Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Do You Really Want to do a FSBO?

   As a former Real Estate Agent, I guess I'm a little biased when it comes to selling a home by owner. I will not say that anyone can do it but basically anyone can try. The very first thing I will bring up is that you will need time and money to do it yourself. If you and your spouse are selling your home and both of you are working full time, it will take much more time than just weekends. You will need to do some marketing and basically your sign in your front lawn will not bring you any serious buyers. What you will get is many neighbors knocking on your door or calling to see if they can see how you live. I hate to put it that way but basically that is how things turn out. A Realtor will weed out all the looky-loos because the only way you will get serious buyers looking at your home is if they are weeded out by the buyer's agent and most buyer's agents will make sure that the buyers are pre-qualified to buy your home for a certain amount. If you think you can find a buyer without agent representation, it has happened but it is rare. Of course if you accept a buyer's agent you will have to give up at least 3% of the selling price.
   Most FSBO sellers have to do a little research because it is very important for them to price their home appropriately. You may be able to get a Realtor to do some of the research for you by interviewing at least three realtors and asking each of them to bring along some comparables or what's called a Home Market Analysis. Most realtors do these for free to get the listing. Be upfront with them and tell them that you're thinking of doing a FSBO but are undecided but you want to see what you can get for your home. If after the comparables come in and you still feel that you would rather pocket the 6% commisons then go ahead with a FSBO, go for it.
   Once you've made that decision to go it alone, look around for some Brokers that will do "flat fee MLS" listings for a small sum usually about $100.00 so that you can list your home in the Multiple Listing Service. By doing this you kill two birds with one stone. You will get the optimum marketing exposure for your home on all the high traffic real estate websites (Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com) because these sites get most of their listings from the MLS. These three websites alone get about 50% of all the real estate traffic on the internet. Most homes in today's market are found on the internet.
   Make sure you insert in writing on your listing that you will accept buyer's agents for the standard 3% fee. If you go ahead and sell to a buyer that has no agent, you will either have to hire an attorney for the real estate contract or find a broker that will do that for a minimal price.Finding a buyer with a buyer's agent, you'll get more buyer's that will be pre-qualified to see your home. The pre-qualification process will also have to be done for any buyers that do not have a Real Estate agent. If there is no commission for the buyer's agent they will not want to take their client to view your home. No one wants to work for free and who can blame them.
   A flat free Broker can also provide you with a linked lockbox installed in your home so that buyer's agents can show your home at their convenience. By doing this it will provide two things. Accessibility. Many times agents won't show a home if there is no lockbox. The setting of appointments is another wrinkle in an agents time and many won’t show a home if it involves setting appointments. The price for this service will pay for itself in the long run if you get just one more offer  than you would have otherwise.
   Because MLS linked lockboxes limit access to only authorized card holders and track each entry you will have piece of mind. When someone installs key lockboxes there is no telling who goes in/out of your home at any given time.The MLS showing times for your home can also be placed on the MLS listing by your flat fee broker..
   The yard signs are very important and they should be very professional looking. Make sure you let your neighbors know you are putting your house up for sale. Make some professional looking flyers and pass them out to your neighbors and co-workers and put them up in a box on your sign post so people who pass by have an idea as to some of the particulars( size, BRs, BAs,, etc.) and some pictures. Make sure you include the selling price on the flyers. Have some Open Houses and advertise those as best you can on social media and buy some generic Open House signs with arrows to guide your potential clients to your Open House.
   Your next step is to reach out to your social Networks ( Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, E-Mail). A small percentage of people actually find their new home that they eventually buy by purchasing it from a friend, neighbor or relative.
   If you do a FSBO and you make sure you follow these very important steps you'll end up a very successful FSBO seller.


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