to assist.

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About the Author:

Kimberly Tapscott is a service and results oriented real estate agent with her client’s goals as top priority.  Kimberly is recognized as a top producing agent in her office in Fairfield County and enjoys working with both buyers and those selling their homes.

For information about purchasing a home in Fairfield County, visit my website.This site is focused on homes available for sale in Fairfield County. Email, call or text to make an appointment begin your home search.

If you are considering selling your home in Stamford, Greenwich or one of the surrounding towns, visit my seller’s website to request a Free Market Analysis of your property.

The Kimberly Tapscott Real Estate Team – is waiting to give you the service you deserve. Contact us now to make your home dreams come true!!



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Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Kimberly, you seem to have failed to mention a few (OK, many) disadvantages of selling a home by yourself... even if they do everything you mention.

Nov 25, 2011 05:20 AM #1
Kimberly Tapscott
Keller Williams Prestige Properties - Stamford, CT
Giving you the service you deserve!

Hi Chris - thanks for your comment.  Yes, there are disadvantages to selling your own home.  But the goal was to provide some tips to get sellers started, if that is the route they choose. This is a great conversation.  Please share any disadvantages you might be thinking of...

Nov 25, 2011 05:50 AM #2
Terronald Logan
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, Homes for Sale - Austin, Texas

Kimberly, I don't think you *FAILED* to do anything.  I totally *got* the purpose of this post.  It's all about coming from contribution and helping sellers who need our advice.  When they can't sell it themselves, they'll call the agent who was kind of enough to write out a detailed guide on how to sell a home without an agent.  That's how they teach us at KW, baby!  "You can get anything in life you want if you help enough people get what they want" as Zig Ziglar says.  GREAT job and wonderfully written!

Nov 25, 2011 01:06 PM #3
Kimberly Tapscott
Keller Williams Prestige Properties - Stamford, CT
Giving you the service you deserve!

Thanks Terronald - it's all about coming from contribution.  The Keller Williams way....


Nov 25, 2011 01:20 PM #4
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Kimberly Tapscott

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