For Sale by Owner

Things to consider before selling your home FOR SALE BY OWNER

Some homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). Homeowners obviously know their homes better than anyone, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best salespersons for their properties. Some sellers are tempted to try a (FSBO) transaction because their local community is in the midst of a sellers’ market and they think they can sell easily without help. Others try the FSBO route because they want to maximize their profits and avoid paying a commission to a Realtor.

However, statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a professional Realtor will bring in a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Why to Sell With a Realtor? - Choosing to sell with a professional rather than on your own makes sense for a variety of reasons:

A Realtor has access to market data about recent sales and other homes on the market that can be used to price your home appropriately. Studies show that homes priced right when they’re first listed sell more quickly and for a higher price than those that linger on the market.

A Realtor can show your home when you aren’t available, can respond to inquiries from potential buyers and their agents, and can get valuable feedback from visitors – all things that save you time.

A Realtor can look at your home objectively and suggest ways to improve its appearance – by staging and minor repairs – so it appeals to more buyers.

Buyers typically prefer to look at a home without the seller present so they can feel more comfortable exploring the rooms and visualizing themselves in the property. At an FSBO sale, the seller must be present.

A Realtor can screen visitors to your home, which provides a measure of safety that FSBO sellers don’t have. In addition, by checking to see if the buyers are legitimate and can afford to purchase your home, a Realtor can help you avoid wasting time showing your home to unrealistic buyers.

Realtors have professional marketing expertise, contacts with other Realtors who work with buyers, and the support of a brokerage that can market your home more widely than you can as an individual.

A Realtor can help you negotiate a contract that not only get you an appropriate price for your home, but that meets your needs for a settlement date. In addition, a Realtor can make sure your contract is in compliance with all local regulations.

FSBO Possible Dangers
Most buyers today work with a buyers’ agent to represent their interests. If you choose to sell your home on your own, you’ll be negotiating with a professional and relying on your own skill to finalize a contract. Not only could you end up selling your home for less money, you could leave yourself open to potential legal problems.

FSBO transactions can be successful, of course, but 90 percent of homeowners prefer to work with a professional rather than risk an unsatisfactory home selling experience.

There are several reasons (FSBO) might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are five of our reasons:
1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to navigate if you decide to FSBO.
The buyer who wants the best deal possible.
The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer.
The closing attorney.
The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
The appraiser if there is a question of value.

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 98% of buyers search online for a home. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home.

3. Results Come from the Internet
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?
43% on the internet
9% from a yard sign
1% from newspapers

4. FSBO has Become More and More Difficult
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people trying to sell their home FSBO has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Bottom Line - Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your area and see what they have to offer.


1. For your own safety, never set an appointment with anyone to see your home unless they have given you their name and number and you have called back to verify that number. An easy way to do this is to say. “Let me check with my spouse for the best time and I will call you back.” Tell them you need to check with another family member even if you are not married.
2. Never let potential buyers know your schedule. Do not ever tell them when you will not be at home, when your spouse will not be at home, when you pick up the kids, when you work, when you will be on vacation, etc.
3. Never give potential buyers information about your home’s security such as deadlock bolts, security systems, and so forth.
4. Always have a backup plan when you allow strangers into your home, especially if you have children, have a neighbor look out for you until the lookers have gone.
5. Never let a stranger in to your home without seeing identification. If the person says, he/she is a real estate agent, ask for a card, and then call his/her office to verify the information.
6. Keep a log of everyone who has looked at you house. Get their names, telephone numbers, address, car description, tag number, and any additional information that could be helpful in the event of a future burglary. All of these people would be suspects.
7. If you make a flyer to advertise your home, do not include any information that might breech security.
8. Remove from sight all valuables, including guns, jewelry, silverware, and collections, prescriptions drugs.
9. Never leave strangers alone, and watch their every move while they are in your home. One of the latest scams according to the Real Estate Today magazine involves prescription drugs. They would ask to use the bathroom and search for prescriptions drugs while inside the bathroom.

1.  Most buyers have a hard time imagining how a home will look with their belongings in it. Your goal is to give them a blank canvas.
Remove any excess clutter.
Paint your walls a neutral color.
Keep the home well-lit and bright leave on lights throughout the home and pull the curtains back and open the blinds.
Leave your home every day ready to show.
2. Your goal should be to make a positive first impression. That impression starts from the moment the buyer pulls up to your home.
Keep your yard clean. It should be cut and manicured regularly.
Trim your hedges and pull any weeds. If you have a flowerbed, make sure it looks well-maintained.
3. Make any necessary repairs upfront. If you make the kind of repairs upfront, that the buyer is going to ask for anyway, your house will look more attractive to potential buyer.
Repair loose or damaged shingles, siding and caulking, damaged wood to decks and porches.
Repair any cracks, leaks, or water damage.
Replace worn carpet with a good medium neutral carpet.
Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
Inspect and if necessary, repair the heating, cooling and electrical systems.

Take the right steps to keep your family and home safe.

Do not leave valuables in plain sight.
Do not give potential buyers your schedule.
Do not let buyer’s walk around you home alone.
Do not include information in flyers that indicates your security system.
Do not let a potential buyer in without seeing some identification.