For Sale by Owner (FSBO) - What Do I Need to Know?
By Kristin Abouelata
Price the Home Correctly: It is crucial that you research and place the correct price tag on your home when selling it. A reputable real estate agent is the first person to contact to help appraise your home. Many agents wonít lend you the time of day to assist you with this aspect since they arenít listing your home. But a good agent will do it for you with no strings attached. They realize that their business is based on reputation and referrals. They may not get this listing, but you may want them to represent you in your next home purchase. Or your cousin may need a good realtorís help in the future. Do your homework. Find similar homes in your area and compare their price tags. Are the homesas attractive as yours? Are they as large as yours? Pricing the home correctly is crucial.
Use your time: A FSBO property allows you to place your home on the market for the maximum price to see if it sells quickly. If you have a deadline to sell your home, market it yourself well in advance of this deadline. Later, if you feel you need a realtorís help, you havenít painted yourself into a corner. You still have time to market and sell the property correctly.
Market the Home: Make it easy for people to know more about your home without investing too much time. Put a For Sale by Owner sign in the front yard with contact numbers. Put a brochure with information out front so people can pre-screen the information and not waste your time. Talk to your local paper or other FSBOís and investigate whether placing an ad in the local paper has had results. Different markets yield different results. Consider hosting an open house, but make sure you get the information out to the right market.
Put Your Homeís Best Foot Forward: You want to make sure your home sends the right message to prospective buyers. People have to be able to see themselves in that home. What is the first impression when driving up to the home? Whatís the feeling inside? Take measure to provide maximum curb appeal. You want to make sure people want to come inside the house. The outside of your home should entice them to do so. The interior should be clean, airy and free of clutter. Try to make the home smell good and pack away personal effects that remind prospects someone else lives there. The realtor that helps you determine a market price should be able to make suggestions in this area that will make your home more marketable.
Is Your Prospect Qualified?: Make sure your buyer is pre-qualified before entertaining their offer. You can request that a preferred mortgage lender you trust or another reputable lender provide this service. If a person isnít qualified to buy your home, you donít want to lose valuable marketing opportunity to attract other prospects. Do not take verbal offers seriously. A serious prospect will sign a contract and provide earnest money as a show of good faith. Make sure you are using a legal contract and that it is executed properly and protects your interest. Again, that real estate agent who helped you earlier or an attorney may be a good idea at this juncture. A well executed sales contract is worth its weight in gold.
Of course all of the above is based upon my personal opinion and experience. Use these thoughts for informational purposes only. And good luck selling your home!
Kristinís articles on Home Loans are very practical, consumer friendly information written in PLAIN ENGLISH. Consumer education is critical to what is most often a familyís largest and only investment Ė their home.
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