For Sale By Owner - Hang On It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group 0225221517

For Sale By Owner - Hang On It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

Selling your home without hiring a Realtor® is not something I’d ever recommend – even before I became an agent I would never attempt to buy or sell a home on my own. There are far too many details that go into selling a home and while you might be able to get to closing I can guarantee you an agent who is a local expert with a successful track record will do a better job and get a higher sale price, better terms, or a combination of the two.


We recently represented a purchaser on a for sale by owner listing and I was heavily involved with the agent who works with me because the sellers unfortunately didn’t understand that we did not represent them. Cue the bumpy ride – the owners on this particular home didn’t have a scanner or fax and were appalled I wouldn’t agree to make all the counter changes they wanted and send everything to them via DocuSign. I explained we offer our systems, tools, and expertise to our clients but, because we do not represent them we would not be handling anything regarding the counter they were delivering. We made it through all that and eventually ratified but, what normally takes a day took just shy of a week to accomplish.


For Sale By Owner



Next came arranging the home inspection. Both were adamant about being present despite my attempts to explain it's best they not be home for the inspection. We were also greeted at the door with their dog who was loose in the house. Could he be contained while we were there? Absolutely not, I was scolded for even asking. Every time the inspector went to talk to the buyers he was interrupted with some sort of justification X wasn't wrong. We made it through nonetheless. 


The appraiser called the owners to schedule his visit and was asked to contact us to schedule an appointment. I contacted the sellers and “because the appraisal is for the buyer it’s not our problem to meet him” was what I heard. Again, I explained that the listing agent meets the appraiser and because they don’t have an agent it would be their responsibility. There’s also no lockbox on the home so we didn’t have a way to let the appraiser in even if we did agree to meet him. When the appraisal came in low the owners accused us of paying the appraiser off to deliver a low value. It took a couple days and a lot of phone calls to calm that situation down. 


For Sale By Owner


The owner emailed my agent daily asking what the next steps were in the transaction. We asked when the HOA documents would be in and they hadn’t placed the order. In turn she had to pay to expedite them in order for them to be completed before closing. The termite inspection wouldn’t have been ordered if we didn’t remind her to contact a company to schedule an appointment. When we arrived for the walk through there were a ton of items still in the home - it took a lot of convincing that everything had to be gone by the day of closing. They were planning on "taking care of it within a week after closing." YIKES! I could keep writing about other things that came up during this transaction but, I think it’s clear that the ride would have been a lot smoother had these owners hired an agent to represent them. 


Are agents perfect? Far from it, like any other profession there are bad apples but, if you do your research and hire an agent with a proven successful track record you wouldn’t have to worry about any of these items because they’d be guiding you through each step of the transaction. The real estate market is constantly changing and it takes far more to sell a home than just putting a sign in the yard. Be prepared to do a lot of work and be responsible for a substantial amount of details if you plan to sell your own home. You'll also want to have the right systems in place to make the transaction happen.


For sale by owner – pull up your boot straps, it could be a bumpy ride!




Posted by


Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group





Amanda Davidson

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

Broker - Owner
Licensed in VA and DC

6485 Old Beulah Street
Alexandria, VA 22315

Cell: 703.431.3755
Fax: 703.562.7057


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tom Turner 03/09/2017 06:02 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 03/18/2017 11:50 PM
  3. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 04/07/2017 08:27 AM
Home Selling
Virginia Fairfax County Alexandria
for sale by owner
selling your home
home sellers

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Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

A local realtor renovated a home in prestine condition. She has received offers but they will be way under mls competitive bidding. She is put sale on hold await for market to drive up the price further more.

Mar 09, 2017 09:54 AM #25
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Thank you all for your comments, I appreciate all of you!

Mar 09, 2017 10:50 AM #26
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Amanda, OH MY, what a nightmare, and Sellers do think it should be easy, AND they are saving all that money..... Good luck! 

Mar 09, 2017 12:22 PM #27
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

We just can't make this stuff up.  I'd be willing to be that FSBO cost them more than if they had hired a professional to list them home. 

Mar 09, 2017 04:03 PM #28
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

Yikes !!! The things we do and the hoops we jump though to make a transaction work for our clients. I have only worked the buyer side of one FSBO, who was an inexperienced flipper. Our FSBO was much more cooporative but we still had to work out some issues. Congatulations on a successful closing. 

Mar 10, 2017 01:25 PM #29
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Amanda S. Davidson - believe me, this happens with many F S B O! 

(And at the end of it, they think they saved money! Yep!)

Mar 10, 2017 09:49 PM #30
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

This is a great real life example of how a transaction can play out without representation.  Sounds like you handled it professionally and represented your clients well. -Kasey

Mar 12, 2017 03:31 PM #31
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Amanda S. Davidson

A FSBO can be very challenging to sell . . . . and close. It's not a walk in the park as you say it's a bumpy ride.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 13, 2017 07:25 PM #32
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Amanda S Davidson

An informative post . . . . Congratulations on the feature.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 13, 2017 07:27 PM #33
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

FSBO's are at a historical low only 8% of the market..

Mar 18, 2017 11:53 PM #34
Shahar Hillel
Augusta Financial Inc. - Stevenson Ranch, CA
Mortgage Consultant, Loan Officer.


Thank you for this great post on the for sale by owner properties.

Congratulation on being featured.

Mar 19, 2017 12:21 AM #35
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Without an agent to represent them, the sellers are probably losing money, making the transaction more difficult, and exposing themselves to great risk. Nice article, Amanda S. Davidson 

Mar 19, 2017 07:02 AM #36
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Congratulations on maintaining composure during this "bumpy ride!"  I can imagine he hiccups that occurred with a seller who was adamant about not using an agent but clearly did not know what all was involved.  Kudos to you!

Mar 20, 2017 07:48 PM #37
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Amanda S. Davidson "There’s also no lockbox on the home so we didn’t have a way to let the appraiser in even if we did agree to meet him."

Right on target - and - re-blog!


Apr 07, 2017 08:26 AM #38
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley

Just reading this post had me doing my deep yoga breaths to calm down. A bumpy ride, indeed. Somehow you and your team managed to keep it together--good job.

Apr 07, 2017 09:00 AM #39
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

I came back to read this following Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers' reblog.

There are some good lessons here for those who might end up working with an unrepresented seller! I have not...yet.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Apr 07, 2017 09:11 AM #40
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

 I too missed this when you posted it and came back from a re-blog by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers .   

Apr 07, 2017 10:11 AM #41
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh my goodness, these were some strangle-worthy sellers, to say the least, weren't they, Amanda?! I've had to do several over the past few years especially (driving neighborhoods over and over to find unlisted properties for buyers on the prowl!) and have experienced nearly all of what you did but, never all of it on the same one!!  

You have infinite patience is all I can say!  I'm sure you're relieved that this one is in the books!

Apr 07, 2017 09:54 PM #42
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

FSBO - failed sale by owner!   Never met a FSBO prepared for the journey ahead!

Apr 25, 2017 08:50 AM #43
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Most FSBO sellers and buyers eventually realize there is a lot more to selling and buying a house than sticking a sign in the yard and going to closing to pick up a check. 

Sep 12, 2017 05:34 PM #44
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Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale
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