5 Tips for For Sale By Owners FSBO

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Decided to sell your home and want to give it a try on your own? According to the National Association of Realtors for sale by owners FSBO accounted for 9% of all home sales in 2013. If you want to be one of the successful 9% consider using these tips. If you have any questions about the process not mentioned here, feel free to give me a call. I am here to help!

Price it Right – A home in excellent condition, in a great neighborhood, beautifully staged will sit on the market if it is overpriced.  When a home is priced too high it becomes  competition for homes that may be larger, newer or have more features than yours and no amount of marketing will sell an overpriced home. The first two weeks your home is on the market is when buyer interest is highest. The longer your home stays on the market the less likely it is that you’ll get the asking price.  Study the comparable sales in your neighborhood over the last six months and price slightly below the last home of the same size with the same level of features and finishes.

Take a Critical Look at Your Home – Try to see it with fresh eyes just as a buyer will see it.  Paint the walls in neutral colors-grey beiges photograph beautifully. Replace carpet or refinish floors if necessary.  Make sure the exterior of the home and the landscaping is in perfect condition. Take care of any items in the home that need to be such repaired such as leaking faucets torn screens, broken hinges, missing outlet covers, etc. Have your heating and cooling checked to be sure they are in good working order. If they have outlived their lifespan consider replacing them.  Declutter your home and be sure it is in pristine, clean condition.

Get Professional Photos – Unless you have the ability to take impressive photos, hire a professional, especially if you are marketing online. Most buyers start their search for homes online and poorly photographed homes are likely to get eliminated.  Professional photos will also look better in printed material. Video tours are also helpful especially if accompanied by an interactive floor plan.

Be Flexible on Showings – If your home is not available to be seen, it is essentially off the market. When buyers call be available at times that are convenient for them. Typical showing times are daily between 9 and 7 with occasional exceptions. During a showing, step outside and let buyers walk through the home alone so they feel free to discuss the home privately.  If you are following the buyers around, showing and explaining features of the home they will feel uncomfortable. Period. Lock away any personal papers and valuables while the home is being viewed.

Become Familiar with Required Paperwork – Read over the sales contract, and all addendums required by law as well as closing paperwork to make sure you have a good understanding of them before you receive an offer. Consider hiring an attorney to help with negotiations if any aspect of the contract is not clear to you. When you receive an offer, make sure the buyer is pre approved, not just pre-qualified. Hopefully, all will be clear sailing to closing but be prepared to deal with any home inspection or appraisal issues. Add in a few buffer days to the closing date to allow for any last minute delays of closing.

Happy Selling!


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Jennifer Halm
McEnearney Associates