Selling Your Own Home – Things to Consider:
A For Sale By Owner, or FSBO, is a home that is being sold directly by the seller, without a listing real estate agent. The benefit to the seller is that he or she is not paying a commission on the sale of the home, saving him or her 6 to 7 percent of the final agreed-upon selling price. However, this means that the seller is responsible for all of the detailed work involved in the sale of his or her home.
Are You Experienced?
For someone experienced in the purchase, sale and marketing of a home, selling a home as a FSBO makes good financial sense. However, for someone who is inexperienced in marketing and real estate, or who has a limited amount of time, the FSBO route could cost the seller a great deal of time and money. Many sellers who have not been through the process of buying and selling a home before are not fully aware of all that is involved in selling a home successfully. Making a mistake in pricing, marketing, legal compliance or paperwork can have serious repercussions, both financial and legal.
Making Your Home Ready and Pricing It Appropriately:
One of the seller’s most important tasks in a FSBO transaction is to make your house attractive to a buyer and to price it properly. This is the part of the transaction where sellers make the biggest mistakes. A home must look clean and well-maintained, as well as present in a way that appeals to buyers. What appeals or is acceptable to the seller may be undesirable to a majority of buyers, which makes the home less valuable on the market. A FSBO home must compare objectively to the homes for sale near it and be in line with them in both price and buyer appeal.
Marketing Your Home:
Marketing is another area where FSBO sellers can encounter trouble. No one will buy a home if he or she does not know it is for sale. It is not enough to stick a sign in the yard and wait for an offer. Sellers should network with neighbors, friends, community groups and real estate agents who work with buyers to give a home the exposure it needs. A quality flyer with well-worded descriptions of the home’s most desirable features that buyers are looking for will help in networking. Buyer’s agents may be willing to bring their clients to view a home if the seller is willing to pay them their 3 percent commission.
Contracts and Disclosure Warnings:
FSBO sellers must select the proper contracts and be aware of Kansas or Missouri laws regarding the disclosure of their property’s condition. If sellers do not handle disclosures of property defects in the right way, they open themselves up to the possibility of a lawsuit if the buyer feels there has been any fraud. In addition, a poorly worded contract or changes to the contract can give the buyer an easy way out of the contract, which costs the seller time and money.
A seller who can stage, price and market a home should still get advice on contracts and the legal aspects of the sale. Sellers should consult with a real estate attorney, Mandi R. Hunter, who focuses on real estate law. While a FSBO seller may be reluctant to spend money on legal advice, the peace of mind that it gives is worth its weight in gold. Give Ms. Hunter a call today.
Kansas City Real Estate Attorney, Mandi R. Hunter, Building Legal Solutions.