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As a home inspector, I get to see many mistakes by people selling their home without a real estate agent, commonly referred to as FSBO’s or For Sale By Owner. If you do your homework and research and have some financial sense, you can probably sell your own home. However, I see many people who fail when going this route.
1. Pricing The Home Too High: Seems everyone thinks they live in a goldmine. The common misconception is that they will price it high so they can come down a little bit during negotiations. This has several problems related to it.
Here’s one. Many homebuyers are on a budget. Let’s say I’m looking for a home like yours in your neighborhood and most of the homes there that are comparable are in the 135k to 145k ranges. However, you have tile floors and stainless steel sinks along with a few other cosmetic improvements. You think your home is worth at least 147k. Tack on a few thousand more “so you can come off of the price during negotiations” and you start your home at 152k
As a homebuyer, the most I can spend is 145k. Although your home is what I’m looking for, you’re outside my price range so I won’t even bother to look at your house.
That’s just one example of how a too high price is going to hurt you. There are many, many more!
2. Letting Emotions Direct Your Actions: Many times this is the reason your home is priced too high. Remember, this is a business transaction. You have a product to sell, you need act accordingly.
3. Failing to Get Your Home Inspected Before Listing: I’ve seen FSBO’s go to great trouble and expense to get their home ready to sell only to find out from the potential Buyers Inspector that there are major structural, plumbing, electrical or mechanical issues with the home.
Depending on the severity of the problems, this probably cost you a Buyer and it means your home will be sitting on the market for a few more weeks or months.
National survey’s reveal that homes that have had pre-inspections sell faster with less hassle at closing. FSBO’s are no different.
4. Being a Jerk: I see this one more than you’d think. For some reason selling your home by yourself seems to give you a special excuse to be a jerk judging by the way some FSBO’s act.
Being unreasonable in your actions will drive away Buyers. No one likes a jerk!
I’ve seen FSBO’s make some of the most stupid request of Buyers like; one guy would only show his home on Sunday afternoons between 4 and 6 p.m. and you had to RSVP so he’d have you on his “list”. He wondered why no one was showing up at this home. I saw another FSBO that would not allow his home to be inspected without him, his attorney and his inspector being present. He also required each item to be brought up to him and his group before telling the Buyer. Needless to say, we didn’t inspect this home. Note: many state SOP’s require that you do not divulge information to anyone other than the Client.
It’s a fact of life, being a jerk cost you money. Not only in real life, but also when you go to sell your home!
5. Not Pre-qualifying Your Buyers: Letting any old Moe and Joe lock up your home while they try and get qualified can cost you Buyers if they fail to qualify for a loan. Require that all potential Buyers be pre-qualified!
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Are you getting ready to sell your home? If you are, then you may have asked yourself whether or not it is worth it to use a real estate agent or if you should just sell your house yourself. There are honestly pros and cons to both sides. Hopefully, by reading this article, you will have a little more information about both sides and will be able to make the best decision for you.
For Sale By Owner – this choice allows you as the homeowner to play a more active role in the selling of your home. You will be in charge of advertising your house where you would like and taking phone calls from interested buyers. You will also be the one who gives tours of your home when buyers would like to walk through it and make a decision. It's your job to take care of everything when you want and how you want.
Real Estate Agent – this choice allows you to play a low key role. You will pay your agent a percentage of the sale and they take care of the rest. They will advertise the home with their company and try to line up possible buyers to come see your home. When that happens, your real estate agent will show the home for you and try to get a sale. It also helps to have the advice of someone who does this for a career. They will know everything that needs to be done and they have all the paperwork ready for you.
If you are willing to pay for a real estate agent, they can make moving seem easy. They will make sure to get everything that you're looking for.
For Sale By Owner – General Checklist for Residential Purchase & Sale Transactions
Buying or selling real estate is an important legal transaction. The information provided is intended to provide you with general information about the basic steps involved in buying and selling residential property, but does not attempt to provide legal advice. Prospective buyers and sellers who feel like they are not knowledgeable or experienced in negotiating terms, arranging financing, analyzing tax consequences, or handling certain details related to their transaction, should consult with qualified legal counsel. The documents provided to prospective buyers and sellers for use and reference include basic provisions that should apply in the majority of residential property sale transactions. However, oftentimes terms that are unique to a particular transaction arise, such as where a buyer must sell his or her existing home before he or she can purchase a new home. Where there are terms that are unique to a specific transaction, consulting with an attorney is particularly important. An attorney can assist with incorporating additional terms and conditions into the form purchase agreement to personalize a particular transaction to fit the needs of the buyer and seller. Below please find a general checklist of items and issues that you may wish to consider during the process of purchasing and selling residential property. Please note that this checklist is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all issues or matters to be addressed in the purchase and sale of residential property, but rather a general guide to assist buyers and sellers in navigating the basic steps of the process. Remember, you can substitute an attorney for a real estate agent and save yourself tens of thousands of dollars by listing for sale by owner (FSBO)
Evaluating Prospective Buyers:
Making an Offer on the Property
Complete and Execute Residential Purchase and Sale Agreement
Submit Application for Financing
Complete and Deliver Seller Disclosure Statement (s) and other Notices
Order Preliminary Title Report from Title Company
Arrange Issue of Title Insurance Policy
Perform Physical Inspection of Property
Review of Property Inspection Report
Finalize Financing to Purchase Property
Closing of Transaction
It's no surprise that Florida tops yet another category of the drowning real estate market among foreclosures. With sixty-seven counties in the state known for its sunshine, Florida is one of the top places for another type of real estate, FSBOs.
As Florida's market increases, homeowners are finding other ways to buy or sell real estate without spending a fortune to do so. The state currently has more than 7,601 "For sale by Owner" properties on the market, topping the rest of the nation. It looks like everywhere you look you see a home with a "for sale by owner" sign out in the front yard.
So why so many FSBO's in the Sunshine State you ask? Well, can you really blame residents of the state for not wanting to sell their homes on their own? The prices of real estate in some parts of Florida are some of the most expensive you can find, especially for median income families.
I looked up listings in Florida and noticed a 2 / 1.5 condo in one of the most dangerous looking neighborhoods in Miami I have ever seen, going for $ 270,000. Yes, I said $ 270,000 for a 2 / 1.5. Then I checked out Daytona Beach and found a 2/2 condo going for $ 340,000. This listing showed pictures of an interior that looked like the insides of a warehouse.
Whether the real estate market is tumbling or not, Floridians have had to do the-it-yourself mentality. Homeowners have lost so much money in this market that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get in or out of a home without losing money money from their investment.
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When a mortgage refinance is in your future, you may need to worry about what the industry calls short-sales and how they can affect the value of your home. A short-sale of real estate means (1) the property owner can not longer afford to make the monthly payments on the mortgage, so (2) the lender is endangering to foreclose the loan. To prevent this (3) the property owner offers to sell the property at whatever the market will bear , and the lender agreements to (4) permit the sale even if it is for a sales price less then the outstanding mortgage balance. Via a short-sale, therefore, both parties (5) eat their corresponding losses so (6) foreclosure is avoided, something both parties really want. Selling a property short is far from a painless process (for the property owner and the lender), but avoiding foreclosure is usually better for both of them.
So when a mortgage refinance (or the sale of your home, for that matter) is in your future, how does this affect you? Please understand that the value of your home is, to a great extent, a function of the recent sales prices of other homes in your neighborhood. If there is one short-sale there, it likely will not make any difference to your house. But, if there are 10 short-sales in your neighborhood, then they likely serve to set the level of the market. So if you live in what once was a $ 250,000 neighborhood, and there recently have been a bunch of short-sales in the area of $ 150,000 in your neighborhood, you now live in a $ 150,000 neighborhood, not a $ 250,000 neighborhood. Since the market sets the value of your home (not the appraiser, not the broker – who just wants a listing, and not your neighbor fishing for an offer north of $ 300,000), your home's value has dropped. In fact, it may have dropped so far that you are now upside-down in your mortgage. In other words, the value of your house may have dropped so far due to the effect of short-sales that you owe more on the mortgage than your house is worth in the current market.
Now, at first blush, this may appear to be a cause for concern, especially if you want to sell your house or refinance your mortgage. (OK, it may even be a cause for panic). But short-sales in a neighborhood are like lancing a boil. You must lance the boil (painful) and get all the nasty stuff out (yucky) before the healing process can begin. Face it: as long as there are homes available at short-sale in your neighborhood, the value of your house will suffer. So, its best for all concerned to get them sold as quickly as possible, despite the pain in that process, so the healing can begin.
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