FSBO's or For Sale By Owner
Learn What You Need to Know If You Are Considering Selling Your Home Yourself



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FOR SALE BY OWNER



If you are attempting to sell your home yourself you should be aware that those in the real estate industry have a name for those who attempt to sell their home on their own.


Although it is not meant to be derogatory
those who attempt to sell their home themselves are known as FSBO's (pronounced fizbo's) by those in the real estate industry.   However, many agents will steer their buyers away from homes that are not listed by real estate agents. 



Over the years consumers who have tried to sell their homes themselves have contacted our office after having a difficult time trying to sell their property on their own.  In almost all cases the property was overpriced from the start and/or was not in good selling condition for the current market.


Many did not have an understanding of how to price their property right and in the process they did not attract high quality buyers. 


This page is in large part inspired by those who desire to sell their home themselves—but may lack the “know how” of what needs to be done to sell their home themselves in a successful manner!


Whether you decide to list with an agent or sell your home yourself there are certain variables that are common to both.   If your home sits on the market for a long time—the less likely it is to sell or the less you will get for your home. 


Your goal should be to sell in a timely manner and at top dollar based on the current market conditions.


You must have a system or approach that you utilize that will lead to you pricing your home right in the current market. 


With residential home inventory being reduced in many parts of the country at this time (Spring 2013) you want to determine the best price that will bring buyers to your door right from the start!


If you need a starting point to determine what homes are selling for in your area you can go to the following links:



realtytrac.com

trulia.com

zillow.com

hud.gov

atlanta area homes

bank owned homes



Keep in mind that the above sites are a starting point only and you will need to do additional pricing research in order to come up with the true market value for your home!


Many homeowners base their sales price on what they paid for their property—what their property appraised at according to the tax assessor’s office—what they owe on their mortgage or what their neighbor received when they sold their home—which in either of the scenarios can be off by a substantial amount from the true market value.


You must determine the price that a willing buyer is willing to pay today as the market is currently configured.  If I fail to purchase will someone else purchase?  That is what should be running through a prospective purchaser’s mind if you price your home right and the home is in good selling condition!

 

How do I Determine the Right Price?

 

The right price is derived by determining what others are paying for a similar style house in a similar styled neighborhood at the current time or within the last 6 months or so—depending on your market and neighborhood. 


It is important to consider the price of properties actually on the market, those that have recently sold and those that have recently expired (did not sell—normally due to over-pricing) so that you can come up with a price that is competitive and will get you the desired sale in the least amount of time at a fair price to both you—and the purchaser!


If you don’t have a realtor that can provide you this information—you must use your time and research abilities to discern this information yourself from public sites and agencies in your area. 


You can possibly go here and to the above sites to determine a price range based on public record data in your area:

ForSaleByOwner.com 



You can possibly go here to create great looking brochures that can help in the marketing of your home:

Realflyer.com



You can possibly go here to find other creative ways to market your home:


Owners.com

Brittonproducts.com

Realtor.com

Trulia

Zillow


In the marketing of your home it is important to include location, driving directions, heating and cooling sources, public or private water, school district, signage and anything else that you feel will aid in getting your home sold faster such as social media.  


Keep in mind that print media (newspaper, real estate magazines etcetera) are not as effective as they once were as the tech economy has pushed the usage and effectiveness down considerably over the past decade.


You want to make your property easy to showbut only to those who are sincerely interested and have the means to purchase in the current market.  Have a contact number on your marketing materials and be ready to field calls during all reasonable hours.



Keep in mind that you may not get as clear a picture as an agent would get with the data that you gather—however, you would be in better position than other “for sale by owners” who normally don’t pursue the pricing of their home in the appropriate manner.


If your home “stands out from the crowd” by being in the best selling condition based on price and other factors in a consumers mind—you increase the likelihood of selling your home in a timely manner and at or near your asking price.


You must realize that selling your home is hard work as you will have to exert physical and mental energy at a high level throughout the process.  You must have the time that is needed to show your property and you must have the time that is needed to negotiate until the sale is complete. 


That means that you must not only use your time to create an effective means of marketing your property and bringing qualified buyers in—you must do all of the other necessary steps that are required up until closing.


If you are one who would enjoy the challenge of marketing and selling your home and you have a realistic expectation of the time commitment that is required you are a better candidate for selling your home yourself than most—as most home sellers would rather not go through the process.



Why You Must Price Your Home Right—Right From the Start?



Likewise, if you over-price your home by even a little—you could turn away potential buyers by the dozens! 


If you price your property right and your property is in the right condition you should receive a number of offers within the first 30 days (60 days if you are selling yourself) unless your pricing, selling condition or marketing is  out of balance—compared to the market!


It is normally not in your best interest to “test the market” by pricing high and then dropping the price.

It is normally not in your best interest to put your home on the market when your home needs major repairs or upgrades.



Doing so in many cases can lead to buyer turnoff and your home sitting on the market for months with few interested buyers and in many cases no qualified or appropriate offers or offers that are “below” what the real market value was at the time that you put the property on the market.



Why Home Buyers Must Be Able to "Find" your Property?


When you first decide to sell and you put your property on the market is when you will normally get the most action. 


That is the case whether you list your property with a real estate brokerage company or you decide to sell on your own!


The viewing of “new listings” are particularly attractive to home buyers as they have already seen what is on the market and in their price rangeif they were utilizing a real estate agent.  



If you price too high you could possibly miss those new buyers during the critical (new period) 14 day period if you were utilizing an agent. 



Many agents at real estate companies normally search homes in a certain price range and if you are outside that price range due to overpricing—that is one less viewing that could have possibly led to a sale had the property been priced right—right from the start.

By attempting to sell your property yourself many buyers would have no way of knowing that your property was for sale unless they rode by your house or discovered that your home was for sale in some other manner (your marketing mix that you came up with to get the word out that your home is for sale).

 

OK—Let’s recap—what exactly do you need to do to successfully sell your home yourself:


  • Price your home right—right from the start

  • Make sure you do the needed repairs prior to putting your home on the market

  • A pre-sale inspection can be helpful in many cases

  • Consider staging or reducing the clutter in your home

  • Make sure your appliances are clean and up-to-date

  • Make sure your HVAC, Plumbing, Water Heater and other systems are in top running condition—replace if necessary

  • Always consider the size, condition and improvements of your property as compared to your competition

  • Make sure you know your competition and price your home accordingly

  • Make sure your home is in the best condition based on your sales price (de-clutter and clean thoroughly)

  • Consider going to open houses in your area to get a feel for the market (search online blogs as well)

 

 

Even if you are trying to sell your home as an owner—if you price it right and your property is in the right selling condition in a desirable area you can be successful.  Just be sure that you have the proper mindset—and time commitment that is needed.  


Selling your home yourself is not an easy task!  H
owever if you approach the process with a "comprehensive understanding" of what it takes and you are truly committed to doing what is necessaryyou can be successful. 


Be sure to consider hiring a competent real estate attorney to help you smooth out the For Sale By Owner process and provide you added insight on selling your home yourself.


You must be ready to accept an offer, determine the credit worthiness of a buyer, coordinate closing, get the required repairs and other contingencies done in a timely manneralong with all of the "unexpected's" that can occur from contract to closing!


While showing your property keep safety at the forefront!


When you show your property to potential buyers ask them to:


  • sign in

  • provide their email address

  • provide their phone number, and 

  • try to stay away from showing your property alone

*For those who are genuinely interested in your propertyyou can leave a copy of your sales brochure and other marketing material.  Be sure to follow up with a call or email with those who appear to show genuine interest in your propertyotherwise you would more than likely just be wasting everyone's time, including your own.



We wish you success in the sale of your current home as well as success in the purchase of your future home!




For more helpful home selling tips
—Click On the following links:



Purchase The FIZBO Manual & Set Yourself Apart In The Selling of Your Home


All About Credit


All About Home Mortgages


All About Home Warranties


Atlanta Area Down Payment Assistance


Frequently Asked Real Estate Questions


Home Selling Tips


Mortgage Calculator





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About This Article:

 

The above article was written by Thomas (TJ) UnderwoodThomas (TJ) Underwood is a former fee-only financial planner, a former top producing loan processor and is currently a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia. 


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He is the writer behind The Real Estate & Finance 360 Degrees Series of Books that include The Wealth Increaser, Home Buyer 411, Home Seller 411, and  Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM.  

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He is the creator of TheWealthIncreaser.com where he regularly blogs about helping consumers improve their credit, finance and real estate pursuits in an intelligent, consistent and proactive manner. 

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