Selling your home is a huge decision. After researching local Realtors and seeing how fast the market is moving right now, you may feel that it’s better to sell your home yourself. FSBO, or for sale by owner, is when you sell your home without the help of a Realtor or licensed professional. By doing FSBO, you can avoid paying commission, working with an agent, and you have complete control over your listing.
If you know you’re ready to sell your home but not sure where to start, we made a step-by-step guide on how to FSBO.
Step 1: Price your home accurately
According to NAR, 17% of people who have done FSBO said pricing their home was the most difficult task. Not only can pricing your home be difficult but accurately pricing your home can be close to impossible. In fact, homes priced by owners are an average of 2% higher than homes listed by agents according to Trulia research. Although that may sound good, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will sell at that price. Homes that are priced inaccurately actually stay on the market longer.
To accurately price your home, here are a few things you should research:
- Current prices for homes similar to yours in your city and neighborhood. Because you aren’t a Realtor, it’s impossible to pull an accurate list of comparable homes. For accurate numbers, you need access to MLS data. However, these require a licensed professional. Therefore, you may need to rely on sites like Zillow and Trulia which aren’t always accurate.
- The ROI of any improvements and renovations you’ve made to your home. This can take quite a bit of time and research depending on how many improvements you’ve made to your home. You’ll also want to be careful to not over or underprice the ROI since that will directly affect your home value.
- Prices over time to find any market trends. Again, without access to MLS data, it will be more difficult to find accurate data about the market over time.
Step 2: Prepare your home
Many agents offer staging advice or referrals as part of the selling process. However, since you’re doing a FSBO, you can either research and hire a professional stager or do it yourself. If you decide to stage yourself, the rooms you should prioritize are the kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and dining room.
Not only does the inside of your home need to look perfect, but so does the outside. Curb appeal is how your home looks from the street and is another important step that you don’t want to overlook. It’s the first impression potential buyers will have of your home. So you’ll want to make sure the exterior is also show-ready. According to NAR, landscape maintenance, overall landscape upgrade, and standard lawn care service are ranked as the highest projects that should add value to your home when selling.
Step 3: Photograph your home
Once your home is prepared and staged, it’s time to photograph your home. Although the newest iPhone and Android phones have pretty good cameras, hiring a professional who knows everything about lighting and the most appealing angles will be worth the extra cost. According to the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD), homes with high-quality photos sell 32% faster. Plus, the more photos you have, the faster your home will sell. Homes listed from $200,000 to $1,000,000 with professional photos have sold for $3,000 to $11,000 more.
Most Realtors offer professional photography as well as 3D tours and videos as part of their services. So if you have the budget, this is something you definitely want to invest in.
Step 4: List your home
After all your preparations, you’re finally ready to create your listing. Unfortunately, only real estate agents can create listings on the MLS. Sites like Zillow and Trulia automatically pull from the MLS, so this is certainly a disadvantage to FSBO.
You can list your home yourself as FSBO on Zillow. Or, you can pay certain real estate companies to have them list your home on the MLS.
Step 5: Know your home disclosure requirements
Step 6: Market your home
Social Media Marketing
At The Shannon Jones Team, we set up ads on Facebook and Instagram and target potential buyers in our area. According to NAR, members found social media as the most valuable source to obtain high-quality leads and interest in homes. With more than 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram and 2.41 billion monthly active users on Facebook, marketing your home on social media is one thing you don’t want to miss out on.
You could post about your home on your personal page, but exposure and reach will be limited. Plus, the quality of leads will likely not be what you were hoping for. Adding your professional video to YouTube as well is a good idea since YouTube is the second most popular search engine online (second only to Google). If you don’t have a YouTube channel with local subscribers that may be a disadvantage for you, but you can try advertising on YouTube as well,
How The Shannon Jones Team Handles Marketing
For all of our listings, we get professional photos, a professional video, and a 3D Matterport tour. We also add them to our website, send out emails, and create printed materials to advertise our recent sales. To learn more about our marketing strategy, please CLICK HERE or watch the video below.
Step 7: Communicate with potential buyers
Hopefully, by now, you’ve acquired a few leads that have started to show interest in your home. Even though you don’t have an agent, your potential buyer probably does which means you’ll be responsible for all communication with them throughout the process. You will need to be on top of emails, texts, and phone calls to schedule showings and meetings with your potential buyers and their agents. Additionally, you need to be responsive to any questions they may have about your home. Just remember to be patient and think about your responses. Selling your home (especially as a FSBO) can be emotional and make you say things you don’t mean.
You’ll also want to make sure that you are following any COVID-safety protocols in today’s environment, and you’ll want to have a screening system in place so that you are ensuring that anyone who views your home is both motivated, serious AND qualified. If you don’t know the questions to ask, you’ll want to educate yourself on the process.
Step 8: Hire third-party experts
Step 9: Wait for offers
And now we wait. Depending on how much effort you’ve put into the preparations, staging, marketing, and listing of your home will determine how long it will take your home to sell. According to Inman, 18% of FSBOs did not sell in the timeline they were hoping for. The average FSBO home was sold for $200,000 while homes sold by agents were $265,500 in 2017. In fact, homes sold through the MLS were sold on average 20 days faster, according to NAR. And in some neighborhoods in Long Beach, the average selling time recently was 5 days.
Feeling overwhelmed by FSBO?
If the selling process seems like too much to handle on your own, we’re here to help. Even though homes are moving quickly during the current seller’s market, selling a home for top dollar still requires a strategy. It can be tempting to think you’ll save money by going the FSBO route, but in reality, the expertise of a real estate agent can actually help you sell your home for more. An experienced real estate team, like The Shannon Jones Team, can help walk you through the real estate process and help you earn more money than you would on your own. We are always up to date on real estate trends and current home prices. This helps us price our sellers’ homes accurately and increase activity for the listing.
If you’d like more information on how we get our listings sold, please reach out! We’d love to chat and tell you more about our strategy and how we can help you. To get in touch, please fill out the form below or give us a call at 562.896.2456.