You might be wondering, "Why would a Realtor be giving me advice how to sell FSBO?" Well in some cases, this might be a good option to keep more money in your pocket when you get to the closing table. Prior to becoming a Realtor I successfully purchased and sold homes FSBO, saving me lots of money. Here are some tips if you are going to try and sell on your own:
- Spend some time reading about getting your home ready for sale. De-cluttering and getting your home cleaned up inside and out are the main things you'll want to do.
- Know that in many cases buyers are going to want to make lower priced offers to you since "you are saving all those commissions." If you discount your selling price because of this then you are defeating the whole purpose of selling FSBO, which is to keep more of your money.
- After listing you will get a lot of calls/texts/emails from agents trying to convince you to list your house with them for many reasons. You can respond to them saying, "We are willing pay this % or $ commission at closing, let me know when you would like to show your buyers the house."
- In almost all cases you have to offer a competitive commission to buyer's agents to bring their buyers in your door. It's very unlikely a serious buyer is going to call you who does not have a Realtor, since the buyers do not have to pay a Realtor for their services.
- List your home on Zillow (it's free) and advertise it on Facebook on your personal page and on the group pages. Note in the description that you will pay an agent commission (if applicable) and you are not searching for an agent at this time. This will (somewhat help) save your phone and email box from filling up with agents.
- Making sure you are priced right can be one of the most important things. If you are priced too high your home can end up sitting on the market for a long time, costing yourself thousands of dollars in mortgage payments, and opening yourself up to get more lowball offers, even after you have lowered it. If you price it too low, you would have been better off having an agent do the work for you, and netted more money.
- If you think you are priced competitively, stick to your price or close to it and don't let others try and beat you up on the price. If you end up selling your home for thousands of dollars less then you originally wanted you did not end up saving any money by not using a Realtor. In some cases you could have ended up with more money in your pocket by paying for the services of a Realtor.
- Don't give up right away, FSBO homes do typically take longer to sell and find the right buyer since you don't have the benefits of displaying your home in the MLS. There are some Realtors that will put your home in the MLS and offer a limited services option for sellers, which can save you some money. I do have options to work with FSBOs, please Contact Me for more information.
- Be prepared for lots of looky-loos who are not really interested or not qualified. Many times new buyers who are not preapproved will start buy going to open houses and looking at FSBO houses so they are not bothering an agent (or being bothered by an agent).
- Make sure your potential buyer is preapproved prior to accepting an offer from them, otherwise your home could be tied up pending, and unable to sell, if you have unfavorable timelines set for the buyer to obtain financing.
- Negotiating pricing and contract terms can be awkward face to face with the buyer. Buying and selling is an emotional transaction, and typically your largest financial transaction.
- What about the home inspection? This is where a lot of disagreements come in play when buyers want things fixed that you do not want to fix.
- What about the appraisal? If the appraisal comes in low you'll have to decide to lower your price, the buyer brings more cash to closing, or put it back on the market and hope the next appraiser thinks differently.
- If it's not in writing, it didn't happen. If the seller and buyer agree on something for any inspection issues (or anything for that matter), make sure it's in writing, signed by both parties.
After finding a buyer it's not always smooth sailing to the closing table. When I purchased a FSBO this is the time we ran into some issues, and the title company does not give legal and contract advice. The under contract phase of the selling process can be where you get the most value using an agent to help you. If the buyer has an agent working for them they will fill out the appropriate paperwork with an offer to you. However, the buyers' agent is working in the buyer's best interest, not yours. If the buyer you found does not have an agent many sellers and buyers are left asking, "What do we do now?" You will need a Purchase Agreement spelling out all the details and deadlines of the purchase between the buyer and seller. There are many aspects of the deal that take place after the home is under contract, such as seller disclosures, lead based paint disclosures, inspections, appraisals, buyer financing deadlines, deed type, title insurance, and other contingencies. You can find some Indiana specific Purchase Agreements on Google (that's what I did at the time), but free documents on Google are not always the best. Since the title companies usually will not give legal and contract advice, you might have to hire an attorney or a Realtor to help you with your paperwork if your deal becomes more complex then you expected.
If you would like a FREE No Obligation Home Evaluation on your selling options including FSBO please contact me. I can walk you through the positives and negatives based on your situation.