Many sellers are tempted to list For Sale By Owner (FSBO) because they feel home prices are up and they don’t want to spend one penny to paying a commission. But with fewer than 5 percent of all home sales falling into the FSBO category, it’s a challenging strategy.
In personal terms, you’ll have to safeguard yourself against prospects who have not been screened and qualified by a professional. When someone calls to request a showing, note their caller ID and keep a log of visitors. Stash away prescription medications and valuable before showings, and afterwards check that all your windows and doors are locked. You don’t want an unpleasant surprise later on.
There are also legal consideration for your “listing” and hopefully, your eventual sales contract. Be sure your listing complies with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination against buyers. Since you’re probably unfamiliar with real estate law and title insurance, hire an experienced real estate attorney to draft, review and record all documents.
This uncertain economy may make securing a loan difficult, so it’s wise to require a loan pre-approval letter from buyers before accepting any offers. You’ll also want to offer a commission to any real estate agent who brings you a qualified buyer. FSBO is not the easiest route, and many impatient and frustrated sellers end up hiring an agent to make the sale happen. They get tired of unqualified buyers wasting their precious time.