If you’re at all familiar with the world of real estate, you’ve likely come across the idea of For Sale by Owner listings or “FSBO” listings. For homeowners looking to take the real estate process into their own hands, it’s a popular option to skip the use of a realtor or agent and instead sell their home independently. While most homeowners will turn to real estate agents due to a lack of expertise or time, by learning the best tips for FSBO listing, sellers can have more control over their entire real estate experience.
In this article, we’ll explore “For Sale by Owner” tips, what selling your home without a realtor or agent typically demands, as well as some important considerations to keep in mind before settling on an FSBO listing.
Before diving into the world of selling a home FSBO, it’s essential to understand some of the advantages and challenges of listing your home this way. One of the most attractive features of choosing to do an FSBO listing is increased homeowner control. When selling through an agent, homeowners anticipate losing 5-6% of their profits to listing and buyer agents. When selling a home, FSBO homeowners only need to worry about the buyer agent’s commission and potentially increase their profit.
When selling a home FSBO, it’s attractive to have complete control over what needs to happen to improve the home’s value, determining the selling price, and choosing who the house is ultimately sold to. When selling your home, FSBO sellers don’t have to worry about an agent getting bogged down by multiple listings or other clients; homeowners are the ones in charge of their listing’s fate. For those willing to put in the extra work to take the proper steps, this increased control over pricing and staging can be a welcomed change to the typical real estate experience.
Now that we’ve considered the benefits of choosing to sell your home independently, what are the potential drawbacks? One of the biggest challenges faced by homeowners choosing to list their home FSBO is a lack of experience. Realtors and real estate agents are trained to maximize the value of a sale regardless of the listing’s circumstances, and without the proper research, homeowners can easily tank their profits. It’s also harder for homeowners who lack the expertise to understand how current real estate market trends might impact their listing practices and selling strategies.
Real estate agents are hired largely due to their pricing tactics to maximize homeowner profit. At the end of the day, their commission is based on the final selling price. FSBO sellers also miss out on the marketing resources these agents have to offer, possibly making it more difficult for potential buyers to learn about the sale. While these are some of the major drawbacks of moving forward with an FSBO listing, one of the most prominent cons is the time it takes for homeowners to finalize their sale since realtors and agents can expedite the entire process.
Now that we understand the pros and cons of choosing to sell a home “For Sale by Owner”, let’s dive into the different steps that homeowners need to take to complete the process in a profitable and streamlined manner. By properly preparing the property, understanding and increasing its value, and providing a peaceful buyer experience, homeowners can better guarantee a listing’s success.
Let’s explore a few helpful FSBO tips!
Start by Understanding the Home’s True Value
One of the biggest mistakes an FSBO seller can make is not pricing their home appropriately. Homeowners should avoid pricing their property higher or lower than comparable properties nearby to maximize their investment and receive positive attention from potential buyers. Determining the listing price isn’t as simple as looking at what the seller originally purchased the home for, it’s more about analyzing the local price trends and understanding how the value of the home might have changed over time. Before finalizing a price for an FSBO listing, make sure to:
· Get an Appraisal: By contacting a title company, sellers can get a rough estimate of their home’s value based on comparable properties nearby.
· Value Outside Opinions: Be aware that as the current homeowner you may be a bit biased regarding your home’s value. Invite over trusted friends and family to give you an idea of renovations, flaws, and potential changes that should be made.
· Complete Necessary Maintenance Tasks: The quickest way to tank value in a home is leaving maintenance tasks uncompleted. Make sure all major issues are addressed before moving forward in the selling process.
Consider Completing a Remodel for Higher ROI
Outside of completing any necessary maintenance tasks for the property, it’s valuable to also consider what renovations can be made to increase a home’s value. Remodeling or renovating even one area of the home is a quick way to strengthen buyer interest and keep a home’s fixtures updated. While this may require investment and long-term planning, remodels are a unique selling point for any homeowner looking for FSBO tips to secure a sale. Let’s explore a few remodel ideas and their potential return.
· Deck Remodel: A deck installation adds square footage to your home, and can lead to homeowners potentially recouping 60 -120% of the investment.
· Bathroom Remodel: Bathroom remodels are one of the more inexpensive ways to drive up a home’s value, especially since buyers will always place strong importance on this space.
· Kitchen Remodel: Kitchens are one of the first things potential buyers look at, and with a remodel or renovation, sellers can potentially recoup 65 – 90% of their investment.
Understand the Value of Presentation and Staging
One of the most critical steps of any successful real estate transaction is the staging period when potential buyers can explore the home. This is the point where buyers ultimately determine if the home is the right choice for them. To guarantee a successful transaction without an agent, it’s important to properly stage the home the way a real estate agent would likely suggest. Make sure to maximize square footage by minimizing superfluous furniture and choosing neutral and non-offensive decor. Some other general staging tips for FSBO sellers include:
· Thoroughly Declutter and Clean
· Use Neutral Paint Tones
· Avoid Excessive Furniture
· Ensure Each Room Has a Designated Purpose
· Encourage a Peaceful Environment
Don’t Forget Curb Appeal!
One of the first impressions that potential buyers have when exploring real estate listings is curb appeal. While it might be easy to focus efforts on the interior of a home for potential improvements, the outside of a property can play an equally huge role in the sale. Especially for families or buyers that like to entertain outdoors, sprucing up the front lawn can be an instant selling point. Make sure that potential buyers have a positive first impression with these simple tips:
· Keep Lawn Mowed and Well-Maintained
· Don’t Neglect Outdoor Lighting
· Remove any Litter or Trash
· Post Signage Regarding the Sale
· Powerwash Driveways and Sidewalks
· Add Flowers or Plants
Leverage Virtual Materials for Increased Accessibility
One of the major advantages of the fallout of COVID-19 is the increase in virtual marketing tools for those looking to sell their home independently. Increasing a listing’s visibility has become much easier with the normalization of virtual staging, 3-D tours, and other video tools such as Facetime and Zoom. While it’s important to clear out your schedule enough for in-person tours and open houses, taking advantage of the virtual materials available to FSBO sellers can easily increase their home’s potential exposure passively.
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By understanding the most effective FSBO tips for sellers, a homeowner can take full control over the profits made in selling their home. By valuing staging, understanding the true value of the property, and making simple renovations and improvements to increase profits, homeowners can drastically improve their chances of successfully selling the home “For Sale by Owner”. While FSBO is a common strategy for homeowners looking to orchestrate their real estate process, it’s can also be smart to consider selling your home “as-is” to expedite the sale. At TLC Estate, we provide cash offers on homes of any condition and accelerate the process of the real estate transaction to take the stress off sellers’ shoulders. Contact us today!
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