Please note that this sub-forum is not designed for advertising of FSBO properties. There are plenty of other places for that including our Marketplace Section at the bottom of the Home Page. Rather, this is a forum for questions and answers on the process. Thank you!
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How to FSBO in 2017

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  • How to FSBO in 2017

    In the past, smart FSBOs agreed to pay the buyer's agent. That way, the seller saved half the real estate commission and still had someone to shepherd the transaction to closing. The agent representing the buyer often hated this arrangement because, she felt, that she was getting paid the same and yet doing more work. While there was some truth in that, it was usually a good deal for the seller.

    So the question is: Is this still necessary in 2017? Well, let's walk through the 2017 FSBO process and you decide.

    One might start by Googling "What to do before I put my home on the market." Repairs, painting, de-cluttering, curb appeal, remove valuables, etc.

    Pricing: Go through Zillow and/or the county tax records and get a handle on what similar properties to yours have sold for. Want to be more accurate? Google "Comparative Market Analysis how to." Want to be even more accurate and save yourself the hassle? Order an appraisal.

    Photos: Get great photos. Take them yourself, or pay someone to take them. Just Google "Real Estate Photographer." One hint about photos, the house does not have to be perfectly clean, but it does need to be perfectly neat and tidy.

    What is the size of your property? If you ordered an appraisal, it most likely includes measurements and maybe even a floor plan. If you did not, consider having an appraiser come out and measure your property and provide you with a floor plan. This makes an excellent marketing piece. You might even have a copy of the appraisal that was done when you purchased the property. If you have a survey, use that as well.

    Obtain the NC Residential Disclosures from the NC Real Estate Commission website. There are links to these in a post below. You will need to provide these to potential buyers. Plus, the Property Disclosure will help you identify repair items that you may want to address before you market the property.

    So, enter your "listing" into Zillow, Trulia, and any other online site you like. Beyond that, do whatever you like: Make your own website, place an ad on NextDoor, suffer the mess that is Craigslist, etc. Oh, but definitely plant a sign and flyers in the yard. Make sure your listing includes contact information for you.

    When real estate agents call, and they will, be sure to explain to them that they are welcome to show the house, but they will need to seek compensation from their own clients. If they ask to preview the property for some vague client, they are lying. They just want an opportunity to get in front of you to pitch their services as a listing agent.

    When potential buyers call, first ask if they are working with an agent. If so, make it clear that they will need to pay their own agent. You might also ask them if they are pre-approved for a mortgage. Ask for proof.

    Schedule time and date for the buyer to see the property. They might want to come more than once. My advice: Make it as easy as you possibly can for a potential buyer to see your property. Also, fyi, generally, buyers do not want a tour. Let them wander around on their own. Best place for you: Front porch.

    Most buyers are going to want to negotiate on price and terms. Depending on how much interest you have in the property, be prepared for that. In North Carolina, it is against Real Estate Commission rules for real estate brokers to shop offers. A provincial stance to be sure, but there is no such prohibition for sellers. In the very tight 2017 market, use this to your advantage.

    Once you and the buyer have come to agreement, have the buyer contact their attorney and obtain a blank standard form offer. They will need an attorney to close the deal anyway. If the buyer prefers, they can have their attorney complete the offer. Alternatively, you can provide the offer form yourself. Get it from your attorney. Yes, the attorney that helped you with that speeding ticket last year can provide you with this form.

    Before you sign it, read the offer form. Remember, if you are not working with an agent, there is no one else to read it.

    Save everyone involved a little time, use electronic signatures.

    Electronic signatures or not, even in 2017 checks still have to be delivered. Have the buyer deliver the Earnest Money check to their attorney and the Due Diligence check to you. Yes, I guess you could use PayPal, but probably not for the money going to the attorney. Get proof that the attorney received the money. In North Carolina, it's the last page of the standard form offer.

    You are now under contract.

    Work with the buyer to schedule inspections and any other due diligence they wish to perform.

    There will probably be a Due Diligence Request that you will need to negotiate with the buyer. Again, save time with e-signatures.

    Go to closing, sign deed, you are done.

    Repeat the process as a buyer. If the seller has an agent, try to capture some or all of the commission that would ordinarily be paid to a buyer's agent. Negotiate the deal first, then say, "Well now, since you do not have to pay my buyer's agent, I want an additional X% off the price." Important: Make this request in front of the seller.

    You just saved yourself thousands!
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