FOR SALE BY OWNER (FSBO) TIPS
Selling real estate can be a challenge. We applaud your willingness to undertake that challenge - and we are here to help. Whether you are just beginning the process, or have been trying to sell your property for some time, we offer you the following FSBO tips:
AVOID TWO COMMON (MISTAKEN) ASSUMPTIONS
1. I cannot afford to hire a real estate professional…
In many cases, a real estate agent will offer his or her services in exchange for a commission that is paid when your property is sold and only if it is sold. In addition, studies have shown that properties listed and sold by real estate agents tend to net a higher sale price than those sold by owners directly. So… not only is it possible to avoid up-front costs, but also, the final sale price may offset the cost of hiring a real estate professional.
2. Selling real estate is nothing more than marketing…
Considerable work and skill is involved in the time between contract and closing. A typical buyer’s offer to purchase will include numerous contingencies - for example, a loan with acceptable terms, a satisfactory inspection and appraisal of the property, review and approval of covenants, title work and a survey. Each and every contingency has the potential to derail the deal. An experienced professional can handle challenges that may come up along the way and keep the transaction on track.
For most sale transactions, Unified Title Company believes it is wise to hire a real estate professional. But, we acknowledge special circumstances and we know that there are property owners with the patience and skill to handle a sale on their own.
You can approach a list price from two directions:
1. Ask yourself - WHAT IS MY PROPERTY WORTH?
Generally, a buyer’s offer will be based on an analysis of recent sales of like properties in the surrounding area. When determining a list price, you may want to take the same approach. You can utilize our O&E moduleor contact us to obtain a list of comparable sales.
The O&E module includes a search function that links to ValueCheck. Comparable sales data (based on county assessor records) are available for properties located through ValueCheck.
As a practical matter, a professional appraisal often dictates whether a transaction will cancel or close. A purchase offer may include a specific contingency related to appraised value (e.g., “this offer is contingent on an appraisal showing value of at least…”), or the contingency may be indirectly tied to value. For example, contracts often provide that the buyer can terminate if he or she fails to obtain satisfactory financing for a specific percentage of the agreed price. If the buyer’s lender appraises the property and the appraised value is less than the agreed price, the lender may be unwilling to make a loan that will cover the buyer’s financing needs.
You may want to have your property professionally appraised to arrive at a sale price.
There are internet tools and websites available to analyze market value. Unified Title Company does not endorse or reject any particular real estate valuation websites. However, we believe that the best tool is an experienced real estate professional, familiar with the area in which your property is located. If you elect to utilize the internet, we encourage prudence. Seek to understand the criteria used to arrive at a value. Beware of faulty or inadequate criteria and make sure that valuation data are current.