For Sale By Owner - FSBO (pronounced fizz-bo)
Thinking about Selling Your Own Home?
Most Lehigh Valley Home Owners attempt to sell their own home in order to save on the
Real Estate Commission. Even so, many are willing to offer a commission to the agent who is working
with a potential buyer. In doing this, the home seller usually saves about 1/2 of the commission.
The following information is intended to present the part of the transaction that the seller will be
responsible for regardless of whether or not the buyer has an agent.
Steps to Selling Your Lehigh Valley Home:
- 1 - Determine Listing Price
- 2 - Prepare for Showings
- 3 - Put the Signs Up, Place the Ads
- 4 - Show the House
- 5 - Negotiate Offer
- 6 - Negotiate Inspection Replies/Keep An Eye On Timelines
- 7 - Closing Day - Home Buyer Takes Possession
1. Determine Listing Price
The Listing Price is determined by a number of factors:
All of this data is compiled and collectively looked at to determine a correct listing price and hopefully
the price that will be obtained for the home.
- Available Homes For Sale (What is your competition?)
- Under Agreement Homes (What was it listed for that generated the offer?)
- Expired Listings (Oops, couldn't sell it for that price!)
- Sold Listings (How does your home compare?)
If all the houses in a neighborhood sold for $250,000, it doesn't matter that yours has a finished basement and
was recently painted. It is probably going to sell for around $250,000. There are exceptions of course.
It also doesn't matter if the house down the street is listed for $289,000. You don't know what that owner is going
to eventually get for the house. You do want to look at available homes and their prices but that is in order to
determine your competition. Sold listings determine price. They show you what the market (or a ready, willing, and
able buyer) was willing to pay for the house.
2. Prepare for Showings
General Cleaning - Make sure the Kitchen and Bathrooms are as clean as possible. These are the most important rooms in the house.
Necessary Maintenance - Fix any water leaks, paint and repair any of the areas of the house that are deteriorating. A buyer can possibly
consider a small item such as a leaking faucet as a sign that the house has not been taken care of. These "little things" do MATTER!
3. Put the Signs Up, Place the Ads
Home Depot and Staples sell FSBO kits. The kits include the needed signs and other items you may need to sell your home
(property disclosure, agreement of sale and other contracts and paperwork).
Place the For Sale Sign in a highly visible location on your property.
Consider placing Print Advertising in The Morning Call, Express Times, Harmon Homes, and Real Estate Weekly.
WEB Presence is important. Put your home on sites such as Zillow and
4. Show the House
- Keep a log of all visitors and their contact information.
- Watch what you say to a potential buyer. You may give them a reason to believe you will accept a lower offer.
- Is the Buyer/Visitor Financially able to Purchase the Home? Are they Pre-Approved to get a Mortgage?
- If you are going to be alone at the house, make sure that someone else knows about the showing.
5. Negotiate Offer
It's Not Just The Price!
When reviewing the offer, keep all of the following in mind:
- Purchase Price
- Closing Date
- Reply Date
- Mortgage Contingency
- FHA Disclosure
- Insurance Contingency
- Property Inspection Contingency
- WDI(Wood Destroying Insect) Contingency
- Radon Contingency
- Well/Septic Contingency
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Home Sale Contingency
All of these and other factors combine to make the complete Agreement of Sale. Price is important but so is each of the other items in the contract.
If you have any specific questions, let me know.
6. Negotiate Inspection Replies/Keep An Eye On Timelines
Pennsylvania is a Time is of the Essence State
The standard Pennsylvania Agreement of Sale contract from PAR (The Pennsylania Association of REALTORS®)
contains Timelines for all contingencies.
It is expected that the Home Buyer and Home Seller will comply by these timelines. If not, either party may be considered in Breach
of the Contract.
The contract contains default timelines for all contingencies.
A common default is the Property Inspection Timeline.
By Default, the Home Buyer has 15 days to get a Property Inspection. If the Home Buyer doesn't get the inspection and reply
within 15 days to the Seller, the Buyer has lost the opportunity to request any repairs from the Home Seller.
7. Closing Day - Home Buyer Takes Possession
- Have You Reviewed the HUD1 Settlement Sheet?
- Have the Utility Companies been transferred?
- Home Should be Empty, Trash Removed, In general, it should be Clean.
- Buyer will conduct a Pre-Settlement Walk-Thru - Is the house the same as it was when they made the offer?
- Buyer and Seller meet at Closing Company to transfer ownership.