Quick Guide to Selling FSBO
Welcome to the REGNIER family. Enclosed are a few items on my listing check sheet that I discuss with sellers prior to listing their property. Feel welcome to reach out to discuss your short and long-term real estate goals as a seller or buyer.
First and foremost...
- Think in Reverse – You will be moving. If purchasing, hire a Buyer’s Agent for FREE! It's the best money you don't have to spend. Keep in mind the listing agent is hired by the seller and may not be on your team. The commission to be paid for the transaction as a seller has already been agreed to long before a buyer comes along.
- As a seller in general... Suppose you receive a purchase contract offer today on your FSBO listing, are you prepared to move? Is your future goal to lease or purchase locally or to relocate out of state? Have you picked out a community or do you already have a new home in mind? Have you mapped out how to accomplish simultaneous closings on your next property?
What Should I Expect Next?
Now that you have decided to sell, you may find yourself asking NOW WHAT?
Great Question. The selling process should be enjoyable and as stress free as possible. The clock starts the moment you list. In the first two weeks, expect the most activity. Many of the calls you receive will be from real estate agents that have interest in listing your property. Unless they can produce a buyer on the spot, they DO NOT have a buyer for your home and are simply blowing smoke in hopes of winning a listing. “Serious Humor… I can stop these annoying calls by listing your property for sale. Listing with an agent is the only way to stop these calls in the first place.”
Avoid Chasing Down Price
IMPORTANT... From day one, price correctly! The last thing you want to do is chase down price. An overpriced property most always sells for less money than a property priced closer to the expected future sold price.
Think Like a Buyer
Time to think like a buyer. This can be achieved with a simple game of roleplay. What sold you on the property? Recreate the buying process by getting in your car and driving around the block taking notes of curb appeal of the other homes in the community then comparing them to your home.
Did you know that in many cases, by the time the potential buyer gets to your front door, a decision has already been made to whether there is interest in seeing the inside? By putting yourself in the buyers’ shoes, you can better recognize the deficiencies that need attention.
Time to Sweat Small Things
Small things DO matter. There is a difference between resale improvement projects and home renovations. Home improvements would include fresh paint, changing dim or burnt out light bulbs, ensuring no odd smells, shampooing carpet, de-personalizing the property & spring cleaning to name a few items.
With home improvements, you are not necessarily increasing the worth or value of your property, rather looking to enhance the desirability and perceived value. Desirability sells!
On the other hand, renovations can be tricky. Most all renovations do not see full return on investment. For instance, spending $30,000 on a kitchen upgrade may only give $20,000 of value in return while replacing worn carpet with something less dated will see closer to a full return in investment if not a greater return. Let’s discuss the necessities.
To-Do-List... Scratch That... Must-Do-List
There is a direct correlation with price and property condition.
Exterior: Is your home in top condition that will help it sell at top dollar in comparison to other homes for sale? Consider completing those small projects that are long overdue. We can help you choose which is most important. The ones that that make a big difference in desirability and price. Create perceived value, which is important because it creates the excitement; the feeling of MUST HAVE. Fresh exterior paint, an outdoor living area, a pop of flowers by the entry and natural colored mulch gives a clean look that is priceless. Remember that curb appeal is a BIG deal. Most buyers will know if they have interest in your home before ever getting out of their car.
- If needed, neutral paint Exterior (it may be time to consider a color change...)
- Pop of color such as flowers and other low costs landscaping
- Natural colored cypress mulch
- Trimming of low tree branches and overgrown hedges
- Clean up of outdoor sitting areas (front & back patios)
- Pressure washing exterior of home and driveway
- NO BUGS or SPIDERS!!!
- Professional cleaning
- Replacement of rusted/corroded exterior lights
- Replacement ANY Wood Rot
Interior: My #1 biggest low-cost recommendation is to consider changing every primary overhead light bulb to “natural bright-white daylight” color LED bulb when suitable. Then declutter and neutralize the entire home. It is a good idea to touch-up and/or apply neutral paint throughout, removal of personal items including pictures and items of significant value. Have a professional deep clean the interior, then keep your home clean. During the cleaning process, consider donating or trashing items that you will not take to your new home. Ask a neighbor or friend for their honest opinion to whether your home has a unique smell. I have a saying… If I can smell it, I can’t sell it!
- Change light bulbs
- Touchup or paint using neutral paint colors
- Deep clean & KEEP CLEAN
- Spring clean (donate or get rid of anything that isn’t moving with you)
- Tackle any foul odors at the source
- If I can smell it, I can't sell it!
Did you know The REGNIER Group “Syndicates” property listings to thousands of websites globally the moment we list the property.
As FSBO, marketing your home may seem easy. In fact, it is far more difficult and expensive than ever. For sale signs are not always allowed and do not draw much interest. When is the last time you picked up the newspaper to look at homes? Mark expensive newspaper ads off your list. Marketing online is a necessity but watch out. As soon as you list on Zillow, every agent in the world seems to say they have a buyer for your home. Zillow is just one platform and that alone isn’t going to produce many showings. You will want to consider having accounts on all the major online home search platforms, including social media platforms, but be advised it’s costly and extremely time consuming. I spend thousands of dollars on photos and marketing efforts selling homes just like yours.
Are You Ready?
No1: Now that you have your home listed FSBO, be prepared to screen phone calls for qualified buyers, be available during work hours, on weekends, evenings and be ready to cancel those dinner plans last minute. Be available, buyers move on quickly and rarely circle back if a home is difficult to preview or when missed phone calls are not returned within a few minutes. Always accompany potential buyers that are not with a broker. There are thieves that visit open houses and/or request showings specifically to steal jewelry, pills, small electronics or to plan a future break-in. Screen buyers to reduce the risk.
No2: If you were to get an offer on your home today, are you ready to move in the next 30-45 days? Do you have a new home or community picked out? Determine if the best plan of action is to simultaneously close or if it is best to store furnishings with a company like PODS or with a moving company.
No3: To pay a buyer side commission or not?
PAY THAT COMMISSION. But, ultimately that is for you to decide. Approximately 90% of buyers start their search online without using a real estate professional. However, nearly 100% of buyers submit an offer with a REALTOR because homes are some of the most expensive assets people have and buyers have a lot of money on the table with deposits and countless legal unknowns. As a seller, you will likely be asked to pay 3% buyer commission.
*IMPORTANT: Chances are high that any offer submitted will not favor you as the seller. Unless you are familiar with the process, beware of miscellaneous fees and purchase contract terms that are highly unfavorable to sellers.
Located a Potential Buyer?
After you find an interested buyer, there is a short period of time to come to an agreement with specific timelines to follow such as contract contingencies. Here are a few off the top of my head.
- Determine the correct paperwork to use (beware contracts with terms that put you at risk)
- Negotiate the contract price
- Negotiate contract terms
- Schedule multiple inspectors
- Schedule the appraiser
- Schedule the survey
- Coordinate with the attorneys
- Coordinate with the closer/title company
- Qualify the Buyer with lender
- Confirm proof of funds and prequalify buyer
- Coordinate with the lender
- Help buyer submit homeowners/condo application
- Help buyer obtain HOA/COA approval
- Schedule re-inspection & final walk-through
- All while still working full time
Did You Know?
Most real estate agents have NO, that zero interest in showing homes listed FSBO. Why is that? Because there is significantly more risk involved and a lot of unknowns. There are a lot of moving parts going on before a listing is taken and even more involved to successfully close real estate transactions. These risks alone make it less likely for agents to bring qualified buyers.
It is IMPORTANT to understand that your first offer will likely be the best offer, so overpricing or underpreparing can be detrimental. The last thing you want is to be sued or miss out on the perfect opportunity. While it is not impossible to sell a home without hiring a real estate professional, the fact is that selling a home is a full-time job that involves coordinating with a dozen or more people for the transaction. Statistics also indicate that a large majority of properties sold by owner net less money than if they would have hired a real estate professional in the first place.
Final... Final Thought
If I could help you Net 5%-10% more even after paying real estate commissions, would you list with me? All I ask is opportunity should you decide it's time to hire the professional. Don't forget, if you decide to purchase a new home, I can help you navigate and negotiate the best terms and price on that home too!
Randall A Regnier
Enjoyment. Family. Friends. Travel. Lifestyle.
Don’t wait to reach out. I offer FREE real estate advise with no obligation. In return, all I ask is that you keep me top of mind when real estate comes up in conversation or if you decide it’s time to buy or interview a marketing agent that is excited to find a buyer and showcase your property to be the NEXT sold!
Sample Open House/Showing Registration Below
Would you like a FREE Open House or Showing Form like the one below? Let me know and I will send you a customized showing/open house form for you to gather important buyer info.
- Learn motive of potential buyer
- Easily track & follow-up with buyer
- Upon completing form, automatically redirected to property details page
*When you complete the sample open house registration below, you will be redirected to the active listing for the showing/open house form.