For Sale by Owner – Blessing or Curse?
Currently there is an abundance of real estate for sale. Nearly everywhere you turn you find “For Sale” signs peppering the landscape of communities throughout the nation. Newspapers contain page after page of real estate listings, while newsstands offer a bounty of magazines portraying every conceivable type of real estate property.
With so much real estate for sale it’s become a “Buyer’s Market”, meaning there is too much property available and not enough buyers. When a buyer’s market appears, homes take longer to sell and owners are forced to accept less money or sit on their property for longer periods of time.
A buyer’s market is good news for those who have money to invest in real estate. Investors can purchase property under market value and eventually sell it for a nice profit. On the flip side, a buyer’s market can cause financial discord for those who need to quickly sell their real estate.
Today, many people who have real estate for sale are opting to sell the property on their own. This is referred to as “For Sale by Owner” or “FSBO.” When a property owner offers FSBO, there is a potential to save thousands of dollars. There is also potential for financial disaster. Therefore, anyone choosing this route must take time to become educated about the process.
When placing a house on the market, homeowners must first establish its value. This can be done by hiring a professional appraiser. Real estate values are based on a variety of factors including location, condition, amenities, and comparison of similar properties in the area.
In addition to the appraisal, home inspections are required before a sale can be closed. Experts recommend obtaining a whole house inspection prior to listing the real estate for sale. This allows ample opportunity to make repairs and prevent unforeseen problems at closing.
Those who embark on the For Sale by Owner path should become familiar with sales contracts and real estate jargon. It’s imperative to learn negotiation terms and techniques and understand the legalese of closing and settlement documents.
The Internet provides many resources to assist homeowners in selling real estate. Most of the required legal forms can be downloaded for free or for a nominal fee. For Sale by Owner kits are available for purchase and include a variety of forms and resources. There are numerous websites where sellers can post information and photos of their home to attract potential buyers.
Selling real estate on your own puts everything in your hands. If you take time to learn the process before diving in, you can save yourself a lot of stress and a fistful of dollars. Education is the key to your real estate success, so don’t skimp on the process.