Attention: For Sale By Owner

Why People Are Afraid To Buy From You!


Many homeowners believe that to maximize their home sale they should sell it themselves. At first glance, they feel selling a home is simple. Why should they pay a broker fee for something they could do themselves? In fact, close to 12% of all the homes sold last year were sold for sale by owner (FSBO).

However, close to half of the FSBOs said that they would hire a professional next time they sold. Thirty percent said they were unhappy with the results they achieved by going FSBO. Why?

Many FSBOs told us the time, paperwork, and everyday responsibilities involved were not worth the amount of money that they would have saved in commissions. For others, the financial savings were even more disappointing. By the time they figured the amount of fees paid to outside consultants, inspectors, appraisers, title lawyers, escrow and loan officers, marketing, advertising . . . they would have been better off to have paid the broker’s fee, which would have included many of these charges.

Selling a home requires an intimate understanding of the real estate market. If the property is priced too high, it will sit and develop a reputation for being a problem property. If the property is priced too low, you will cost yourself serious money. Some FSBOs discovered that the lost money as a result of poor decision out-weighed the commission.

Before you decide to sell FSBO, consider these questions and weigh the answers of assuming the responsibility versus employing a professional. A little time spent investigating up front will pay off tenfold in the end.



Questions to consider:

Do I have the time, energy, know how, and ability to devote a fully focused effort to sell my home?

One of the keys to selling your home efficiently and profitably is complete accessibility. Many homes have sat on the market much longer than necessary because the owner was unwilling or unavailable to show the property. Realize that hours each day are necessary to sell your home.


Am I prepared to deal with an onslaught of buyers who perceive FSBOs as targets for lo-balling?

One of the challenges of selling a home is screening unqualified prospects and dealing with low-ball offers. It often goes unnoticed how much time, effort, and expertise is required to spot these people quickly. Settling for a low-ball bid is worse than paying broker commissions.


Am I offering financing options to the buyer? Am I prepared to answer questions about financing?

One of the keys to selling, whether it’s a home, a car . . . anything, is to have all the necessary information the prospective buyer needs and to offer them options. Think about the last time you purchased something of value, did you make a decision before you had all your ducks in a row? By offering financing options, you give the homebuyer the ability to work on their terms and open up the possibilities of selling your home quicker and more profitably. A professional real estate agent will have a complete team, from lenders to title reps for you to utilize . . . they’ll be at your disposal.


Do I fully understand the legal ramifications and the necessary steps required in selling a home?

Many homes sales have been lost due to incomplete paperwork, lack of inspections, or not meeting the state’s disclosure laws. Are you completely informed of all the steps necessary to sell real estate? If not, a professional would be a wise choice.


Do I have the capability of handling the legal contracts, agreements, and any disputes with buyers before or after the offer is presented?

Ask yourself if you are well versed in “legalese” and if you are prepared to handle disputes with buyers. To avoid any disputes, it is wise to put all negotiations and agreements in writing. Many home sales have been lost due to misinterpretation of what was negotiated.


Have I contacted the necessary professionals: title, inspector (home pests and hazards), attorney, and escrow company?

Are you familiar with top inspectors and escrow companies? Don’t randomly select inspectors, attorneys, and title representatives. Like any profession there are inadequate individuals who will slow, delay, and possibly even cost you the transaction.

If these questions raise some concerns you may want to speak with a professional. We sincerely hope these tips and ideas are of value to you. If there is any way we can be of service please contact our office. We would consider it a privilege to serve you! If you would like a FREE consultation call our office and ask for:

Brett Fine

The FINE Real Estate Team

655 Walnut ste. 225 • Des Moines, IA 50309

P: 515.314.8673 · F: 866.458.4756 · E: