THE FOR SALE BY OWNER GUIDE
Published by Authorify Publishing Copyright © 2019 Authorify Publishing
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. DISCLAIMER AND/OR LEGAL NOTICES: While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the Author nor the Publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. This publication is not intended for use as a source of legal or accounting advice. The Publisher wants to stress that the information contained herein may be subject to varying state and/ or local laws or regulations. The reader of this publication assumes responsibility for the use of these materials and information. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including advertising and all other aspects of doing business in the United States or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the reader. The Author and publisher assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever on behalf of any reader of these materials. If your property is currently listed with a Realtor, please disregard this notice. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other brokers. Printed in the United States of America
Table Of Contents
1. Why People Sell FSBO
2. The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Selling FSBO
3. What Are The Costs Of FSBO?
4. Staging Your Home When Trying To Sell By Yourself 5. Determining The Right Price When Selling Your Home By Yourself
6. Advertising Your House
7. Showing Your Home While Selling It Yourself 8. Using Curb Appeal To Sell Your Home For More
9. Staging Solutions And Options
10. Preparation For Negotiation: Screening Buyers
11. Negotiating On Your Own
12. How To Write A Contract And Sell Your House Without An Agent 13. Inspections And Closing: Getting Things Done Without An Agent
When I first ventured into the real estate industry years ago, I did so with the hopes of helping sellers like you avoid the headaches often associated with the home-selling process. In my years of experience, not only have I helped alleviate the stress of selling for numerous clients, but I’ve also accumulated years of knowledge to help them get more money for their homes in the least amount of time. I decided to share all of my expertise in one place with potential clients. And that’s why you’re receiving this book. I want to help you have the best possible home-selling experience. And by that, I mean I want you to 1. Get the most money possible for your home, 2. Sell in the least amount of time, and 3. Avoid the headaches most commonly associated with the home-selling process. Think of this book as my gift to you. It contains insider advice on the home-selling process to help you achieve your ultimate real estate goals, including: • Secret strategies to sell your home for more money • Marketing techniques employed by top agents • Advice on how to appeal to today’s buyers • And much, much more If, after reading through it, you want to hire me to help you sell your home, I’d be more than happy to meet with you to discuss a specific plan to sell your home. Happy reading!
AGENT was raised in CITY with X siblings. As a child, AGENT had aspirations of being a OCCUPATION. Never in a million years did he think he’d stumble into the real estate industry, but you can’t always predict where or when you’ll discover what you’re meant to do in life. AGENT was taught at a young age that if you want something in life, you have to work for it. So that’s what he did. And he worked hard. As the years went by, AGENT worked his way from FIRST JOB to LATER JOB, never wavering in his resolve to become the best version of himself with each career move. AGENT got into the real estate industry X years ago when STORY ABOUT HOW YOU GOT INTO REAL ESTATE/WHY. He set out to LIST ASPIRATIONS FROM WHEN YOU STARTED OUT IN REAL ESTATE. As his career advanced, AGENT found his stride working with NICHE MARKET/SPECIFIC MARKET AREA/TYPE. He’s an expert in LIST AREAS OF EXPERTISE/SKILLS THAT SET YOU APART FROM OTHER AGENTS.
Throughout his career, AGENT has earned numerous accolades, including:
• LIST ACCOMPLISHMENTS • LIST SALES STATS ix
• ANY OTHER IMPRESSIVE INFO YOU’D LIKE TO INCLUDE
AGENT aims to provide the highest level of service to his clients and takes deep pride in helping them achieve their real estate goals. AGENT aims to provide the highest level of service to his clients and takes deep pride in helping them achieve their real estate goals.
Testimonials & Reviews for Agent Name
Here’s a list of people whom I have helped buy or sell a home, and what they said about working with me:
Agent-Name had a tough job, but she did it!
We were tough clients! We were moving to City and didn’t have a lot of time to look at houses, having to deal with our employer’s relocation, and all of the other challenges that came along. But, Agent-Name went above and beyond to help us. Even now, one year after the sale closed, I can still call her for business and service recommendations in the area — she knows just about everyone, and is very happy to help.
Agent-Name is the best agent in City!
I’ve used Agent-Name twice so far, and I was impressed both times. I bought my dream home with AGENT a year ago. She worked long and hard to find me the perfect home. And she just recently sold another property of mine. Everything went quickly and smoothly. Both of my real estate deals were done very quickly and professionally. Agent is honestly the BEST in her business. I would highly recommend her.
Agent-Name perseverance got me the house
My experience with Agent-Name during the entire home- buying process, from start to finish, has been nothing short of exceptional. I have a unique work structure, and because of this, it was very difficult to find mortgage lenders that would approve me for a home. I was very frustrated and on the verge of giving up, but Agent-Name insisted that we continue searching. Not only did we find a mortgage lender but also a mortgage that I felt great about. His perseverance is the reason I am now a homeowner. He is professional, punctual, knowledgeable, and very easy to work with. With the highest regard, I will recommend Agent-Name to all my friends and family.
Very attentive to concerns, details, and negotiations
Agent-Name helped me find a house by literally picking it out for me. Every house I wanted to go to, I got there and didn’t love it. Agent-Name was busy taking note of the likes and dislikes I was stating and said “I have a house that you’re going to love”.... AND I DID! I went back 4 or 5 times to show other members of my family, and she accommodated me without complaint. I was a first-time homebuyer, and she walked me through the steps of everything, gave me advice, and constantly followed up to make sure I was doing OK. With her help, I was able to close on the house early, right before I started my new job. I would recommend Agent-Name to EVERYONE, buying or selling. Agent-Name made it so so easy. She guided us through the entire process. She recommended great people to work with
every step of the way. She was available 24/7 to answer any questions we may have had. With her high standards, expertise in the industry, and patience, we would recommend her as a Realtor to anyone looking! She was amazing!
Agent-Name even advised me on how to prepare my house
Agent-Name was a gem. In addition to being highly knowledgeable about the real estate market, with many years of experience, he is a consummate professional. He was extremely easy to work with, gave me very good advice about preparing my house for sale and was very responsive during the entire process of receiving offers, selling and closing. I would work with him again in a heartbeat. He’s that good.
Agent-Name is the first agent I would call
Agent-Name and his team were able to rapidly list, show and sell my property. Being an expert in real estate, he was spot on in his pricing of my property and getting this deal completed. Overall, I highly recommend him and his team. If I want to buy real estate, AGENT would be the first person I’d call.
Agent-Name got us an offer in three days!
Agent-Name was the consummate professional during our stressful and difficult process. In the midst of juggling a ‘failed’ marketing effort with another agent, she presented a
well thought out plan and strategy to sell our home in short order. We needed to move quickly due to a growing family and another baby on the way. She helped alleviate that pressure by securing an acceptable offer with 3 days of listing. We put pressure on her, and she delivered. We couldn’t thank her enough.
Agent-Name kept us calm throughout the process!
Agent-Name always made herself available to answer questions. She worked hard to sell our home and find the best fit for our new home. She and her team worked with us through the entire process and kept us calm when we got anxious.
I am 100 percent satisfied!!
Agent-Name is professional and knowledgeable about everything. She is also always available. I would definitely recommend her to anyone. Very smooth transaction from start to finish. I felt confident with her experience.
Agent-Name found us our dream home
Agent-Name was very efficient and helped us find our dream home within a few short months. She was able to negotiate the price that we wanted for the house. Overall, I would look for her again to help us look for a house if need be in the future. Thank you so much!
Efficient communication and service
Agent-Name and his staff were very helpful in selling our condo. They kept me informed frequently with email, sending reports on showings, offers, and feedback from potential buyers. We are very satisfied.
Agent-Name will get your house sold fast!
Agent-Name is great and has the expertise to get your house sold. The communications throughout our sale (from beginning to end) has been outstanding. Agent-Name understands the stress involved in selling your house, and she updated our family consistently! This made us feel we were in good hands. I have worked with numerous agents, and I highly recommend her to represent you when it comes time to sell your home.
Excellent experience topped with a personal touch
Excellent experience all around, not only knowledgeable but Agent-Name and team have a very personal touch I felt like family throughout the entire process. He always took his time; we never felt rushed or like “just a number.” I sold my home and bought with him. We had lots of questions he gladly answered them with no problem and guided us through the entire process, eliminating lots of stress. I truly appreciate that and would recommend him and his team to family and friends.
CHAPTER 1 Why People Sell FSBO The advancement of technology constantly boosts the market and improves our standard of living. However, with an increasingly flexible job market, we are often required to move in order to grow personally and to develop our professional careers. All too often, this means that while we are preparing for one big change in our lives, we also need to deal with selling our homes. We all know that owning a home is preferable to and financially wiser than renting. However, when it comes to moving, selling a house might not always be as easy as it seems. While some people consider the convenience and ease of selling through an agent the absolute best way to go, others come to the conclusion that the thousands of extra dollars they might be able to make by selling their house on their own are worth the time, effort, and trouble that selling on their own might entail. As one may expect, the complex real estate market has its own tips and tricks that people should abide by in order to make the most out of their sale. Let’s see what makes people sell FSBO, as well as the pros and cons of this highly debated practice.
#1—WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE TO SELL BY THEMSELVES?
FSBO, or “For Sale by Owner,” happens when homeowners decide to put their house on the market and advertise it without the help and support of a professional real estate agent. Going FSBO means that the owner must know how to professionally market and show the property, negotiate an advantageous selling price for the house, and, of course, be sure to get all the necessary paperwork completed for the eventual home sale. That last part usually includes finding an attorney to draft the necessary sale contract, as well as a title company to help complete the sale. Unsurprisingly, all these tasks can turn out to be pretty challenging for someone who is not fully prepared to take on such an imposing task. It’s also important to do extensive market research beforehand in order to avoid unwanted surprises. Based on reports and surveys, a substantial number of people who start out confident about going FSBO end up either losing the sale or giving in and hiring an agent. So, if you are determined to sell your home on your own, make sure you have the energy and the time necessary to perform all these tasks before setting out to sell your home all on your own. Given all the hassle it entails, why do people decide to do without an agent?
The number one reason why people decide to sell their homes without an agent is to save money.
A real estate agent usually charges about 4% to 6% of the selling value as commission, and that can give a lot of home sellers pause. Now, in exchange for that sum, the real estate agent brings vast experience and a wealth of market-specific knowledge that can truly benefit the seller. Agents also usually help owners set a fair, realistic market price for their house. A well-balanced price is crucial in order to sell the property successfully in a reasonable amount of time. Still, 4% to 6% of sale price can be a sizable sum, and many more self-reliant homeowners may decide it’s worth the extra effort and risk to handle the sale solo and pocket the extra funds. However, a lack of expertise among average homeowners looking to go FSBO has its consequences. The National Association of Realtors® and Bankrate.com have reported on their sites that most FSBO homes are overpriced. That is true, and is usually a natural effect of people not knowing the actual cost of their property and the value of their hard- built equity, combined with a desire to draw as much profit as possible out of the sale. Unfortunately, overpriced properties are far less likely to be sold and have a much higher chance of scaring off potential buyers. While the issue of correct pricing can be bypassed with some solid real estate and community sales market research, the following negotiations cannot. It is a known fact that a lot of owners who lack professional presentation skills and/ or developed negotiation skills end up selling their houses at far lower prices than they are actually worth. Statistically,
a professional real estate agent manages to sell homes for a price that is, on average, about $27,000 higher than the prices private homeowners settle for. So, considering all of this, saving 4-6% of your house value in commission may be tempting at first glance, but is it really worth it considering the much larger percentage you might stand to lose on the final selling price? If you lack negotiating skills and you don’t know anything about the real estate housing market, hiring a high- performing professional real estate agent might be a small price to pay. You’ll also get a fast, sweet deal on your property and get the matter resolved with a nice profit—depending, of course, on what the market can offer. You get to work at your own pace, give the house a personal touch, and make all the decisions. Some of the other factors that frequently encourage homeowners to go the FSBO route are the privacy, knowledge, and decision-making elements of a sale. It is clear that the owner knows their house best, making it easy for them to focus on promoting the good aspects of the house and downplaying the bad. With this, however, comes the challenge of cleaning and preparing the house for a viewing. Cleaning and preparing means that the house needs to be thoroughly cleaned inside and out, and emptied of personal objects and unnecessary
furniture in order to make the house look as cozy and comfortable as possible, while simultaneously making the space seem neutral and adaptable. The seller must not only be able to present the house in an appealing, professional way, but must also help the buyer imagine himself living there—all while negotiating the best possible price. As for decision-making, FSBO does indeed grant the owner the authority to make all the decisions involved in the sale without having them brokered by an agent. That brings a definite plus as far as individual privacy goes, considering that the owner can schedule any and all viewings according to their own availability and preferences. The final price negotiation will also take place between the owner and the buyer, without an extra person in between. That sounds nice enough in theory, but in practice, it has its downsides. Making all the decisions and negotiating the final price yourself entail a huge amount of responsibility. That responsibility is particularly hard to bear for those with no real estate experience and/or no extensive house market pricing knowledge, and is a major contributing factor to just how many FSBO sellers end up agreeing to sell their house for less than the listed market value.
#2—THE UNEXPECTED CONS OF FSBO
The debate over real estate agent vs. FSBO sales has been getting more and more heated over the past several years.
However, even if the necessity for and role of real estate agents have been seriously questioned, they remain America’s favorite means to sell and buy homes. Statistically, approximately 80% of American home sales are brokered by professional real estate agents. Numbers don’t lie—most people prefer to use an agent. With such a huge majority, it’s worth looking into just why so many sellers choose not to go the FSBO route. To that end, let’s review some of the cons of FSBO in the attempt to further understand why so many people choose professional support when it comes to selling their homes. Selling the property as FSBO takes longer than an agent sale and requires extensive time and effort from the owner. Selling a home on your own is no easy task. On the contrary, it requires specialized knowledge, hard work, time, skill, and dedication to make it happen. Simply cleaning and preparing the house for a showing can be a challenge in and of itself without professional help and counseling. A home that has not been properly cleaned and prepared for sale will give the buyer the impression that the owner has been slacking off on basic home maintenance, and will be reluctant to pay as high a price as they might have if they had seen the house looking its best. Too little cleaning, or too clumsy a staging, and you could wind up with a substantially lower price when you finally do make the sale.
The owner must also consider that real estate agents present and sell homes as a full-time job and, therefore, must be prepared to devote a considerable amount of time to presenting and marketing the house they aim to sell if they aim to do so without professional help and support. Trying to find the hours and energy to handle a real estate agent’s job, as well as whatever other obligations you might have can be a serious challenge, especially for the unprepared. Moreover, the owner of an FSBO house might find themselves stuck with those extra duties for a lot longer than they expect: it is a well-documented fact that houses take considerably longer to sell through FSBO than they do when handled by a professional real estate agent. At the end of the day, when choosing between FSBO and a real estate agent, one must be prepared to make a realistic assessment of just how much effort they are ready to invest in this endeavor, and how much their time is worth. Listing a house as FSBO enjoys better support nowadays, but is still a far cry from the real estate agent pool. FSBO listing now enjoys far better online support than it did a few years ago. There are several networks that specifically support FSBO properties and their owners, and offer nationwide listing services and marketing tools, all at low or flat rate prices. However, they struggle to compare to the more extensive, more established resource pools that real estate agents usually tap into. This more restricted support structure also contributes to the house spending more time on the market before selling, further
inconveniencing the owner.
FSBOs are usually overpriced—but still end up selling below market price.
Very few of the owners who opt for FSBO have extensive knowledge of the housing market or finely honed skills in the real estate trade. Between that and the emotional factor of a homeowner’s bias, combined with a natural desire to profit from the sale, causes owners to overprice their homes. Overpricing frequently scares off potential buyers, leaving the house on the market for, yet again, a longer period—which can be a real disadvantage to those who want a fast sale or actually need the money. When these houses actually get interested customers, the owner is likely to end up accepting a lower price than a real estate agent would have—either because they are in a hurry and growing desperate, or because they simply lack the negotiating skill and experience needed to successfully navigate such an involved process. Overpricing at the start only to end up accepting a final selling price well below the real market value of a property are two of the most common mistakes people make when selling FSBO.
Many buyers don’t trust FSBO and prefer to work with a real estate agent.
With a transaction as costly and important as selling and
buying a home, trust is of paramount importance. Sometimes out of fear of getting scammed, sometimes just because they think it will offer a smoother bureaucratic process, buyers usually prefer to work with real estate agents. The professionalism and experience of a high-performing agent inspires confidence in buyers that they’ll be able to sail effortlessly through the sea of paperwork that comes with the real estate market. This puts FSBO homes at a clear disadvantage, no matter how you look at it. As the cliché goes, after all, it is a buyers’ world out there.
What does all this boil down to?
At the end of the day, with all factors considered, FSBO can be a great strategy—but only for good negotiators who have great real estate trading skills and a lot of market knowledge, are in no hurry to complete the sale, and are willing to dedicate a considerable amount of time and work to the process. Selling a home FSBO represents a huge responsibility for the owner. Having control of everything also puts all the decisions and all of their consequences on the owner’s shoulders. However, if you feel up to the challenge and are in search of an adventurous new experience, selling your own house is definitely the way to go. On the other hand, if you find yourself busy, have no time to put in the required research, or cannot afford to take the
required time, it is strongly recommended that you opt for a real estate agent instead. The same applies if you find it difficult to expend the effort needed to prepare the house for showing, or think with dread about the numerous home presentations you will have to make, or are simply not confident in your negotiating skills. While some might not have the necessary skills to handle negotiating or the hassle of the paperwork, others might simply value their time enough to choose a real estate agent and the benefits that come with this choice. Whatever you choose, make sure you take the time to consider all the details of your different options. Your house is a life investment, and selling it is a big decision. Make it count!
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