PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Many sellers are tempted to list For Sale By Owner (FSBO) because they feel home prices are down and they don’t want to lose one more penny to paying a commission. But with fewer than ten 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 valuables before showings, and afterwards check that all your windows and doors are locked.
There are also legal considerations for your listing and hopefully, your eventual sales contract. Be sure your listing complies with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination against buyers. If you’re unfamiliar with escrow and title insurance, hire a real estate attorney to draft, review and record all documents.
This economy makes securing a loan difficult, so it’s wise to require a loan pre-approval letter from buyers before accepting any offers. If you really want to get attention, sweeten the pot by offering a two to three percent commission to any agent who brings buyers to you. FSBO is not the easiest route, and may impatient and frustrated sellers end up hiring an agent to make the sale happen.