Every day people decide that it’s time to move and some, approximately 9% according to numerous sources/surveys/research data, are successful selling on their own without hiring a real estate agent/broker.
Okay great so there is a chance anyway right?
Of course there is and if you take the steps I outline in this guide you will stack the odds in your favor of selling for maximum dollar, in the shortest time and with the fewest hiccups along the way.
Some other stats to bear in mind as you prepare to sell.
Can a real estate agent really sell your house for 13% more than you can?
This is a popular claim you’ll see and or hear all over the internet. But this claim stems from skewed information that makes it irrelevant.
So I concluded that this favorite talking point of Team Real Estate Agent is – I’ll be polite here – misleading.
Anyone who tells you that real estate agents sell homes for 13% more than FSBOs is selling you.
But let’s not get carried away here. Even though the internet is filled with disinformation about FSBOs that doesn’t mean selling FSBO is a good choice for most people.
In fact, I personally believe that hiring a real estate agent to sell your house is still the best option for a large majority of people.
I also believe, on the other hand, that as more people get accurate information about FSBOs, that more people will go FSBO and more people will be successful selling their homes FSBO.
FSBOs are only 9% of U.S. home sales. Even if they grow, they’ll still be small. FSBOs aren’t a threat to the other 91% of the market.
ACTION STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FSBO EXPERIENCE:
Step 1: Paperwork Preparation
- Compile the “Facts of Record”
- Comparable homes that have recently sold in the area
- Comparable homes that are currently available
- Learn everything you can about your competition
- Study the paperwork you’ll need to have the buyer agree to and fill out all of the blanks that you can so when the time comes you’re prepared to get it in writing!
Step 2: Analyze Your Area both the surrounding neighborhood(s) and the local amenities relative to shopping, transportation, schools etc.
- List all advantages and detriments
- List the number of “For Sale” signs in the neighborhood closest to your home that are comparable homes to yours.
- Note any properties that are in disrepair or distressed.
Step 3: Inspect The Other Properties (Comps) That Are For Sale In Your Area
- All FSBO’S-Knock on their door and say: “Good afternoon, my name is ____ and we’re neighbors! I live over on ____ street and I’m getting ready to sell my house too. My reason for stopping by is that I’m doing my due diligence in establishing a fair market value so I’m researching other homes that are for sale and those that have sold recently around here. If you would be kind enough to let me take a peek at your home it will help me greatly and I’ll be happy to share the results of my research and send any buyers your way that might fit your house better than mine. May I step in?” or
- Call Them and Say: “Hi my name is ____ and I’m one of your neighbors over on ____ street. I was wondering if you would be kind enough to help me?” (Pause) (They’ll usually say something like What can I do?) Then say/ask: “I noticed your sign the other day and I’m getting ready to sell my house too. So I was wondering if you’d be offended if I stopped by to see your home?” (They’ll say no) Say: “Terrific! Would this afternoon be convenient for you or would tomorrow be better?” (They’ll choose) Say: “Thank you _____. I’ll see you _____ at _____ pm/am.
Step 4: What To Say
Once inside the neighbors home ask them to show you through and to share with you all of the benefits they’ve enjoyed while living in the area and their home.
- Build rapport
- Take notes
- Ask about specific amenities and/or upgrades they’ve enjoyed/done.
- Thank them and be sure to keep your promise if you told them you’d share your research findings.
Step 5: Continued Research And Things to Note About The Comps
- Outside curb appeal
- Names of the people
- Color and style of floor coverings/counters/fixtures
- Days on the market
- Price and Terms
Also be sure to at least drive by all listed by broker properties and all the Sold and Closed properties especially! Your goal is to gather as much supporting evidence as possible to justify your price and demonstrate the benefits and amenities to the best of your ability.
Step 6: Inspect Your Home With A Buyers Eyes and Note:
- Landscaping and exterior appeal. Walk across the street and take a critical look for what improvements would enhance the appeal like: lawn needs water/fertilizer, beds need weeding and fresh bark, house needs paint, bushes need trimming, walkways are clear, roof looks good or?, front door is welcoming and pride of ownership is evident.
- Note all amenities and community benefits on a data sheet for buyer prospects to see and/or take with them.
Step 7: Price Is King So Get It Right The First Time
Hint: Do Not Price your home higher than the market statistics and facts of record tell you it should be.
Over-pricing is a sure way to end up with less than you would have had you started at a realistic figure to begin with. Here’s a short list of why over-pricing is a mistake:
- The 1st 30 days your home is available for sale are critical. As a professional I refer to these days as “First-Time” exposure. It’s the time when there will be the most excitement about your home and there will be the most activity. When buyers see a home that they feel is priced too high they’ll lose motivation to act immediately and that home will help them justify buying a different home that is priced right. The over-priced home will sit on the market with no or low offers.
- Buyers are more educated than ever about values and they are the ones who ultimately decide what a home is worth to them by virtue of what they are willing and able to pay for it.
- Once a home has lost “First Time” exposure the results can be disappointing in that it takes longer to sell and sellers often realize less in the end when they finally do sell then they would have had the set a realistic price right out of the gate!
Some final tips:
- Spend a few extra bucks on signs. Roughly 50-60% of all buyer inquiries come from sign calls so have signs that draw attention and look good.
- If you plan on holding an open house don’t do it the lazy way. Market it starting a week in advance! Post hours, post it on social media, tell your closest 20 neighbors and invite them to let anyone they know about it that might like to live in the area!
- Turn on all lights
- Open the blinds
- Bake some cookies
- Turn on soft jazz music
- Start a fire in the fireplace
- Set up your Guest Book
Short of telling you what to say when showing your home and/or welcoming guests to your open house and/or exactly how to recognize buying signs and when to ask for the sale and HOW TO SAY WHAT TO SAY…because all that would take many more pages or at least a call between us so I could teach you…which I’m happy to take that call without any pressure or expectations…just like helping folks with the profession I’ve dedicated nearly 4 decades of my life to.
So there you go. Go forth and prosper my FSBO friends!
Hiring a real estate agent doesn’t make you money, it saves you a lot of work and worry.
If you’re FSBO-curious and checking out your options for selling your home, I hope this piece has been useful to you.
My goal here has been to give you accurate information so you can make the best decisions possible for you and your family.
As always share it if you dig it and think it might help someone!