The ABC’s of For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

sell it yourself. Either way you obtain a realist price based on comparables. One of the most common mistakes by For Sale by Owner’s is pricing their home too high or too low – either way you lose. A professional appraisal can be a valuable sales tool to have it on hand when prospective buyers visit your For Sale by Owner property.

Step 3 – List Your FSBO

o Online Listings – First step is to get your home “listed” – there are several online venues that offer an opportunity to create an FSBO “online” listing. Prices range from “FREE” to $999 – depending on package. The internet has leveled the playing field significantly for FSBO’s – over 70% of all homebuyers see the property they buy online first!

o Flat Rate MLS – There are real estate agents that will provide what is referred to as a “Flat Rate MLS” fee. These agents simply charge a flat fee – usually in the $499 range to expose your property to the Realtor’s greatest sales and marketing tool. You agree to pay a pre-arranged commission (usually 2.5 – 3%) to a “selling agent” but maintain the right to find your own buyer and sell your own home without paying a commission fee. This route provides has a higher success rate then a “pure” FSBO sale and the homeowner still saves 3% on the sale of their home.

Step 4 – Market your FSBO

o There are many marketing steps and opportunities, but there are primary items associated with a successful FSBO sale. Number one is professional signage (18% of all home sales are initiated by a real estate lawn sign). Once you have your sign up you want to get as much exposure as possible. As previously stated there are several venues to list your home – some are free  – the most prominent free listing sites are Craigslist and The next step is traditional advertising, it’s unrealistic to think you can sell your own home and not incur some marketing costs. Once you have your sign and FSBO reference # you can start with some low cost classified advertisements that direct prospective home buyers to your online FSBO listing. You may also want to consider Open Houses although I am not totally sold on their direct value to the homeowner. I know Realtor’s use them as lead generation events – visitors may not be interested in your home but they are interested in “a” home. Since you are only concerned with one home the value of an Open House should be strongly scrutinized. Word of Mouth is another marketing tool – tell people you are selling your home – you would be amazed how many people buy homes from people they know. They may also know someone looking to move into the area. Print some flyers and get them up on local bulletin boards (grocery stores, video outlets etc).