Congratulations on making the decision to sell your house. As you most likely know, selling your home is more than putting a sign in the front yard and running a few ads and open houses. There are many critical pieces to the puzzle and the transaction. Take this self-assessment to see if going FSBO is the right choice for you.
1. Do you feel comfortable and knowledgeable with all the legal requirements for selling a home in your area?
Laws vary from state to state and can also change yearly. Problems can also arise if you haven't protected yourself with the proper warranties or seller disclosures. Make sure that this is something you are comfortable with.
2. Are you located in a "hot market"?
If there are alot of homes on the market you have alot of competition. Most homes have a Realtor representing them so they have access to a higher "pool" of buyers. It will be imperative to market your home and position it strongly against the competition.
3. Are you comfortable and knowledgeable on Internet Marketing?
The National Association of REALTORS® reports that 91% of buyers start their search on the internet. The second place they go is to a REALTORS® to get information. Listing your home on a FSBO site is a start but you may need to get up to speed on how to build a website for promoting your house, and getting it ranking on the search engines so it can be easily found. It's all about exposure.
4. Are you willing to give up your weekends and evenings to show your property?
Most buyers are at work during the day and the only opportunity to look at homes are evenings and weekends. If you have a sign on your house be prepared for buyers to want access immediately and will want you to show the home at their convenience.
5. Do you know how to differentiate a "Looker" from a "Buyer"?
Many buyers may want to see your home out of general curiosity. They may not be in the market or worse yet are not qualified to buy your house. They may have a home to sell, lack the money for a down payment or just wanting to see what is on the market. You don't want to waste your time or open the door to someone that might not be a ready, willing and able buyer.
6. Are you comfortable negotiating?
You have just gotten an offer and the price is lower than you want with terms you don't understand. You'll want to be prepared to make a reasonable counter offer to keep them engaged - without losing the sale and at the same time getting the results you are happy with.
7. Are you versed on home inspections and how they can play into the sale?
Getting an offer accepted is only the first step. Many times the hardest part of the transaction is managing the transaction and things that may come up. If the buyer has gotten a home inspection and starts to negotiate with you, you need to understand what elements are important and what could cause problems.