There are several CAUTIONS to watch out for when selling your home as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) also what to look out for.   Contact Paul Holtzheimer:  360-303-4444 for more information


About 95% of all real estate legal actions are directly related to "For Sale by Owner" transactions.  For example:
  • You need to be extremely careful about what you say to a prospective buyer.  Even an "off the cuff" remark may lead to a legal action. 
  • Today there are "politically correct" words you can't use. 
  • You may accidently misrepresent something by saying something is okay when it's really not, in the opinion of the buyer. 
  • you may have a neighbor help show your home:  this is illegal in this and most states.

Realize when handle all the paperwork and legalities on your own: disclosures, home inspections, valuation, negotiating the deal, closing, etc. you may open yourself up a myriad of legal problems you haven't even thought of.  If you MUST sell your home yourself consult an attorney who specializes in home sales.  If you aren't very cautious you may lose your property, your money, or any possible savings you were after in the first place by selling your home yourself.

Be Sure you pre-qualify every single person you show through your home.  Much time is wasted and emotions are crushed. This happens when someone agrees to your price and you start the selling transaction, then at the closing table you find the buyer has financial problems or is by some other reason unable to fulfill the purchase.  You may lose many potential buyers when you have your home tied up for months.  By that time you have lost lots of money on house payments, utility payments, taxes, and any profit you might have made.  Also this results in an emotional roller-coaster ride.

Sharpen your negotiation skills. Homes that do get sold by their owners typically fetch lower prices than similar homes sold through Realtors.  This is because most home owners are not professionals in the real estate field and don't know how to price their home for sale, as well as knowing how to negotiate expertly with the buyers to get top dollar for the home. Over time, most people who sell their homes themselves get frustrated and "settle" for almost any offer because they are just "tired of fooling with it" or sometimes they are so happy to even get an offer they get reckless and lose money.  So know how to negotiate and what to negotiate with when selling your home is important.  Remember when you "accept" an offer it is "set in stone" and it cannot be renegotiated.

Be very cautious to whom you show your home.  Many predators act and look like "real" home buyers.  It's their purpose to "case" your home for possible valuables and security "weaknesses."   Some times when you show your home they may unlock a window or door for later access.  Some not only check our your valuables, furniture, electronics, etc. but some may even check out your family.  They look for vulnerabilities you don't think about.

Don't waste time!  Wasting time will cost you money!  According to the real estate industry statistics, a huge percentage of FSBO homes - about 80% - do not get sold by their owners and ultimately are passed on to a real estate agent.  (I would like to by your agent in that case .)  The delay that is caused in trying to sell the home on your own can result in much lower sale prices. As noted above FSBO sellers have a tendency to accept the first offer they get, or "settle" for a much lower price just because they get tired of the hassles of selling a home. Although the commission may be more than you would like, hiring a Realtor to sell your home is usually a better bet and get you more money back to you on the deal if you use a Realtor.

Open Houses usually will NOT sell your home.  Very few homes are sold through an Open House.  Unless it is a Realtor hosted open house you get unscreened people coming through your home: predators and "looky loos.".  As your Realtor, I have successful open house attendance. I have special techniques only I use to get more interested people to your home. 

Knowing how to market your home is very important. You need to spend lots of money to properly market your home.  People who sell their own homes (FSBO’S) have:  a) a lack of centralized exposure to the right target markets, b) a lack of a full understanding of the selling and buying process, c) a lack of skill, ability, and money to utilize the tools a Real Estate agent has available and d) the most important issue, you are one person marketing your home.  This is unlike brokerages which market your home in hundreds of Internet web pages (internationally), home for sale magazines, newspapers ads, etc. as well has the MLS; and personally showing it to hundreds of other agents who may have a buyer for your home, and have hundreds of other agents also help marketing your home.

Do a complete comparative market analysis regarding your home.  This includes comparing your home to every single home that is like yours within your area which has sold in the last few months.  It also includes looking closely at every single home in your area that is currently for sale.  Also, you should look at every single home in your area that didn't sell, and find out why.  Do this BEFORE you put your home on the market.  It is extremely important you price your home in the lower middle range of what other homes like yours are for sale, comparing also with home that have sold.  Normally FSBO's price their homes too high because they like their home and just can't understand why it may not be worth as much as they want.  That's why you should have a Realtor.  A good Realtor will give you an honest evaluation of what your home is worth.

Have your home inspected by a reputable home inspector.  Then do whatever it takes to fix the problems found.  It will save you a lot of money to have your home inspected BEFORE you market your home.


Let Me, Paul Holtzheimer, Sell Your Home Quickly and Safely!
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