10 Problems you will face as a For Sale By Owner

In All by Nathan Jones

10 Problems you will face as a For Sale By Owner


Our standard For Sale By Owner yard sign

Lets face it, we all want to try and save money where we can. With the increase in availability of property information and different ways to list your property for sale, many homeowners are trying their hand at selling their home “for sale by owner”. This can be a worthwhile endeavor when you consider the potential savings. But there are many roadblocks that can leave a homeowner in a far worse position and cost them a lot more money than if they had just listed the home with a Realtor. We want to help you be  successful in selling your home and we have developed this list to help you avoid common mistakes and to show many of the ways a McClellan Gray Real Estate FSBO listing package or full service package can help eliminate these potential issues.

1. Limited Exposure: When listing your home for sale by owner one of the biggest tasks is trying to get your property out there for all potential buyers to see. It is virtually impossible. You can put your home on Zillow or one of many other FSBO listing sites, but at the end of the day you are only reaching a small fraction of the potential home buyers that may be interested in your home. Increased exposure equals more showings, a typically quicker sale, and a higher sales price. When you use a realtor who puts your property on the MLS (multiple listing service) your exposure increases dramatically. Your listing will immediately show up on the most searched real estate sites like Realtor.com, Homes.com, Zillow, Trulia, and all of the various brokerage sites like McClellanGray.com, giving you the exposure your property needs to fetch the highest price in the quickest amount of time. McClellan Gray Real Estate is a member of 3 local MLS Boards – Louisville Board, Lexington Board and Old Kentucky Home Board. If you decided to list your property with us, your home will be listed on all 3 MLS systems for maximum exposure.

2. Over or Under-pricing: Overpricing is one of the quickest and surest ways to turn off good potential buyers who are ready to buy a home, and under-pricing can be just as hazardous to your bottom line. Buyers will see that your home is overpriced and pass it right by, and the chances of them still being around when you finally decide to reduce the price is slim. No one wants to try and negotiate the price of a home that starts out overvalued, so you will have fewer showings and your home will sit longer on the market. The one thing overpricing your home will do is help to sell the other homes on the market that do show value. Buyers want to see value and they will come running. Homes priced to sell near the fair market value from the first day will result in the most qualified buyers and a fast sale. McClellan Gray Real Estate has market knowledge and information available to help you decide the best price for your home. We will also give you advice about things that you can do that will help increase your homes value before putting it on the market.

3. Poor Quality or Minimal Photos and Video: 90% of home buyers start their home search online. These potential buyers want to see your home and not just read about it. Minimal photos or low quality photos result in potential buyers skipping over your property and moving on to the next one, even if your property would have been a perfect fit. That money you thought you were saving by selling your home “for sale by owner” can quickly evaporate if your home does not stand out and your are receiving few showings, then you are forced to accept a lower offer or reduce your asking price. High quality photos and video tours sell homes for top dollar! McClellan Gray Real Estate offers high quality photos and HD Video Tours, along with staging advice that makes your property shine online.

4. Your Home isn’t ready to show its best:  Many people want to jump the gun and put their home on the market before it is ready. Too much clutter, dated decor, oversized furniture, or sparse furnishings can all be a quick turn off to buyers. And sometimes people make these snap judgments without even thinking about it. First impressions are hard to overcome, so putting your best foot forward is key to getting the most showings right off the bat. It is very important that your home is clean & inviting and is presented in a way that people can imagine themselves living there. We can help you make sure your home shows its best with staging tips and ideas to update dated or cluttered decor.

5. Undisclosed or Unknown Defects: Forgetting to disclose a defect or trying to hide a defect will haunt you. Being sued by a buyer after closing is the last thing that you want. Honesty is important when selling your home, but sometimes we just forget, or do not know what is important to disclose. When listing your property with McClellan Gray Real Estate we will go over in detail a Seller’s Disclosure Form. This form will allow you to disclose any defects that you know of that are ongoing, have happened in the past and when something was repaired. This will help to ensure both buyer and seller are protected.

6. Coordinating and Scheduling Showings: When listing your property for sale by owner you hopefully will begin to get prospective buyers and buyers agents that want to look at or show your home. There are some things to watch out for when showing your  home directly to a prospective buyer. Buyers will often times drill sellers who are present at a showing, in hopes of finding out why you are selling or obtaining some negotiating position over you. This is often done in simple general conversation, but if you let the wrong info slip at the wrong time, you may cost yourself some valuable negotiating position which can cost you money.  Some information shared by the seller can sometimes result in a lower offer. Also, potential buyers like to have space when looking at home. It is difficult to really look, when the seller is right behind them. As well as getting phone calls from prospective buyers when listing your home for sale by owner, you will get phone calls from Realtors about showing your property. If you are open to Realtors showing your property, they will often times ask that you fill out a one time showing agreement. This agreement specifies what amount you are willing to pay them if they bring a buyer and successfully sell your property. These conversations and filling out of forms can be time consuming and can sometimes feel like a waste of time. By choosing one of our 4 listing options at McClellan Gray Real Estate you will no longer have the hassle of receiving phone calls from other agents about negotiating commission and filling out showing agreements. All of that will be predetermined and the information will be available to them on the MLS.

7. Unqualified Buyers: Often times people who may call to view your home may not even be able to afford the price of your home, and could be “tire kickers”,  “nosy neighbors”, or they could be criminals trying to scope out your home, and it is often difficult for a homeowner to tell who is serious and who is not. We can help you determine who can perform and who is just looking, without turning off potential buyers with too many personal questions.

8. Negotiations: Negotiating may not seem like that big of a deal if buyer and seller are going back and forth about price only.  Still, a skilled negotiator on the other side of the table can quickly cost you thousands of dollars if you are not prepared. Also, negotiation is not as simple when there are multiple offers, multiple properties, contingencies, specific time frames that must be adhered to, lender terms that must be met, etc. Also, many buyers will want to negotiate for repairs, concessions, or other items after a home inspection, so being prepared for these potential issues is critical. At McClellan Gray Real Estate we are experienced in dealing with any type of negotiation or conflict that may arise.

9. Finding Forms and Filling out Contracts: Contracts, Disclosures and other forms are something that you will definitely need, and as a for sale by owner may not have access to. The paperwork you use is important to protect both buyer and seller during a real estate transaction. And while it may be easy to find forms online, the language in those forms is the only thing that stands between your successful sale and a dead deal.  Also, Lenders will always require a signed contract before they can start processing a loan. Many times sellers and buyers who are not represented by a Realtor hire a real estate attorney to draw up the paperwork for them which can cost a considerable amount of money. McClellan Gray Real Estate has knowledge and detailed contracts & other forms that protect you all the way until closing and beyond.

10. Closing: Many issues can arise with the closing of the loan, all the way up until the day of closing.  Financing can fall through, buyers can get cold feet, or there can be errors on the settlement docs that could cost you money. We know what to look for and how to avoid potential problems as the closing date draws near. If you are concerned with the paperwork and issues that may arise between the signing of the contract and closing day, we offer an optional closing package that you can add to any of our FSBO listing packages. The closing option will cover all paperwork and contracts, and we will guide your home sale process from contract negotiation and signing until your check is in hand on closing day.

Contact us today to see how we can help you sell your home for sale by owner. Or if you are ready for a full service listing we can handle everything.