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For Sale By Owner Tips

Selling Without Representation as a For Sale by Owner


For Sale By Owner

Selling without an agent means selling by owner, unless you hire a lawyer.

© Big Stock Photo
Doing a For Sale By Owner (also known as FSBO), without representation, is not terribly difficult if the market is moving fast and inventory is snapped up as soon as it becomes available for sale. However, for most FSBOs, finding buyers is typically a challenge.

The National Association of Realtors reports that the majority of for sale by owners end up listing with a Realtor. Part of the reason is because most buyers are represented by an agent. Other reasons are because owners who sell by themselves lack the expertise to price a home to sell and fall short on marketing knowledge.

Here are tips on how to do a sale by owner:

How Much is a For Sale By Owner's Home Worth?

  • Pricing a home to sell is part intuition, part research and part market timing.

  • You can't always depend on an agent's opinion of value because sometimes agents take overpriced listings just to lure your business away from the competitors.

  • However, you do not want fall victim to a seller's biggest mistake and not price your home correctly, because the first two weeks on the market are crucial. That's when buyers' interest levels are the highest.

Preparing Your Home to Sell as a For Sale By Owner

Gone are the days of selling homes with unmade beds, dishes in the sink and toys scattered throughout. Today's homes must be spotless and resemble a model home.

  • Before you begin to prepare your house for sale, examine the home from a stranger's viewpoint. Ask a friend to help, who might be more removed from your attachment.

  • Consider spending money on improvements, fixing things that don't work and making repairs before selling to improve your profit.

  • Do not underestimate the power of home staging. It can mean the difference between selling now for more money or not at all.

  • Pets in the home present its own set of challenges. It's harder to sell a home where pets live.

Marketing Your Home as a For Sale By Owner

With all the money you will be saving over hiring an agent, spend a big chunk on advertising. Figure out your target audience and get the message to them.

  • Choose several or all of these house marketing tips, from how to do photographs, print advertising, direct mail and eflyers to hosting tours.

  • All marketing should be geared toward making your phone ring and increasing traffic to your home.

  • Avoid marketing mistakes by being flexible with showings, offering incentives to buyers and obtaining buyer feedback.

  • Seasonal sales require unique approaches. The way you would sell in spring is very different than selling in winter.

  • If you decide to offer a commission to selling agents, you will want to put a lockbox on your premises for easy access by agents when you are not home.

  • Follow these tips for how to hold an open house, and remember that in some areas, Saturdays are just as popular as Sundays.

  • Hire a good photographer to shoot a virtual tour with at least two to four spins of your house, and advertise the virtual tour link in your marketing materials.

Next, How to Negotiate With a Buyer, Provide Disclosures and Get Through a Home Inspection

Go to Page Two of For Sale By Owner Tips

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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