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?

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.

I Buy Houses – Tips For Selling Your Home to Private Real Estate Investors

Many of the “I Buy Houses” signs you see posted on street corners and in front of homes belong to private real estate investors. In today’s recessed economy, a large percentage of homeowners are struggling to attract buyers. When property owners need to sell their house quick they oftentimes turn to individuals or organizations that specialize in buying houses for cash.  

Before calling the number on “I Buy Houses” signs, it is important to engage in due diligence and determine the source. Unfortunately, there are many scammers in the world and currently the real estate market is a prime target.  

Thanks to the Internet it is relatively easy to locate information about anyone. Business owners are required to register in each state they wish to conduct business. In most states, the Department of Revenue oversees business registrations. Other states utilize the Secretary of State office.  

The Attorney General’s office handles consumer complaints; as does the Better Business Bureau. Realtors and brokers are licensed through the Real Estate Commission.  

To locate any of the sources above via the Internet, type in your state plus the name of the organization, e.g; California Real Estate Commission. These agencies can help to ensure you are working with a licensed, legitimate, complaint-free business or real estate investor.  

I buy houses in southern California and work with a group of nationwide investors. Nearly all of us have heard horror stories of innocent homeowners losing their property to foreclosure scams. Mortgage financier, Freddie Mac, offers an article on how to avoid foreclosure rescue schemes.  

As an investor, people call me nearly every day, begging me to buy their house. The biggest problem I encounter is the fact that people wait too long before they take action. By the time they call me they are panic-stricken and desperate. It shouldn’t be that way.  

I’ll give you the same advice I give to everyone else. If you are delinquent on your mortgage, you need to call your lender now. I realize you might believe your lender is the devil incarnate, but most banks will work with you if you don’t ignore their requests. Once a house falls into foreclosure there is little room for negotiation.  

If there is no hope of getting back on track, ask your lender to engage in a short sale. Lenders agree to accept less than is owed on the loan if the borrower can sell their home within a certain time frame. Short sales are relatively complex and require time and patience.  

Short sale real estate is typically priced around ten percent under market value. In some areas, short sale properties are being sold up to 50-percent under market value. It’s best to work with a real estate investor who possesses short sale experience and understands the process.  

Selling your home to a private real estate investor is no different than selling to any other buyer. The exception is that investors are experienced and know what needs to be done and when to do it. Working with an experienced investor can simplify and expedite the process.  

In closing, be certain to read and thoroughly understand any legal documents prior to signing them. It’s always a good idea to have a real estate lawyer review the documents to ensure they are legally-binding and will stand up in a court of law if necessary.

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.

Homes For Sale – 7 Tips for Selling in a Slow Market

In the past decade home sales have gradually become a buyer's market. Although this is good news for the buyer, it is becoming somewhat of a nightmare for those who are trying to sell their home. Because of this, sellers often have to dramatically drop the price of their homes in order to make the sale, resulting in huge losses. However, there are ways of increasing the chances of making the sale without the seller having to take a big loss. The following will be a list of seven tips for successfully selling a home in a slow market.

1) Appearance is key- When looking to buy a home a buyer will naturally gravitate to houses that have a nice appearance. Fixer-uppers are not as popular as they once were. The first thing that a seller should do is to fix anything that may catch the eye of a potential buyer. For instance, the yard should look immaculate at all times. If the gutters on the house are drooping, that will be the first thing people will notice. If there is chipped paint on the house, paint it. It is worth the money to stage your property for curb appeal.

2) Be flexible- Be prepared to make yourself scarce on weekends if needed for the realtor to show the house. Keep things tidy at all times for any last minute appointments made by perspective buyers. Try not to limit the times that you are willing to provide access to the home.

3) Keep the home at market price- If you are stuck in the mind-frame of making big dollars from the sale of your home, chances are your house will be on the market for years. The best way to drive away potential buyers is to put the house up for sale above market value. Keeping the house for sale at a reasonable market price means that there will be more interest in coming to an open house, therefore bettering your chances of making the sale. It is a well-known fact by realtors that if the price is right, there is a buyer out there for every house.

4) Find an agent with an extensive sales track record in your town- A good realtor will know exactly how to determine fair market price for your home. He should also have a record of being able to sell a home within three or four months. A realtor that is experienced in selling property in your particular neighborhood will be able to take you through the process efficiently and in a timely manner. If you have a realtor who doesn't have many years of experience, this will waste valuable time and money while he is still working on perfecting his craft.

5) Give the home have a warm and welcoming feel- If the walls in your home are painted in vibrant colors tone them down with neutral shades of tan and beige. This will allow perspective buyers to picture their own furniture in the home without distraction. Set the mood with lightly scented candles in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Soft calming music in the background will give the buyer a relaxed comfortable feeling. Buy new linens for the beds and throw pillows for the sofas. Give your home that "homey" feeling that everyone is looking for.

6) Do your research- Go to open houses and check out the other houses that are on the market in your area. See what they have to offer a potential buyer. If they have a cozy seating area in the master bedroom, create your own cozy seating area to entice those potential buyers. You would be surprised at the things you can do with just a few over-sized throw pillows and a window with a view. Gather ideas from other houses and use your imagination for the rest.

7) Offer incentives to potential buyers- When a buyer is interested in purchasing your home but wants you to come down on the price, try using other incentives instead. For instance, you may want to offer to pay the buyer closing costs. This is always tempting to buyers since it will save them money, allowing them to have more money for a down payment. Some sellers choose to throw in appliances such as the refrigerator, dishwasher or washer / dryer.

In a buyer's market, the seller has the task of being inventive in finding a way of moving his property. Making the sale is not always a piece of cake, but with a bit of effort, it can still be done quite successfully.