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Going FSBO (for sale by owner)

Deciding to Sell Your Home on Your Own?
Get the facts on pricing and marketing your home. Review marketing plans and marketing materials that are similar to services supplied by agents.


Page Topics:

  1. selling a FSBO home (for sale by owner)
  2. pricing your home
  3. market your home: YARD SIGN
  4. market your home MLS LISTING
  5. market your home: ONLINE LISTINGS
  6. market your home: OTHER MEDIA LISTINGS
  7. download FSBO checklist

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Selling a FSBO Home (for sale by owner)

Many sellers are bypassing agent services and selling their homes directly.

You will be expected to:

— price your home
— get your home listed
— market your home
— screen buyers
— show your home
— negotiate contract terms
— arrange settlement and closing


Some FSBOs will use "paid-for-services" to do one or more of the above items.

Unless you have the time, commitment, and expertise in all of these selling areas, you may seek outside professional help that is substantially lower than full-service agent fees.


Another arrangement that FSBO sellers make is the payment of cooperating broker fees

this is where you agree to pay one-half of the brokerage fee for any agent who markets your home to buyers.

For example, if the market real estate commission is 7%, the cooperative broker fee will be around 3-3.5% if you requests agents to market your home to buyers they represent.


Search FSBO Services:

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Pricing Your Home

What' should be the price of your home?

This will be your first challenge as a FSBO seller.

No matter what you have done to the house over the years, the price is determine by the market — or in other words, the price is determined by the value similar homes that have sold in your surrounding neighborhood.

Buyers will not pay a high premium price for your home if they can buy a similar home in a better neighborhood.

There are exceptions:

— homes that border a valued location; i.e., beachfront
— homes that are not situated in a defined neighborhood


How to determine price:

Generate a Comparative Market Analysis report (CMA):

The report will list the sales price of similar homes that have sold in your neighborhood. This will give you a good idea of your market value.

Similar homes is defined at to the same size, style, level of floors, yard footage, and within similar neighborhoods.

Estimating your home's value

What's it worth?

order your personal
home and neighborhood valuation report

sample property reports:

  • complete property valuation
  • recent sales report
  • comparable sales
  • subject property report

    view sample reports:
    enter address-zip

Another CMA listing

Enter Your Address to Get Started
Street Address:
State: Zip Code:
All fields required

You can likewise generate your own CMA by visiting the records office of your local government:

Lookup county and city governments:


Arrange for an appraisal on your home:

An appraisal will substantiate your asking price and more importantly, ensure that you don't under price or overprice your home.

The appraisal can run anywhere from $200-500, depending on how fast you want the appraisal done.


Understand Your Market:

You need to analyze the current real estate market for your area.

If you are working in a seller's market, where home sales are going fast, you can add a little premium over your appraised price.

If you are working in a buyer's market, where home sales are weak, you may have to reduce your expected price or add some other financial incentives to entice the buyer who will have many homes to look at.

view buyers vs. sellers market notes



If your home is in a premium location, such as a secluded neighborhood, cal-de-sac, along a beachfront, on a golf course, etc, you may add a premium to your price. Again, the CMA will help define that price.

Likewise, if your home is next to a major throughway, borders a heavily traffic area, getting absorbed in a questionable neighborhood, etc., you may need to discount your price to sell your home.



If your home style is popular, with nice amenities and new renovation, you might be able to tack on a premium. Again, that will depend on your location and type of home renovation.

Cost vs. Value Analysis by region:
tools: see our home remodeling estimator


What about Fluff:

Almost all sellers tack on a little extra over their true asking price. This added "fluff" may average around 3-5% over price. It allows both buyers and sellers negotiating room to derive true price.

In tight markets, sellers can usually get their top asking price and some when two or more buyers are negotiating for the same home.

In "not-so-tight" markets, buyers will negotiate this price down.

Understand where your "bottom" price will based on the analysis above, and then tack on a premium about 3-5%.

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Marketing Your Home: Yard Sign

This is the most important task that an agent will perform for you.

So as a FSBO seller, marketing your home will become your primary responsibility.

The single most common reason for FSBO failures is the lack of commitment and time to effectively execute a marketing strategy.

Selling your home takes a good plan, commitment to the plan, and the patience to let the plan work. If you don't have any of these disciplines at the start of your home sale, you might drop the FSBO idea and contact an agent.

You need to be vigilant and patient. Here are some of the marketing tools available.


Yard Sign

First thing, you need a professional-looking yard sign with an information box attached (for take-one flyers).

Place the yard sign in front, close enough to the curbside so that passerby's can read the sign. You should purchase directional signs that can be inserted at street intersections, neighborhood entrances, etc., to direct passerby's to your home.

You need to check your local ordinances on sign usage:

Lookup county and city governments site addresses.


Your sign should list in big letters:

— For Sale By Owner
— Basic feature of the home: 4 bedroom/2.5 bath
— Your phone number
— (viewing) By Appointment Only

Another sign feature may be the Internet Address of a seller's co-op.

Seller's co-op's are internet portals that lists FSBO homes on the net. If your yard sign along with other FSBO yard signs throughout the area lists the same web site address, you have formed a co-op that aggregates information for FSBO sellers.

The advantage is that a buyer looking for your type home may find it on at the co-op web site after obtaining the web site address from another FSBO sign across town.

You need to check other FSBO sellers to determine what web site address is most prevalent in your area. Once found, contact that web site address to list your home.


Find FSBO signs online:

Get a yard sign with a take-one box. You will place in the box one-sheet flyers that summarizes your home.

link for FSBO signs and take-one boxes

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Get Your MLS Home Listing

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a network shared among Realtors.

It lists homes that are being brokered by all agents within a metropolitan area. It is a exclusive network that agents use to list and to find homes for respective buyers

Listing your home on the MLS will reach a large segment of potential buyers.


The MLS is an exclusive network reserved for licensed Realtors.

There are licensed discount brokers and other "paid-for-service" brokers that will list your home for a flat fee.

listing service: tap into the powerful Realtor's MLS to list your home

Since the MLS is used by agents who represent buyers, they will be less likely to promote a FSBO home to buyers unless the seller is willing to pay the buying agent commission (cooperative broker fee): generally around 3% of the selling price.

You may need to agree to cooperative broker arrangements to make your MLS listing effective. This is where you agree to pay one-half of the brokerage fee for any agent who markets your home to their respective buyers.


By listing your home under an "Exclusive Agency" agreement, you will limit the commission to "buying agents only" that present a buyer to you.

This arrangement allows you to continue marketing your FSBO home to buyers to avoid all commissions. But in the event that an agent presents a buyer, you will be willing to pay the 3% commission.

State in your agreement that the "buying agent" must accompany the buyer when visiting the home. Also instruct agents to enter into the WRITTEN LOG the names and dates of the agent and prospective buyer home visit. This prevents any dispute on whether you found the buyer or the agent found the buyer.

For more information MLS listing:

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Online FSBO Listings

Online Listings:

There are a number of FSBO Internet directories where you can list your home. Many of the directories operate seller co-ops where an aggregate number of FSBO collectively attract a number of buyers (by advertising the co-op internet address on yard signs).

You need to view other FSBO sellers in your market. Determine which online listing that is being promoted. This is the listing that you will want to work.


FREE home listing on the nation's largest home network:

listing service: Start with this LARGE Online Home Listing

other FSBO listings:

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Other Media Listings

Classified Ads:

You should budget approximately $400-500 for a 90-day classified ad campaign in your local media.

View the current classified section of your local paper. See what advertisements catch your eye. Design your ad similar to these ads.

What should go into your classified ad:

— bold title phrase: Victorian Home, Lakeside View, etc.
— asking price: you want to filter those who can't afford
— location: by area or neighborhood, not home address
— size of the home and number of key rooms
— phone number
— action statement: must sell, won't last long, etc.

Find classified ad departments:
link to our national directory


Craig's List:

In most markets, you can post your home-for-sale information on craig's list for FREE.

Craig's list is one of the largest national online classified sections with millions of views per day.

What should go into your craig's list:

— no discriminatory ad or statements
— posting description
— email address
— image of your home
— link to a web site for more information
— have your own web site for a complete review: see info

Find craig's listing for your area:
link to the national craig's list


Supermarket Catalogs:

Visit your local supermarket or other retail establishment. Locate the racks that distribute real estate catalogs.

Obtain information about listing your home in one of these catalogs.


Personal Web Site:

You could develop your personal web site to list home information.

Your site could link respectively to interior views of the rooms and exterior views of the yard and neighborhood.

Your web site can even offer virtual tours where buyers can move from room-to-room using a panoramic scan of the entire room.

Advertise your web site address in flyers, on your yard sign, in classified ads, craig's list and on online listings.

see FSBO services for web site information


Publicity Flyers:

Design your own flyers for posting and distributing around town and your neighborhood.

Tack your flyer on bulletin boards at community centers, retail centers, laundries, or any place that allows bulletin posting.

Distribute your flyer to family and friends and in neighborhoods that are priced lower than yours — perhaps these people may want to move up.

Find printing services:

search yellow pages:
printing services


Other Media:

Check radio, television, and cable services in your area for real estate shows and listings.

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Get Your Home Listed ONLINE for Millions to see!

Save Money and Sell Your Home Faster!

  • RealtyTrac is one of the most-visited real estate websites with over 3 million unique visitors each month

  • Potential buyers can view all your property information for FREE

  • Send e-mails to interested buyers, set open houses and update your listing at any time - all through your FSBO Selling Center

Get Your Home Listed into MLS

The MLS (multiple listing services) is used by realtors to view home listings for their respresented home buyers.

  • About 60% or more potential buyers use the services of realtors to find their next home.
  • Listing your home in the local MLS will get your home in front of these buyers
  • FSBO sellers will generally pay 3% brokerage fee to agents who bring buyers to the home closing.
  • A small flat fee will get your home listed into your local MLS, saving you thousands in fees from using a seller agent to list your home.

Save on PRICE!

Use FSBO services to sell your home. You can save anywhere from 3%-9% on real estate fees:

  • All the tools and guidance to help you sell your own home. Advertise to nearly 2 million monthly visitors.

Home "Fixing Up" Ideas
for Outside Garden
garden maintenance
building structures
outside lighting
and more ideas
links to our home remodeling center at: www.LetsRenovate.com