FSBO: The First Thing You Should Know

For sale By Owner. That FSBO sign in the yard just might get you tons of attention. Especially if you are motivated to sell your house fast, you may be able to attract buyers who are looking for a good deal if you are willing to work with buyers directly.  It is very important to price your house right for a quick sale. That means knowing what your house is really worth. So many sellers don’t really have any idea. Guessing wrong could mean loss of months and thousands of dollars. It’s best to price it to sell right out of the gate. How do you find out?

It doesn’t matter what you paid for your house. If your purchase price is still lurking in the back of your mind, you must erase that number. You need to start from scratch. Even if you just bought the house recently, these volatile financial times may mean the price swung significantly since you bought it.

If you want to sell your house FSBO, then here’s the first thing you need to do.

Start by evaluating the “comps”, or comparable properties, that have recently sold in your neighborhood. You should do this first, before you price your house. Do this before you put out a sign or take an ad in the paper. Do this even before you go to Lowes or Home Depot and start to tidy up your house for a showing. Look at the bare bones of your house and see what other houses like it sold for in the last month or two.

I’m going to reveal how smart independent buyers, real estate investors, and realtors who are working on behalf of their clients are all looking at your house. They will look at your house and its price. Then they look at public records for sales of five similar properties in your neighborhood with the same square footage and the same approximate criteria that yours has.  They get a feel for the comparable prices of similar houses. They use those “comps” to evaluate the real market value of your house.

Remember, in the eyes of a buyer your house is not any more special than the one that came up on an online search. If a computer can’t tell the difference between two homes, then your customers won’t be able to tell either. If yours is not priced to sell, the buyer may not even choose to drive by your house.

I remember once seeing an oddly designed house for sale. It looked more like a quonset hut than a house; super modern and quirky in an “arty” way. The sign even proudly claimed that it had been seen on HGTV as a unique home tour. It wasn’t a big house, nothing really fancy either…it was in an area where all the houses were unique because the lots were somewhat larger than usual and many original buyers bought the land and built with a private builder. The problem with this one? It was priced too high! About 25% higher than other homes with the same number of bedrooms, size and acreage. I probably don’t have to tell you that the house sat on the market for years. Every time I drove by, same story. The owners were too proud of their “unique” home; in fact, “uniqueness” was a liability in this case!

Perhaps you could argue that the house needed better marketing to get it sold, but I have a feeling its charm would have been more obvious if it had been priced at around the same price as the other houses nearby.

Don’t let that happen to you. And don’t make excuses why your house is “special”. It’s simply not — not when there are other houses around that have been bought and sold. Unless your house happens to be on the moon, get the necessary comps first!

It’s not a bad idea to know what your comps are even if you’re not selling your house. If you receive a property tax evaluation each year, then you already know that the city thinks the best of your house. Unfortunately they never offer to actually buy your house at the price they want to tax you on it. That’s why you should at least be aware of comps — if for no other reason than to contest your property taxes if they are too high.

What if you don’t take this advice and try to sell your house FSBO at the price you want? Well, that depends on how badly you want to sell your house. Think about the money you’ll pour down the drain month after month waiting for that price you think you deserve. The effort in showing your house and being available to every curious buyer, only to find that no one ever makes an offer?

This may hurt, but the truth is, if you want to sell your house even faster than the average person in your neighborhood, you’re going to have to drop your price by about 6 – 10%.  Your neighbors may not be happy with you if you do that, but your personal situation is just that: personal. How badly do you need to sell your house? How much time can you spend waiting for a buyer? Your level of urgency should guide you.

A final reason you need to understand comps is because if you don’t price your house just right, it will sit on the market and get stale. A house that’s been on the market for awhile is a turn-off. People just assume there’s something wrong with it. Home buyers want to look at are the fresh ones to come on the market. If your house sits too long (a month or more) you may have lost your best opportunity to bring in an offer you want. Furthermore, you don’t want to drop your price too many times. For the same reason…it just makes your house look unappealing before the prospective buyers even sees it.

Armed with information and a realistic outlook an educated FSBO seller is happier and more profitable in the long run.  Go into this with your eyes open and you will know when a genuinely solid offer lands on your table.

Of course, since I buy houses for cash, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t tell you that you don’t need to pay for a REALTOR®, or a real estate agent, or even a yard sign. Your FSBO deal could be even easier than you think. I can make a cash offer and get the deal done quickly if you and I agree to a price.

We’ve come full circle. Your comps are a good place to start.  Start by checking out this article for a list of online resources for how to find comps, and please feel free to call me if you’d like a straight offer on your house today.

We can buy your house fast in Texas! Markette Properties presents an unique, simple approach for selling your home! We are real estate investors. We buy houses in Texas just like yours! We are dedicated to the highest professional real estate standards for all of our clients.

Do you want to sell your house fast in Texas for top dollar with the least hassle? Give us a call! (210) 853-2788 or click the button below.


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