For Sale By Owner

Thinking about trying to sell your home yourself, without the aid of a real estate professional? A lot of folks choose this avenue, for differing reasons. In some cases, the difference between the home’s market value and the amount owed is not great enough to be able to pay a listing fee. Others have had experience before selling by themselves, and feel they know how to do it again. Obviously, still others choose FSBO just to try and maximize their net proceeds for future use.

In a seller’s market, where inventory is down and home prices stable or rising, attempting to sell on your own might work. In a buyer’s market, with falling prices and lots of competition, it can be a bit more challenging. Either way, here are a few tips for those of you who want to try this method of selling your home:

1. Make sure you know the laws in your state about disclosure. In North Carolina, as well as other states, owners must complete and make available a Residential Property Disclosure  that informs prospective buyers about the condition of the property. Failure to disclose or misrepresentation is a serious issue.

2. Think about how you will accomodate people that want to view your home.  If someone wants to see the home on a weekday morning, can you be there to let them in? How will you let them tour the home on their own and still feel comfortable about them being in there? Or will you plan to escort them around the property and make a sales pitch?

3. Will you agree to pay a Realtor® fee to an agent that brings you a buyer? If you will, make sure you advertise that on your sign out front. It can mean a lot more showings. If not, expect any offers that might come to be discounted by the prospective buyer that knows you are saving Realtor® commissions.

4. Have you thought about how you qualify an offer from a buyer? How will you know that the prospect is creditworthy? If you know you are getting an offer, request that it is accompanied by a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender. If someone is offering cash, ask for proof of funds. You do not want to spend a lot of time getting to closing, and take your home off the market, only to discover the day before closing that your buyer can’t buy.

5.  How will you attract buyers to your home? Besides the sign in the front yard, consider a flyer box with color flyers detailing the features of your home. Include color photos. Make sure all contact information and the price is on the flyer. Also, get some internet exposure. If you are not going to be on your area’s multiple listing service website, put your home on craigslist. Unless lots of people have a reason to drive past your house you need to let people know you are offering your home for sale.

These are just a few things you should consider when attempting to sell your home alone. You may have more questions about how to get started. As a North Carolina Realtor®, my first suggestion would always be to consider listing with a licensed agent. But if this is something you need to try, and you have other questions, call or email me and I will give you honest answers.


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