Only 7% of all real estate sales in 2018 were closed without using a real estate agent.
This is more commonly known as FSBO, or for sale by owner. Homeowners will turn to FSBOs to try to save money on real estate commissions.
If you need to sell your home and don’t want to use an agent, it’s a must to learn the for sale by owner process.
There could be messy legal implications if you sell your home and overlook a few fine details. Keep reading to learn the top for sale by owner tips and the sales process.
1. Weigh Your Options
Before you go all-in on an FSBO sale, you want to weigh all of your options carefully. There are some advantages to selling the home yourself.
You’ll save money on agent fees, or you may already have a buyer in mind, such as a family member. You may already be aware of the steps to buying or selling a home.
You do want to talk to a few real estate agents to see what they’ll bring to the table. You could find that they can sell your home faster or get more value for the sale.
2. Get Your Home Ready
The first thing you need to do is to get your home ready for sale. There are three areas that you need to focus on: curb appeal, staging, and repairs.
Repairs are the minor issues in your home that can drag down the sales price. You want to start at the roof and replace missing or broken shingles. You can then work your way down to the attic to make sure the insulation is in good shape, check the plumbing, and wiring in the home for any potential issues.
If you spot minor issues, you may be able to DIY them. Otherwise, it’s best to call in professionals that are qualified to do the work. Curb appeal is the first impression that potential buyers have when they see your home. Cut the lawn, pull weeds, and add colorful flowers to the walkway.
When you stage the home, you want to clear the home of clutter and personal items. Potential buyers will want to see themselves in the home, not you or your family members.
3. Give Your Home a Fair Price
The most important part of the for sale by owner process is setting your sales price. Most owners tend to overstate the value of the home and it sits on the market for months.
Potential buyers will wonder why the house is still sitting there and will move on, forcing you to lower your price.
You want to do your research by looking at recent sales in your area. You also want to look at the types of homes that sold recently.
When you compare sales, look at the sales price and the number of bedrooms, square footage, and age of the home.
4. Create a Marketing Plan
A home rarely sells because someone drove by the home and saw the sign in your window. You want to create a marketing plan that has a digital component to it.
People are going to start looking for real estate online to see what homes are on the market. You want to make sure that your home gets found easily.
You can also use your personal social media accounts to let people within your networks that your home is for sale.
5. Write an Attractive Listing
You have to present your home in a way that people will find interesting and appealing. You can do that by writing an attractive listing.
You want to talk about the features that are in your home. Make it easy to visualize your home and help people imaging themselves living there. For example, if you have a patio for entertaining, talk about the summer gatherings that can happen there.
You need to accompany your listing with professional-looking images. Don’t take images where you capture nothing but clutter in the home. Worse yet, you can take pictures where you see your reflection or a flash reflection.
Take time to compose pictures and bring out the best features in your home.
6. Don’t Rule Out Other Options
As you get into the FSBO process, you may realize that you’re in over your head. There are other options to sell your house and get it done quickly.
Take the time to reassess whether or not selling your home yourself is the best option. If it is, then start marketing your home.
7. Have an Airtight Contract
Should all go well, you’ll have a number of offers on your home. Take a look at each offer and look at the pros and cons of each. A cash buyer may offer less money, but the home will close faster.
You want to make sure that you understand the real estate contract and the terms of all offers before you agree to any of them. You may want to have an attorney review a contract before you sign one.
8. The Closing Process
Once an offer is accepted, you move on to the closing process. Your home will have to be inspected (paid for by the buyer) and appraised if a bank loan is involved in the transaction.
If there are any issues that come up, the deal could fall through. The inspection could uncover a major issue in the home and the buyer backs out. Financing could fall through at the last minute.
You want to understand that the home isn’t sold until the deal closes.
The Complete For Sale By Owner Process
It’s not an easy decision to sell your home as an FSBO. The for sale by owner process can be complicated, even if your home is in perfect condition.
There can be issues with the asking price, or you may find that buyers are unreasonable. You do have plenty of options to sell your home and not go through an agent.
No matter what path you choose to sell your home, be prepared for something unexpected to come up.
Do you want more real estate tips? Take a look at the other articles we have on this site for more helpful information.