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How to Set Up an FSBO

By Thomas Mitchell

If you want to sell your home, and save money that would be used to pay agent commissions, you might want to consider setting up a "For Sale by Owner" listing. This is essentially selling your house, yourself. Let's look at how you should go about setting up an FSBO.

First you will want to tailor your selling strategy to potential buyers. Most potential home buyers nowadays discover homes from sources other than realtors. A good start is to list your home on a few FSBO websites. Some are free and some you might have to pay for. Try sites like ForSaleByOwner.com, listbyownerinmls.com, or flatfeelisting.com. You will also want to get a home inspector to find any problems you may have with your home. Having an accurate assessment of your home's strengths and faults will allow you to at least adjust your price accordingly, if not fix the issues.

You will also want to check the record of your property and make sure there are no claims or liens against it. If you want to be really thorough you can even hire a real estate attorney or a title insurance company to help you find and clear up any issues. Once you do these things, it's time to find out how much your property is worth. You will want to hire an appraiser for this which will probably run you no more than $500. You can't just hope for the best when it comes to selling your home on your own, you must know the value of your property so you can accurately set a price. Also having an official appraisal looks professional.

When you have an appraisal you can begin scoping out the local market. Walk around your neighborhood and check out homes for sale that are similar to yours. See how much they're going for, and if you'll be able to compete with them. If your home is less than stellar compared to other ones for sale in your area, you might want to make some home improvements. Outside appearance is crucial to attracting buyers so keep your yard clean and cut, trim your hedges and kill any unsightly plants, like weeds. It also helps if you replace dirty carpets and re-paint the walls or get rid of clutter.

The last thing you need to know about setting up an FSBO is that while you may not need a real estate agent, it can be very beneficial to hire some kind of professional, whether it is a real estate attorney or a mortgage professional. A real estate attorney can fill you in on what you need to disclose to people, and a mortgage professional can help you with financial knowledge and also help any potential buyers who aren't knowledgeable on the subject.

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