Our Real Estate Blog
For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be an extremely tempting prospect for home sellers. If you don't have to pay the real estate commission, you can put more of the money from the house sale directly into your pocket. But it takes more of a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude to successfully complete a home sale. We'll look at why the risks typically outweigh the rewards.
Can It Be Done?
Before going any further, it's important to acknowledge that selling a home without the help of a real estate agent can be done. In fact, some sellers will tell you it's the best decision they've ever made. You'll need to research your state and local laws before starting the paperwork, but owners have successfully sold their own homes in the past.
There are more than a few downsides when it comes to selling a home on your own, and they typically all boil down to time and money. An agent already has a good idea of how much homes are selling for in your area, who's buying them, and why certain ones are in high demand. They know how to price the home high enough so it doesn't set the wrong anchor, but low enough to inspire interest.
From contingencies to appraisals to closing costs, the paperwork for a home sale has become unbearably lengthy for most sellers. In the past, homes might be sold with nothing more than a few sheets of signed documents. Today, the stack continues to grow with every passing year.
Most of the paperwork is an attempt to address liability. For example, if a seller failed to disclose that the property was in dispute by an ex-spouse, the buyer wouldn't have to enter into a lengthy legal battle after escrow was completed. Each neighborhood has its own restrictions and rules for buyers and sellers, and it's difficult to follow them all if you're not familiar with the local codes.
A good real estate agent knows how to pull in buyers from a number of backgrounds. Rather than relying on an Open House sign, they use everything from social media to their own networks to get more people interested in the property. They also know how to showcase the property in a way that appeals to the common buyer. For example, they might stage your home for young families rather than retirees (or vice versa).
The truth is that FSBO is an option, it's just often not a very good one. While you may be able to successfully sell your home, the odds of making a mistake can land you in a hot water (which can ultimately end in court).
17 Fairview Terrace, Greenfield, MA 01301
Your home is on the market, but you still live there. Now your agent called to see if a potential buyer can look at it in an hour. What do you do?
You Don’t Need to Panic
Instead of holding your head in despair, grab some tools, and clean the most visible areas of your home.
- Sweep the front porch, steps and any cobwebs lurking in the corners. This is the first place your buyer sees, so it gives them an impression they’ll carry into the rest of the house.
- While you’re at it, use the broom to give the front door a once over. If you have a cloth handy, use that too. If your door is glass, remove smudges from the kids and dogs. You can use vinegar and water, glass cleaner or simply warm water.
- Grab a laundry basket and clear clutter from your entryway. Grab stray boots and shoes, hats and coats, school bags and anything else that gets dropped there. Put the basket in your car. You can organize it where it belongs later. Pick up any mail too and stick it in a drawer.
- Sweep your kitchen floor and run a damp mop over it in the high traffic areas. To simplify this for the future, invest in a mop with a bottle of cleaner attached — no need for buckets.
- Light a candle or diffuse essential oils in the kitchen to remove any odors from last night’s dinner.
- Replace all the towels in the kitchen and baths. Set aside towels just for this purpose so that you always have a clean, matching set.
- While you’re in the bathrooms, run a damp paper towel over the faucets and fixtures, wipe out the sink, and run a quick brush around the waterline of the toilet, then flush it.
- Grab all the trash from your trash cans in the kitchen, bathroom, office, bedrooms, and laundry room. If you have a container in your garage, put it in there. Otherwise, throw it in a nearby dumpster(law permitting). Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean your visitor won’t notice.
- If you have time, take a feather duster to dark, visible surfaces, light fixtures and art frames.
Finally, grab your family and the pets, hop in the car and head to the park. You don’t want to be near your home while the agent is showing it to buyers. When you’re nearby, the folks visiting might not feel free to ask the questions they need to. When they’ve gone, head back home and reach out to your agent for feedback.
265 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301