[photopress:fsbo_article1.jpg,thumb,alignright]Over the holiday, we were talking to a man in Shoreline getting his house ready for sale in the Spring of 2007. I promised to give my thoughts on his “selling it himself”. Clearly agents aren’t experts on how to sell your house all by yourself, in fact, we are quite the opposite. But I have helped people do this from time to time over the years, and am genuinely happy when they can achieve their stated goal, whatever that may be.
I found this article at the same place that I found the photo. It’s as good as any out there, I’d say. If anyone has others to recommend, please post them in the comments section.
I know some companies, like Microsoft, have internal online forums where they can post their For Sale By Owner Properties. If anyone can post results of that method, we’d like to hear from you.
Craig’s List, of course, is a good place to put an ad, but you pretty much have to stay on top of re-doing it when it expires.
I think any method is worth trying for 30-45 days IF you try it early in the year. The downside of For Sale By Owner, is if it doesn’t work, and you get on market late, you can lose the best months of the selling season.
If you are planning to “honor agents”, in other words allow for a Buyer Agent Fee as a FSBO, then you might as well pay the extra to be a “For Sale By Owner” in the mls. There are several companies that offer this service, and while it is true that some agents may boycott you and not show your house, if you have one of those houses that will “sell itself”, then that should not affect you much.
The main advantage of being in the mls, is that buyers who look on the internet at homes will not miss you, even if their agent does. They will see your house and ask their agent to see it. Agent’s might not show your home if the buyer doesn’t notice, but I doubt they will refuse to show it, if their buyer client asks to see it. “Bidding up” is one of the advantages of being in the mls. Getting a single buyer to pay what you ask is OK, but getting a couple who bid each other up is more likely to happen, IF it is going to happen, based on the higher exposure afforded you by being in the mls.
That said, my main advice is to be LISTED, really LISTED, by April 15 or May 1. So if you are going to try to sell it yourself, try not to miss the main selling season by doing it too late, or for too long. If it is going to work, you will probably know that within the first 10 days to two weeks.
If it were me, I’d try no fee at all for two weeks with a sign and Craig’s list. Then I’d tier up to a “FSBO in the mls”, and then full list, if needed, after 30 days. That gives you 45 days of trying without full fees. If it is going to work, I’d say 45 days to 60 at most oughta do it.
Try having some relative strangers look at it before any real buyers. I often ask people outside, neighbors mostly, to walk through and tell me anything negative that they see. After looking at the house while staging it for hours or days, I sometimes get blinded to small details. Every single time, they notice some obscure little thing that I can fix before real buyers see it. It’s very helpful and people are more than willing to help. Don’t ask them, what they think. They may feel obligated to say it looks great. Specifically ask them to find negatives.
Just my thoughts. As I said, we in the business are clearly not the experts on how to do it without us 🙂