Chris' Corner: Considering Selling Your Home Yourself?

Considering Selling Your Home Yourself?


Mimi Foster, a fellow Active Rain Blogger from Colorado Springs, Colorado has recently written a blog on some of the perils and pitfalls of trying to sell your home yourself.  There is some great information to consider for anyone who is thinking of trying this.  If you are looking to sell your home in South Simcoe, Orangeville and Area, Caledon or King, call me to find out just what I can do for you!!


FSBO - Is this wise?
When someone decides to sell their home without the services of a Realtor, they are commonly called a FSBO (For Sale by Owner), but I prefer to call them Unrepresented Sellers.  When I first started in real estate in the early 90s, I had a mentor who told me that 97% of FSBOs would end up listing with an Agent, making them a "warm" prospecting market.  So I designed a packet for Unrepresented Sellers, and when I'm driving down the street and see a FSBO sign, I will often stop, ask them questions about their home, find out price, etc., see if I can make an appointment to view their property.  Without fail they will invite me in right then because they are generally excited for someone to come in and see their home.  I NEVER try to sell them, just ask them questions, offer them suggestions here and there, and then when I'm leaving, I give them my very nicely bound packet to give them a few ideas of things they can do to help market their home, and some of the problems they might encounter that they may not have considered. 

The packet starts out by giving them several pages of suggestions for preparing their home for sale.  Then part of the packet is a list of some of the 'headaches' they may encounter . . . a two page list with cute pictures of FSBO Headaches, and then more detail in subsequent pages.  Here is the list with some of the explanations:

  • First and foremost: SAFETY – letting strangers into your home (prospective Buyer or criminal?)
  • Mis-pricing your home; figuring out the best price (Sellers are
    often emotionally prejudiced; Buyers ultimately will determine the value)
  • Supplying reasonable comparables to a prospective Buyer
  • Is the prospective Buyer qualified with a Lender (90% are NOT)
  • If they ARE qualified, for how much?
  • 65% of FSBO’s end up in court or arbitration (attorney’s fees can be astronomical)
  • Inability to determine ‘lookers’ from Buyers
  • Difficulty in selling a home when the owner is present during a showing, or
  • Are you going to let strangers wander through your home unaccompanied?
  • Following up on all showings so they don’t think you’re anxious (“But they said they LOVED my house, why haven’t they called?”)
  • Legal liabilities for paperwork errors
  • IF Buyer is part of the 90% of Buyers using a Realtor, you will be negotiating against a professional
  • Knowing everything that needs to be done prior to marketing
  • Staging your home so that it shows its best
  • Frequent time away from work (or home or social schedules) on short notice
  • FSBOPeople want to see it when THEY want to see it
  • Writing a binding Contract
  • Writing a Seller’s Property Disclosure
  • Preparing a Counterproposal
  • Depositing and documenting Earnest Money
  • Writing a legal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
  • Tracking all dates and deadlines
  • Ordering exact mortgage payoff
  • Ordering Title Search
  • Missed opportunities when away from home
  • Finding potential Buyer$
  • When you’re not home, you’re off the market
  • Negotiating directly with the Buyer
  • ‘Lookers’ stopping by at all hours
  • Buyers want a lower price (a ‘steal deal’) because there’s no commission
  • FSBO often means “desperate seller” and attracts bargain-hunter buyers
  • Most Buyers don’t like to deal directly with the Seller
  • Selling your home in YOUR time frame
  • Figuring out the new (17 page) real estate contracts
  • Writing real estate ads
  • 99% of prospective Buyers go to the internet first; are you advertising everywhere you need to be?
  • The longer your house sits on the market, the more people think there is something wrong with it
  • Holding an Open House
  • Understanding and performing all necessary paperwork
  • Making appointments to show your home
  • Negotiating for the highest price
  • Answering objections and criticism about your home without showing irritation
  • Helping Buyers obtain financing
  • Arranging for Appraisers
  • Taking hours off to be there with an Inspector
  • Negotiating inspection issues
  • Finding a Title Company (they charge more for closings of Unrepresented Sellers)
  • Most FSBOs take longer to sell than if they had been listed by a professional
  • Homes sell, on average, for over 20% more when a professional Realtor is used

It takes a long time for Realtors to not only get their license, but they also must take continuing education courses each year and keep up with current market trends and laws.  Not only is the time commitment going to be daunting that an Unrepresented Seller has to invest to learn about all they need to know to sell their home just this one time, it is also, quite likely, going to end up costing them a lot more than what they hoped to save by not having to pay a commission.


FSBO Advice was written by Mimi Foster


If you would like to Search for Homes in Colorado Springs, CO, or for any of your other real estate needs, please contact your Colorado Springs Realtor

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 Colorado Springs Realtor Mimi Foster

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Selling homes throughout Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs and surrounding areas with a Specialty in Victorian and Vintage Homes in
Downtown Colorado Springs


Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

Interested in Buying or Selling Real Estate?

  ph: 1.866.936.3500

Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • April 26 2011 09:37AM