It's normal to be a bit hesitant at the idea of selling your home as a FSBO property. Many real estate agents will try to convince you that it's simply too hard to do yourself. While selling your own home does require work, the truth is, you would be doing a lot of the same things if you listed with a real estate agency.
There is no definitive answer on whether you should become a FSBO seller, but knowing the major tasks involved can help you figure out if it's right for you.
Do the Necessary Research
This is where many real estate agents have an edge. Information about your local market is extremely important in pricing and marketing your home. Knowing how much comparable properties in your vicinity have sold for in the last six months is the key to setting the best price for your property.
Resources for finding out this information include local newspapers, which often list recent real estate transactions. Websites like moveup.com can retrieve data on nearby home sale prices over longer periods. Many FSBO sellers choose to hire a home appraiser to help them price their home, and with an experienced appraiser this can be money well invested.
Market Your Home in Multiple Media Formats
Most home buyers begin their searches online, and that is where you should begin, too. Sites like ISoldMyHouse.com offer free listings as well as flat-rate listings in Multiple Listing Service databases.
But this is just the beginning. Savvy FSBO sellers are using social media sites like Facebook to help sell their home: posting or linking to videos, slideshows, and photos of their home's interior and exterior [read our Facebook guide here]. And you shouldn't neglect the old school methods of placing a bright, professional-looking sign in your yard and taking out classified ads in local newspapers and shopping tabloids.
Show Off your Home
Of course, you'll have to show your home to prospective buyers, just as real estate agents do. As long as you are comfortable discussing your home with viewers and are able to schedule tours, you will most likely make a great case for your house to buyers. After all, you know more about your house than any real estate agent could.
Many FSBO sellers create professional-looking information sheets to hand out to those viewing their house. Not only do buyers find them useful, but information sheets also help keep your house in the forefront of their minds.
Consider Hosting an Open House
Staging your home for an open house can be demanding, but you would be doing the work anyway if you had a real estate agent hosting the open house. Remember, whether you use an agency or sell your home yourself, your schedule will have to accommodate showings.
The difference is that real estate agents prefer you be away from home when they show your house, while of course you'll be doing the hosting if you're selling as a FSBO property.
Determine if FSBO Is Right for You
Hiring a real estate agent does take some of the burden off you, in terms of researching comparable properties, making listings, and marketing the property. However, you will still have to get your house in shape for viewings and open houses, and will still have to cope with interruptions to your schedule.
Considering that you can save thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars by selling your home yourself and avoiding real estate commissions, going the FSBO route can be a good financial move and a good investment of your time and effort.
So, are you ready to sell your house yourself as a FSBO? If so, click here to get started.