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FSBO - How to Sell the Buyer on Your Asking Price

More and more homeowners are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to selling their home. This article provides sound guidance and helpful insight for determining what kind of asking price to attach to a for sale by owner home.

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When determining what kind of an asking price to attach to a fsbo home, there are several points to consider. Because you have omitted a third party – a real estate agent – asking price can be more flexible. Still, you need to be sure the price you set on your home is reasonable and fair – for both you <i>and</i> the buyer.

<b> Get an Appraisal</b>

Obtain a house appraisal from a qualified appraiser. One recognized by lending companies and banks. Interestingly enough, banks and mortgage companies do not lend money to homebuyers based on the value attached to the property by a real estate agent. That is because they do not consider real estate agents valid appraisers. And for good reason.

Most of the time, a real estate agent’s comparative market analysis does not represent the true market value of a home. Therefore, protect yourself by getting an appraisal done by a professional appraiser, one that will give an accurate, unbiased appraisal of your home.

An appraiser calculates a property’s worth using a direct sales comparison approach – based on the actual selling, not asking price, of comparable properties in your neighborhood.

Even a homeowner can obtain a relatively accurate appraisal of their property. By doing a little research, making use of an online house appraisal service, and by gathering data from the interactive Home Price Information Services available in many major cities.

<b>Set a Reasonable Asking Price</b>

Without having to consider a real estate agent’s percentage of the selling price, as a “for sale by owner” homeowner you have more leeway when deciding on an asking price. However, make sure the price you attach to your home is reasonable.

While you can set the price a little higher than the house appraisal if location or other aspects of the property are especially desirable, it is in your best interest to be conservative when attaching an asking price on your home for sale by owner.

Most buyers will make a fair offer on a reasonably priced fsbo home they like, but will avoid making any offer if the asking price is set too high.

Buyers are usually advised by a buyer broker or lawyer to bid below or at the appraised value. Even so, unless the market is slow in your area, setting your asking price at 3 to 4% over the appraised value of your home will not deter most serious buyers.

<b>Selling the Buyer on Your Asking Price</b>

After setting a fair price on your home based upon the house appraisal, sell the buyer on your asking price. There are advantages to buying a for sale by owner house.

First, the selling process is less complicated for both the seller and the buyer. Finding a buyer is often faster, too. A large percent of FSBO homes that sell were originally listed with a real estate agent, before the homeowner became frustrated and took matters into their own hands.

In most cases, the asking price of a home for sale by owner can be dropped by 6 to 7% from what the real estate agent had it listed for, and still put more money in homeowner’s pocket while saving the buyer big bucks!

<b>Enhance Your Chances of Making a Quick Sale</b>

To increase chances of making a quick sale, advertise wisely. Advertising online using a resource such as Virtual Real Estate Listings at can save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in newspaper advertisements and other forms of advertising.

For a reasonable, one-time fee, a full page ad complete with color pictures is made available to interested parties around the clock, 7 days a week. And placing an inexpensive one or two line notice that includes the online ad’s URL in area newspapers will prove one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your fsbo home.

© 2006 Lori S. Anton for Virtual Real Estate Listings


How to Negotiate Without Losing Your FSBO Cool

House for sale by owner transactions go smoother when the seller takes the time to prepare for the negotiation process with buyers. This helpful article offers suggestions for successful negotiations. It also lists elements that should be contained in a negotiation worksheet.

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No buyer wants an uncomfortable confrontation with the owner of a house for sale. Therefore, when a buyer asks to negotiate on aspects of the fsbo sale, it is important for the house owner to project a calm, relaxed mood and respond to negotiation requests politely. This reduces the risk of blowing a potential sale.

The goal of a good salesperson is to handle the sale in such a way both seller and buyer walk away from the sale feeling they got something they wanted. The sales floor, then, is no place to let egos get the upper hand. Be willing to compromise on minor issues.

<b>Elements of a Successful Negotiation</b>

By asking a fair price for your home you greatly reduce the risk of negotiations turning nasty. Other elements that make for successful negotiations are as follows:

<ul><b>1.)</b> Plan ahead. Decide before hand what aspects of the sale are negotiable, and which are not. This will reduce frustration during negotiations.

<b>2.)</b> When setting your house for sale by owner asking price, set it higher than your rock bottom price. Expect that buyers will ask for you to negotiate on price.

<b>3.)</b> Foster a calm relaxed tone and make good eye contact. Listen carefully to the buyer, and avoid the temptation to interrupt them.

<b>4.)</b> Keep in mind how much of the equity is saved by not going through a real estate agent when asked to reduce the price. Reducing the asking price by 2 or 3% still puts you way ahead of the game.

<b>5.)</b> Avoid the word “NO” when negotiating. Be willing to compromise on minor issues. Even when a point is not negotiable, take the time to explain “why.” This sends a better message to the buyer.

<b>6.)</b> Get everything in writing. Don’t rely on trust. Document what terms and conditions are discussed and agreed upon, and what still needs to be worked out.</ul>

<b>Prepare a Negotiation Worksheet</b>

By preparing a negotiation worksheet, you help the house for sale by owner negotiations go more smoothly, and the atmosphere to remain calm. You also reduce the risk of frustrations resulting from misunderstandings that could arise later.

The worksheet is not meant to be a legal, binding document. It is only to serve as a visual aid to keep track of what aspects of the sale process are agreed upon by both parties, and what aspects still need to be worked out. The worksheet will also serve as the foundation for the purchase and sales contract that should be drawn up with the help of an attorney.

The Negotiation Worksheet should include the following:

<ul><b>1.)</b> The seller’s name

<b>2.)</b> The buyer’s name, address, and phone number

<b>3.)</b> A description of the property fsbo, including address

<b>4.)</b> The purchase price

<b>5.)</b> The amount of the deposit

<b>6.)</b> Who holds the deposit

<b>7.)</b> Financing information

<b>8.)</b> Pre-Qualification letter due date

<b>9.)</b> Date of final loan approval

<b>10.)</b> Whether or not the seller is financing

<b>11.)</b> Who pays for what (inspections, appraisals, repairs, attorney fees, etc.)

<b>12.)</b> What is included in the sale (personal property such as appliances, curtains, etc.)

<b>13.)</b> Other conditions of the sale (buyers must first sell their current home, maximum mortgage note %, property inspections, etc.)

<b>14.)</b> Anticipated closing date

<b>15.)</b> Rental fees if seller continues to occupy the home after the closing

<b>16.)</b> Notation that the worksheet is not a binding document

<b>17.)</b> Any other aspects agreed upon, relevant to the sale of the property</ul>

For a MS Word formatted Negotiation Worksheet template, email the editor of Virtual Real Estate Listings at Type “Negotiation Worksheet” on the subject line of the e-mail; include your name and email address when making your request.

By both parties being willing to negotiate and documenting what has been agreed upon, fsbo dealings will go more smoothly, with irritations kept to a minimum. And the house for sale by owner process will be a win/win situation for both the buyer and the seller.

© 2006 Lori S. Anton, for Virtual Real Estate Listings


How to Stage a Home Properly

One of the most daunting aspects of selling your home yourself is the staging of the home itself. It is possible to hire professional stagers that are trained to showcase the strong points of your home, but with a little time and effort you can stage your home yourself.

For Sale By Owner, FSBO, Staging a home for sale by owner, Tips for Home Staging,, Ken Hamric, Find FSBO Homes

One of the most daunting aspects of selling your home yourself is the staging of the home itself. It is possible to hire professional stagers that are trained to showcase the strong points of your home, but with a little time and effort you can stage your home yourself. The first thing to understand about staging a home is that you must attempt to disconnect yourself from the home on an emotional level. This is easier said than done, but it is necessary.

A good idea is to start with the most visual aspect of your home. The exterior. We will go into greater deatail about the interior in a moment. Cleaning up the facade of your home is an absolute must. ensure that lawns are mown and trimmed. Clear away any rough edges along the walkways and driveway. Also weed the gardens and plant some new flowers. Make the entrance to your home as welcoming as possible. After all, this is the first thing a prospective buyer will see when they look at your home. You want their first impression to be a good way.

Now we move to the interior. The first thing you want to do is remove the clutter! Homes always have some sort of clutter that is best removed to showcase the home. This means you will have to spend some time going over what you need and don't need. Remember that a minimalist approach is a good idea. It can be difficult for buyers to envision their possessions in another home, try it yourself sometime at a friends home. Look around and think about what you would move or change. Now do this at your own home. Time to get rid of a few things? This must be done for every room, clean out all the closets and cupboards too. Buyers are nosey, and justifiably so. Like you did before they are investing in their future and they will go through closets and such to make sure there is sufficient room for their things.

Now to ensure that viewers have a great experience when in your home there are a few things that you can do. Lighting can set a great mood in a home. Be sure to have appropriate lighting for the time of day. Temperature is another good thing to remember. Viewers are less likely to explore a cold home. Set the temperature for a pleasant medium. If there is a fireplace, light it. This will add to the ambiance and showcase one of the most popular assets of a home. The whole point of staging is to make guests feel welcome and at home. Try leaving out some refreshments or snacks if you are so inclined. It is up to you how far you will go in staging your home, but the more effort you put in the better your home will show.


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