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For Sale By Owner Advice

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So I'm looking to buy in Aug/Sept and I'm putting my house up July/Aug.

 

 

Here is the backstory.

 

The county auditor is coming monday to inspect and update my square footage based on a renovation I completed last year. This will add about 231 sf of livable heated area. When I purchased 2.5 years ago it was 1,568 square foot for $135,500 ($86.41 / SF). I live in a coveted area due to school district and parks and I'm told by a realtor demand is high and values have gone up. I'm thinking best case scenario I could fetch 1,799 SF x $89 = $160,111 ($89/sf is 5% lower than Zillows estimate of $94/sf for my neighborhood).

 

I owe 130,000 on it and would like to net at least $15k after all fees, concessions, etc. I'm looking for some advice on selling the home myself. I know FSBO can be challenging but I'm happy to do the legwork. Given the backstory, is it worth the effort to sell the house myself? I know there are pros and cons to each scenario. I'm just looking for advice from those with experience.

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Great Question - Pros and cons to this - Pros - if you are sucessful you save money -

Cons - a lot of agents will NOT show a FSBO so you lose out on a lot of potential buyers - if they do show the home they will want you to pay them their commission - this is still lower than paying both the seller and buyers side

 

It is not easy to find a buyer however if it is a hot market a few well placed craiglists ads with some exposure on other locally known real estate sites may be all it takes -

 

I woul advise paying someone to do the contract for you even if you sell on your own - typically the buyer starts the contract with the offer - you will want to be confident in the contract if they are not represented who will take care of it - you can in theory go online and print out a generic contract but I wouldnt go that route - each state has a list of disclosures etc - someone needs to know what these are -

 

Others will weigh in - in my opinion, unless you have experience with these things hiring an agent is worth the cost -

 

Good Luck

BrianBTheLoanProfessor

MortgageForumLead

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I have done FSBO once. Probably won't do again as I feel being on the MLS and having agents show it will be worth more than I save.

Like Brian said, it can be a good idea to offer 1/2 commission to agents showing your home. I think the term is "Agent Protected".

 

Most buyers out there prefer to use an agent and why would anyone show your house if they will get nothing out of it.

 

A lawyer can be a good idea, but a great title company can also suffice. They can handle the escrow.

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If your willing to do the leg work, I say go for it! I purchased my home FSBO, we used a title company, they were very nice and it was an easy process. I found my place on Zillow, contacted them and went from there, FSBO is a great way to save money, spend the time marketing it yourself and let us know how it goes!!

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Thank you all for the good advice. I will vet a few title companys and get started in a few weeks with FSBO.com, craigslist, and good looking yard sign. I am strongly considering having an agent do 1/2 commission as I have a gut feeling they will bring me a higher quality buyer who will offset their fee. I don't even want to waste time with anyone who doesn't have a pre-approval letter.

 

Maybe the best route is to try to go it alone (with a good title agent behind me) for the first 30 days, and if I'm getting undesirable offers, bring a sellers agent on board for half commission.

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Good Luck - if you go it alone try and find a service that will get you on the MLS (Multiple listing service) used by realtors -

 

They will be the ones shopping for their clients - if you are ok with paying them then list that you will pay whatever amount to any agent that brings in a buyer

 

The MLS will get you in front of a lot more potential buyers

 

Good Luck

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Good Luck - if you go it alone try and find a service that will get you on the MLS (Multiple listing service) used by realtors -

 

They will be the ones shopping for their clients - if you are ok with paying them then list that you will pay whatever amount to any agent that brings in a buyer

 

The MLS will get you in front of a lot more potential buyers

 

Good Luck

 

Good point Brian, I will be sure to get on the MLS and note a commission to agents. I will try and keep this as a running post with updates to help those who are considering FSBO's.

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Good Luck - if you go it alone try and find a service that will get you on the MLS (Multiple listing service) used by realtors -

 

They will be the ones shopping for their clients - if you are ok with paying them then list that you will pay whatever amount to any agent that brings in a buyer

 

The MLS will get you in front of a lot more potential buyers

 

Good Luck

 

Good point Brian, I will be sure to get on the MLS and note a commission to agents. I will try and keep this as a running post with updates to help those who are considering FSBO's.

 

Thanks, this is interesting.

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Quick update. I've gotten a nice taste of reality already. I thought I was in a hot market because the supply was low but it turns out the demand is low as well. Really nice houses (particularly between 160-300k) are sold in a week or so. In my case however, I seem to be in an awkward price point. I initially listed on Zillow and MLS at 157k, with 2.5% commission paid to buyers agent. It seems my home value is probably realistically between 145-150k. It makes me wonder if alot of first time home buyers in my area are approved in the $110-140k range

 

We had one open house which had a decent turnout but no offers. We had two calls for private showings. One almost led to an offer but they changed their mind last minute. Aside from this, we've been on the market for almost 3 weeks and it seems like it's been nothing but crickets. I even dropped the price to 151k four days ago and have heard absolutely nothing since.

 

I'm learning that housing markets are incredibly volatile and very sensitive to outside factors. Unless your home is pristine and highly coveted, it could very well sit for a long time with no action. And some things matter ALOT to people that one might not think would have a huge impact. Things like being on a busy street, corner lots, 2-stories vs ranch, etc. I'm learning yet again why patience is a virtue.

 

P.S. With an FSBO, hosting a showing or open house yourself could be a bad idea. People can be very critical of the place you've called home, nitpicking little details to the point of insanity. It may be a good idea to have a friend or relative take care of showings/open houses for you.

Edited by Headwaters44

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3 weeks???!!!???

 

An eternity.

 

Housing market must be collapsing.

 

Thanks for the heavy sarcasm, just trying to share with potential FSBO's that even if you're in a hot seller's market, patience is still crucial.

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Quick update. We got an offer finally after about 9 weeks on the market, had to drop down to our rock bottom price. We've cleared inspection and appraisal and should close in a couple weeks. In the long run I would probably not recommend selling your house yourself unless you:

 

1. have family or friends in real estate willing to offer free advice

2. are extremely patient and confident in your home and ability to follow through with selling it yourself

3. live in an area and point in time where it's indisputably a seller's market

4. are willing to negotiate some on price dependent on market, inspection, appraisal

5. realize there is a possibility you may have to show your house upwards of 20 times or more before you see your first offer

6. don't mind having to deal directly with a buyers agent who for 4-6 weeks isn't concerned with your best interest

7. are willing to be open to FHA buyers offers and the stringent demands that come with them

8. do your homework on required disclosures, order of operations, legal implications, etc

9. realize there may be needed repairs lurking in your house you may be entirely unaware of

10. are willing to spend the money needed to properly advertise; get your house on the MLS, signs, zillow, other websites, notify nearby agents, open houses

11. are willing to prepare and show your house to individuals who may not yet have preapproval or don't have preapproval for enough

12. are willing to receive criticism of your home from snooty people who secretly want to buy a house that is out of their price range

13. are willing to offer commission to a buyer's agent

 

In all seriousness this isn't meant to intimidate, as success selling your house yourself is certainly possible. If the above is worth the money you'll save by selling yourself, by all means give it a try.

Edited by Headwaters44

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Quick update. We got an offer finally after about 9 weeks on the market, had to drop down to our rock bottom price. We've cleared inspection and appraisal and should close in a couple weeks. In the long run I would probably not recommend selling your house yourself unless you:

 

1. have family or friends in real estate willing to offer free advice

2. are extremely patient and confident in your home and ability to follow through with selling it yourself

3. live in an area and point in time where it's indisputably a seller's market

4. are willing to negotiate some on price dependent on market, inspection, appraisal

5. realize there is a possibility you may have to show your house upwards of 20 times or more before you see your first offer

6. don't mind having to deal directly with a buyers agent who for 4-6 weeks isn't concerned with your best interest

7. are willing to be open to FHA buyers offers and the stringent demands that come with them

8. do your homework on required disclosures, order of operations, legal implications, etc

9. realize there may be needed repairs lurking in your house you may be entirely unaware of

10. are willing to spend the money needed to properly advertise; get your house on the MLS, signs, zillow, other websites, notify nearby agents, open houses

11. are willing to prepare and show your house to individuals who may not yet have preapproval or don't have preapproval for enough

12. are willing to receive criticism of your home from snoody people who secretly want to buy a house that is out of their price range

13. are willing to offer commission to a buyer's agent

 

In all seriousness this isn't meant to intimidate, as success selling your house yourself is certainly possible. If the above is worth the money you'll save by selling yourself, by all means give it a try.

 

In the end did you come out significantly ahead financially by going this route? Arguably a listing agent could have gotten you a higher price for the home to offset the commission. Of course, there's no way to know on an individual basis if this would have been true... I'm just interested in your impression.

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Quick update. We got an offer finally after about 9 weeks on the market, had to drop down to our rock bottom price. We've cleared inspection and appraisal and should close in a couple weeks. In the long run I would probably not recommend selling your house yourself unless you:

 

1. have family or friends in real estate willing to offer free advice

2. are extremely patient and confident in your home and ability to follow through with selling it yourself

3. live in an area and point in time where it's indisputably a seller's market

4. are willing to negotiate some on price dependent on market, inspection, appraisal

5. realize there is a possibility you may have to show your house upwards of 20 times or more before you see your first offer

6. don't mind having to deal directly with a buyers agent who for 4-6 weeks isn't concerned with your best interest

7. are willing to be open to FHA buyers offers and the stringent demands that come with them

8. do your homework on required disclosures, order of operations, legal implications, etc

9. realize there may be needed repairs lurking in your house you may be entirely unaware of

10. are willing to spend the money needed to properly advertise; get your house on the MLS, signs, zillow, other websites, notify nearby agents, open houses

11. are willing to prepare and show your house to individuals who may not yet have preapproval or don't have preapproval for enough

12. are willing to receive criticism of your home from snoody people who secretly want to buy a house that is out of their price range

13. are willing to offer commission to a buyer's agent

 

In all seriousness this isn't meant to intimidate, as success selling your house yourself is certainly possible. If the above is worth the money you'll save by selling yourself, by all means give it a try.

 

In the end did you come out significantly ahead financially by going this route? Arguably a listing agent could have gotten you a higher price for the home to offset the commission. Of course, there's no way to know on an individual basis if this would have been true... I'm just interested in your impression.

 

 

I saved the 3% that a sellers agent would have collected which amounted to a little over $4k in my case. But like you said, a sellers agent may have retrieved me a better offer not to mention he or she might have had the experience to refuse certain inspection required fixes that required lots of home depot trips.

 

I should also comment that things can be pretty exhausting physically and emotionally: preparing for a showing, waiting on whether or not an offer is coming, sitting for weeks with no calls or showings. There's a lot of disappointment involved. Including the fear of embarrassment from family and friends if your house doesn't sell or you throw in the towel for a sellers agent. I don't know if this is true but someone told me that 9 of 10 FSBOs don't sell or result in an eventual real estate agency selling the home.

 

Again, I really don't mean to scare anyone away from giving it a try, I'm sure for some it isn't that challenging and maybe even enjoyable. I just want to help others be prepared and realistic about FSBO experiences.

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Quick update. We got an offer finally after about 9 weeks on the market, had to drop down to our rock bottom price. We've cleared inspection and appraisal and should close in a couple weeks. In the long run I would probably not recommend selling your house yourself unless you:

 

1. have family or friends in real estate willing to offer free advice

2. are extremely patient and confident in your home and ability to follow through with selling it yourself

3. live in an area and point in time where it's indisputably a seller's market

4. are willing to negotiate some on price dependent on market, inspection, appraisal

5. realize there is a possibility you may have to show your house upwards of 20 times or more before you see your first offer

6. don't mind having to deal directly with a buyers agent who for 4-6 weeks isn't concerned with your best interest

7. are willing to be open to FHA buyers offers and the stringent demands that come with them

8. do your homework on required disclosures, order of operations, legal implications, etc

9. realize there may be needed repairs lurking in your house you may be entirely unaware of

10. are willing to spend the money needed to properly advertise; get your house on the MLS, signs, zillow, other websites, notify nearby agents, open houses

11. are willing to prepare and show your house to individuals who may not yet have preapproval or don't have preapproval for enough

12. are willing to receive criticism of your home from snoody people who secretly want to buy a house that is out of their price range

13. are willing to offer commission to a buyer's agent

 

In all seriousness this isn't meant to intimidate, as success selling your house yourself is certainly possible. If the above is worth the money you'll save by selling yourself, by all means give it a try.

 

In the end did you come out significantly ahead financially by going this route? Arguably a listing agent could have gotten you a higher price for the home to offset the commission. Of course, there's no way to know on an individual basis if this would have been true... I'm just interested in your impression.

 

 

I saved the 3% that a sellers agent would have collected which amounted to a little over $4k in my case. But like you said, a sellers agent may have retrieved me a better offer not to mention he or she might have had the experience to refuse certain inspection required fixes that required lots of home depot trips.

 

I should also comment that things can be pretty exhausting physically and emotionally: preparing for a showing, waiting on whether or not an offer is coming, sitting for weeks with no calls or showings. There's a lot of disappointment involved. Including the fear of embarrassment from family and friends if your house doesn't sell or you throw in the towel for a sellers agent. I don't know if this is true but someone told me that 9 of 10 FSBOs don't sell or result in an eventual real estate agency selling the home.

 

Again, I really don't mean to scare anyone away from giving it a try, I'm sure for some it isn't that challenging and maybe even enjoyable. I just want to help others be prepared and realistic about FSBO experiences.

 

 

Makes sense. I'm sure it was a valuable experience. Thanks for the comments.

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