For Sale by Owner

Are You Prepared to Go it Alone?

Many people think that selling real estate is easy – you put out a sign in the yard and wait for an offer - “NOT”.  You need to be prepared to put in the work required to sell your home.  Below is an abbreviated list of tasks you will encounter in selling your home on your own.  You might want to take an honest look at your skill set.  If you are not in a hurry to sell, you’re practical, do your homework and stay focused, organized and diligent throughout the process you might do well.  Then again, if you aren’t up to the task, selling your home on your own might not be the best idea.
Common mistakes are pricing your property too high or too low. Too High and it stagnates on the market, too low and buyers think there’s something wrong with it.
  • Take good, professional photographs (do not use your cell phone)
  • Write an engaging effective description of the property
  • Buy and install a “For Sale” yard sign with promotional flyers (designed, produced and printed by you) that include your contact information
  • List the property on several real estate websites that allow For Sale by Owner listings
  • Take phone calls and schedule appointments for showing at the buyers convenience (which most times will not be yours)
  • Show your home to total strangers who may have motives other than buying your hous
Make sure they are financially able to buy your property. Require an original signed mortgage pre-approval letter (not an internet generated one without a signature) for a loan at least 96.5% of the purchase price you are asking.For a cash sale require proof of funds - either a copy of their bank statement with their name on it, or a letter from their bank that states they have 105% of the purchase price you’re asking available for use to buy a home.
Be ready to hear criticism of your property by buyers trying to negotiate a lower price or worse, you have a ton of calls about the home but no showings because you have priced the property too high.
Don’t let that couple with the darling baby who looked straight at you and said “momma” or “papa” talk you into lowering the price because they just don’t have quite enough credit or cash for the purchase.
Decide who pays for what closing costs and when the buyer takes possession of the property. Agree on what contingencies are acceptable and the amount of earnest money.
The cost can vary from $500 to $2,000 to prepare and/or review your sales contract
  • Sellers Disclosue
  • Information About On-Site Sewer (required if your property has a septic system
  • Lead Based Paint Addendum (required if your home was built prior to 1978
  • Addendum for Property Subject to Mandatory Membership in a Property Owners Association
  • Addendum for Property in a Propane Gas System Service Area
Collect the Earnest Money and take the executed contract to a local title company for closing.
Be present for the buyers inspection appointment and the lenders appraisal appointment.
Decide which repairs revealed during the buyers inspection you agree to make or deduct from the sales price. Pay your real estate attorney to amend the contract with the changes.
Pay your real estate attorney to resolve any curative issues that arise in obtaining clear title to the property.

Do You Actually Save Money Selling on Your Own?

Listing your home typically costs you around 6% of the sales price in commission. Selling on your own will save you at least 50% of that because you will probably end up paying a buyers agent 3% - but maybe not.Educated buyers know the local commission rate and will automatically offer you 6% less than your asking price because there are no agents involved.If a similar house in your neighborhood is priced the same but it’s listed – why should you receive more for your home?If you end up selling your home for 6% less than your asking price, you are making the same amount of money as you would when listing it, but you are doing all of the work of selling your home yourself.

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