Three Points That Will Help a "For Sale by Owner" (FSBO) Sell Their Home in Half the Time

In today’s economy, many homeowners try to enter the real estate market without the help of a broker. As an agent, I have noticed that the main reasons for this may be the price homeowners pay to get their homes sold or simply bad experiences with realtors. Many brokerage firms charge a standard 6% commission, which can turn out to be a lump sum to some homeowners. However, it is important to remember the time and money that homeowners have to invest if they want to sell through for sale by owner.

1. Price your home right

This is the most important part of the process. Be very careful not to overprice your home; overpricing will reduce the buyers’ interest in the property and makes competing homes seem like they are of better value. Overpricing when selling a home is the single biggest reason why many “for sale by owner” (FSBO) home sellers don’t sell their homes successfully.

The best way to price your home is to research the selling price of similar homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood. The easiest way to accurately price your home is to contact your local home appraiser. This will prevent mortgage rejections from happening in the future if you find a potential buyer.

Finally, set your price right under a whole number, such as $349,000 rather than $350,000

2. Market your home correctly

Welcome to the era of the Internet: EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE. In today’s market, 92% of buyers search online for their next home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print advertisement. We specialize in internet strategies to promote the sale of your home. A couple of places where you could start reaching out to potential buyers are on Zillow.com, ForSaleByOwner.com, FSBO.com, and through social media.

It is very important to write a detailed description of your house, but remember that being simple and to the point is everything. Details like beds/baths, square footage, nearby schools, supermarkets, and your home’s best features are all critical when a buyer is trying to find the perfect fit.

Last but not least, get a yard sign. It is proven that about half the time the person buying your home is referred by a fellow neighbor or friend who lives in the area so make sure everyone in your neighborhood knows you’re selling!

3. Photography and staging

First impression is key. Photography and staging go hand in hand. Make sure that the home’s yard/driveway is uncluttered. Remove parked cars, garbage cans, and bikes. The same thing applies for interior shots. Remember to think of furniture as props and the room as a stage. Take a lot of photos as the more you shoot, the better the odds are that you’ll get some great shots.

You are selling your home. Usually, this is one of your most valuable possessions. It deserves quality. Put some effort into it. It will pay off.

Conclusion

Most “for sale by owners” (FSBO) are willing to cooperate with brokers, usually offering a 3% commission and saving the remaining 3%. The main concern is the time and money a “for sale by owner” (FSBO) has to invest. After paying for advertisement, disrupts family time for showing, keeps the house clean at all hours, hosts open houses every weekend, negotiates with unqualified or bargain-hunting buyers, and finally covers lawyer fees, are “for sale by owners” really saving much? For some homeowners, it is not really worth their time and since 95% of properties are listed with an agent, and 95% of buyers buy something that is listed, it only leaves a “for sale by owner” with a 5% reach. If you played that in Vegas, it wouldn’t be very good odds in today’s market. Happy selling!

Why You Should Get Periodic Home Inspections

Have you considered having a home inspection done? Home inspection is not just for the buyers and sellers of a home but can also be an invaluable resource for those who already own their own homes. Most people do not realize they should have a home inspection done every five to ten years as part of an overall maintenance plan. But a home inspector can help you more then you may think.

For most of us the two things we will spend the most money on in our lives is our cars and our homes. You would never drive the same car for 10 years or more without taking it in to a mechanic for a tune up would you?  Of course you would not. Car maintenance must be done to ensure your vehicle will continue to run as long and as well as possible. You also clean wash it and vacuum it once in a while as well to keep up the resale value if not for your own sense of cleanliness. Why then should your home be any different?

A regular maintenance plan for your home should include a home inspection every few years. A home inspector can advise you on any repairs that should be done before they become a major expense and discuss any safety issues you may be unaware of.

Home inspectors go over every aspect of your home and give you an unbiased report of the findings. The report will show you anything that may be wrong with your home now, what may be getting ready to need repairs as well as advise you on how to make the repairs.  For instance a home inspector may notice a small stain on a wall and track that to a water leak. The leak may have been small enough to only cost a couple of dollars to fix now but it could have done a lot of damages before you found it on your own.

Home inspections can also alert you to any safety issues you may be unaware of. Worn gas lines and frayed electrical wiring often goes unnoticed until a fire breaks out or people get sick and die. A home inspector looks at electrical wires as well as gas and plumbing as part of a routine check and alerts you when a problem is found.

Engaging the services of a professional home inspector should be a part of regular home maintenance. A thorough unbiased home inspection can point out repair and safety issues before they become a serious issue and help you to retain the value of your home as well as your peace of mind.

Give Your Home Curb Appeal and Watch it Attract Many More Buyers

Curb appeal is all about bringing out the beauty of the front part of your home. Curb appeal is that subtle quality that makes your home welcoming, inviting, warm, fresh, appealing and interesting. It is what makes a potential buyer want to see more of the house as he/she looks at it for the first time. There are countless stories from real estate agents of buyers refusing to get out of the car to view a house simply because the outside was not well kept. If you have already given the inside of your home a makeover, it is time to deal with the outside so that it does not drive potential buyers away.

It is true that money is not easy to come by, but do not hold back on giving the outside of your home a beauty treatment. You do not have to put yourself in a financial bind to give your home curb appeal, but do not neglect it or buyers will go on to the next house on their list.

The first thing you should do is walk outside and view your house objectively. Try to find the above-mentioned qualities…welcoming, inviting, warm, fresh, appealing, etc. If you cannot see them, then it is likely that no one else will either. Try to remember what attracted you to your home when you drove up and looked at it for the first time.

Perhaps you saw an attractive front door with a well-painted door frame. If the paint on your front door and door frame has faded and/or cracked, then it is time to sand it down and repaint it. If your door is natural wood, then clean and varnish it again. You will be surprised how your wooden door will glow with a good cleaning, treatment and varnish.

Artists use focal points in their artwork to draw the viewer’s eye. No matter how modest your house is, you can find a focal point or something of interest to draw attention. There are details such as shutters, brackets, moldings, eaves, windows and window frames which can be used to draw potential buyer’s eye. You should use contrasting, not too bold, colors that show attention to detail.

People walking up to your home will look at your lawn, and they will notice any worn, brown or missing patches. Make sure you take care of those and also make sure that you mow the lawn. While you are at it, fill your planters with bright flowers if you have them. If not, you may want to go to your local flea market and find some planters to fill. And while you are at the flea market, pick up some hanging pots and plant flowers in them.

You do not want your house looking like the rest of the houses in the neighborhood and strategically placed flowers will make sure that it does not. The idea is to make your house say look at me, without going over the top with colors that will detract rather than add to its beauty. Look at the other houses in your neighborhood and then make yours different and more attractive. That is curb appeal, and it will make your home look much better and it will hopefully sell much faster.