Selling Your Home For Sale By Owne

By: Errol Vincent

Selling a home on your own can be exciting. It can also be terrifying. So, don't under estimate the importance of key factors that could make the difference between your real estate experience being a dream or a nightmare. To masterfully execute a successful home sale it is important to do three things: 1.) Deliver the appropriate forms and property disclosures to the Buyer, 2.) Give your home maximum exposure, and 3.) Communicate effectively when you receive an offer, and especially once a transaction is in escrow. This will help to keep the transaction moving forward. Neglecting any of these three critical areas can cause your home sale to stall-or worse, self destruct.

Providing the Necessary Forms and Disclosures

Often Buyers interested in purchasing a home from a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) will rely upon the Seller to provide the purchase contract. It is always a good idea for a Seller to have Purchase Contracts, and other forms, on-hand when placing a home on the market. Also be aware that in real property transactions, a Seller must complete all of the necessary property disclosures prior to consummating the transaction. What disclosures are necessary will vary from state to state, however, it is the Seller's legal obligation to disclose any known defects about the property. For most states, a Seller should be able to find a list of the required disclosures by visiting the state's real estate commission website. To get a full picture of what disclosures you will need to make, take into account that your city and/or county may have disclosure requirements of their own. At your open house, consider creating and displaying a binder which contains all of your home's disclosures for Buyers to review. While disclosing information is important to a successful sale so is getting your home in front of Buyers.

Giving Your Home Maximum Exposure

Exposure is critical to a successful home sale, particularly in today's competitive real estate market. While signs and newspapers are great, according to the 2006 Internet Versus Traditional Buyer Survey produced by the California Association of Realtors, California homebuyers searching for a home on the internet rose to 70% in 2006. So if you are trying to determine where to focus your marketing efforts, realize that the internet is a good place to start. Also important in terms of marketing your home to Buyers, is knowing your competition. If you are selling your home on your own, it is important that you take time to visit open houses in your area, in addition to holding your own open houses. When Buyers stop by, ask them what their thoughts are about the other homes they have visited and use the answers they give as a springboard to highlight your home's key features. Doing this will give you an opportunity to practice communicating with Buyers.

Communicating and Negotiating with Potential Buyers

As a FSBO you will find that negotiating with Buyers is more a matter of diplomacy than anything else. Remember, today's market is not the market in which to play hardball and the key sticking point with Buyers will almost always be the price of your home. Most people choose to sell their home on their own in an effort to avoid having to pay a commission, however, according to the National Association of Realtors, in 2006 homes sold "For Sale By Owner," sold for 32% less than homes sold by a licensed real estate professional. One of the main challenges that FSBOs face is negotiating with Buyers. Often Buyers specifically select a FSBO property in an effort to "get a deal" just as Sellers are hoping to pocket more money by not using a real estate agent and therefore not paying a commission. Know this ahead of time, and think about the ways in which you can respond to any "below market offers" you may receive. Also, maintain a general attitude of cooperation by being willing to demonstrate flexibility and an overall desire for a win-win situation for both Buyer and Seller.

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