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Selling Your Home As A FSBO

By Elizabeth Elstien

So, you want to sell your home without a real estate agent? This is known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO). While you may save money by selling yourself, there is a lot more work put on you, the owner, when selling without agent representation. Should you need to sell quickly, FSBO is not the way to go. Gain the edge you need by considering these powerful FSBO pointers.

Prepare Property

Before you put the property up for sale, make it look the best it can on your budget, both inside and outside. Curb appeal is extremely important. Trim vegetation, remove junk and kids' toys, create outside spaces with benches and colorful potted plants, remove cobwebs from porches and garages, make windows sparkle and have a good-looking mailbox. Then, clean up the inside. Scrub all surfaces, especially bathrooms and kitchen. Remove countertop clutter or too many appliances. Pack personal photos, mementos and knickknacks. Paint where needed. Get carpets professionally cleaned.

Price Properly

Setting the right price is crucial to a fast sale. Be realistic. Priced too high and the home could languish unsold for months, severely limiting your bargaining power when you do get an offer. Priced too low and you lose money. Hire an appraiser to give you the most accurate price and don't deviate far off that price.

Marketing Madness

Proper marketing is crucial. Marketing plans should be in place before the home goes up for sale. Take professional-looking photographs, both inside and outside, featuring the home's best qualities. Create lively and descriptive text for various mediums. Place these property write-ups on social networking sites, newspaper ads, flyers and online postings on sites such as FSBO.net, Zillow.com and ForSalebyOwner.com. Make color flyers with a few pictures of the home and basic information about it. Place the flyers outside on the "for sale" sign you put up and keep it full. Put some inside for showing. Have a phone number and email account set up just for the sale and place them on all marketing material, along with listing website URLs.

Act Available

As your own salesperson, you don't want to miss an opportunity. Record a phone voice message with property information and sale contact details. Check the phone and email accounts set up for the property sale often. Promptly return calls and answer emails. Make it easy for buyers to speak with you and set up an appointment. If on vacation, have a trusted friend or neighbor show the home. Selling your home is a business. Always be available and act professionally.

Stellar Showings

Ensure each showing goes well. Make sure the property is well maintained and vegetation trimmed. The home should be clean and free of clutter. Bake bread during or right before the showing letting the smell waft through the home. This will entice them and help them feel at home enough to make an offer. Get dogs and kids out of the house before the buyers arrive. Create a sign-in sheet for viewing buyers with name, email and phone number. If you don't get an offer soon after the viewing, call the buyers and find out why. They may be planning on making an offer or you may get useful feedback about the property.

Contract Compliance

It's is your best interests to hire an attorney skilled in real estate law to represent you at closing. Check with those you know for references. Ask to see real estate contract templates before offers come in and get explanations for anything not understood. Your lawyer will guide you through the contract and closing process. Let the experts do their job and avoid legal hassles later.

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