Real Estate Information Archive


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For Sale by Owner Negotiations

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

For sale by owner negotiations can be interesting.  Almost everybody who tries to be a for sale by owner, or FSBO, thinks that because they sold a house ten years ago, or have sold a dozen homes over their lifetime, that all that is involved is putting up a for sale sign and the buyer will make an offer, get accepted, and close.  Not so fast, my friend.

Almost anybody can get a contract.  It is after the contract that the sale actually happens.  First the for sale by owner negotiates with the buyer.  Buyers invariably think that because a house is a for sale by owner, or FSBO, that this is a garage sale opportunity and the seller will give the house away.  Of course, the seller feels he needs to get top dollar for the house and is asking for what he feels the house is worth, often not considering what the real market value may be.  So, the initial negotiations are between the seller - thinking he will get top dollar, and the buyer - looking for the proverbial "deal" offering a garage sale price.  And if the buyer has a Realtor, which the vast majority of buyers do, that Realtor represents the best interests of her buyer, so she is not going to let the seller get anymore than absolutely necessary.  If the FSBO is unrealistic in the price of the house, a professional Realtor will simply have her buyer find another house that is priced properly and not overpay.  After all, the Realtor is trained in negotiations, and has her finger on the pulse of the market, so she knows just about exactly what the house is really worth.  So, when the for sale by owner negotiations eventually work out, a price is agreed upon and everything is just peachy, right?

Not really.  Now, the Realtor who represents the buyer is going to have inspections done.  The seller now has to negotiate with whatever the home inspector found, and they will always find something.  Not to mention what the pest inspection turns up, whether it is simple wood rot, or a major termite infestation.  These things now need the for sale by owner negotiations to work out.

And the buyer's lender might need the seller to get involved in the mortgage, depending on the loan structure.

The title company just might find an issue with title, so the for sale by owner now needs to address the title issue, which could kill the deal if not handled properly.

If you feel really good about your knowledge of the local real estate market, are confident that your house is completely maintained and has no hidden issues (roof leaking, plumbing, electrical, termites, etc.) then you can be comfortable about managing your own for sale by owner negotiations. 

For sale by owner negotiations can be good for all parties, or they can cause incredible frustration for the seller, because he can't sell the house, or the buyers will be frustrated because the seller appears to be unreasonable during the negotiations.  By the way, we didn't even talk about disclosures.  That is a topic for another time.

In the end, according to the National Association of Realtors, over 80% of real estate transactions have a professional Realtor involved.

Reasons to Use a Professional Realtor

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Many people feel that they can sell a house by themselves.  Of course they can!  There are some considerations that really need to come into play before someone thinks they don't need a professional Realtor.

1. Paperwork.  There is, or should be, a contract, and disclosures for all sorts of things - condition of the property, home owner associations, lead based paint, etc..  A professional Realtor understands what disclosures and documents are required and which are very good to have.  We are living in a highly regulated environment, not to mention that if something goes wrong after the sale, someone may get sued and if the right paperwork was not done, such as a disclosure, whoever did not provide that disclosure could be in a lot of trouble.

2. Negotiation.  Most people believe that once there is a contract, the deal is just about done.  Not so much.  Realtors understand the entire negotiation process, from presenting an offer and getting the parties to agree on a price and terms, to arranging inspections, keeping the loan process on track.  By acting as an intermediary, a Realtor can skillfully avoid hard feelings between a buyer and seller over matters that could be misunderstood if not presented properly.

3.  Realtors understand the entire sales process.  They know how to get a deal done.  No one gets paid, seller or the involved agents, and the buyer does not get the house unless the sale process is completed.

4.  Realtors actually do know the market.  They help guide a seller in setting a realistic, market based price so the house will actually sell.  They also help buyers to understand what is a fair offer, based on the market and protect a buyer from over-bidding on a property.  At the same time, a Realtor will advise a buyer on not making such a low offer that a seller could get insulted and break off negotiations.  And a Realtor can save buyers hours of time and expense in searching for a house.

Consider all the factors that go into making such a large business decision, usually involving hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Get a professional who is trained, licensed and experienced.


How to Be a Successful For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Are you looking to sell your home?  Torn between using a Realtor or going For Sale by Owner, or FSBO?  Read on and you can be a successful For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

Price your house right.  Do a comparative market analysis, visit homes that are comparable to yours, go to the public records and review recent sales (within the last 90 days, as a rule), and do research on the internet for pricing guidance.  Do this and you should be able to set the price correctly.  Remember, do not price the house at what you want to get, price it where the market will buy it.

Once you have decided on the price, market the property.  Remember, when you have decided to sell, your home has now become a house, a commodity to be sold.  That may sound cold, however, buyers are seldom interested in paying a premium for your family history.  Pin your house on Pinterest, promote it on Facebook, advertise on Craigslist, use Twitter, Instagram and any other social media you would like to.  You can even advertise to a specific audience on Facebook, just be sure you know how so it does not cost a fortune.

Use a good camera to take high quality photos of your house.  Remember, the first look a buyer gets of your house over 90% of the time is on the internet.  Bad photos will greatly reduce the pool of potential buyers.  It may be wise to hire a professional photographer who is experienced shooting for real estate marketing.  Depending on your market, you can find a photographer who will do the work between $125 to $500, depending on the specific needs of the situation.

Then be sure to take advantage of internet sites such as Zillow, Trulia,, and perhaps even build your own specific website for the house.  All you need to do for that is buy the web domain, build the site, and put the house on the site.  You may be able to hire a high schooler to do this for you for $500 - $1,000.  Be sure to use relevant keywords so buyers can find your house in an online search.  There are tools available on the internet, such as Google, that teach you how to pick the best keywords.

Now you've got this far, make a video so people can actually see your house.  Upload it to YouTube and buyers will be able to find it online, as long as they use the right keywords.  Be sure to put yourself in the video so you can talk about the best parts of the house, improvements you have made, what attracted you to the house in the first place, and cover important issues a buyer might ask, such as taxes, nearby schools, insurance costs, utility costs, convenience items like shopping or airports, etc.  Even explain why you are a FSBO. 

Come up with a catchy name for your video or website, then link to all your social media outlets.

Put a professional sign in the yard so people driving by will know the house is for sale.  A generic sign with Sharpie lettering on it will get potential buyers to think "Yard Sale" prices.

Make sure that all buyers who want to come into your home are actually who they claim to be and are in fact, qualified to purchase your home.

Being a successful For Sale by Owner, or FSBO, can be challenging and may not be for everyone.  If you do everything right, your may sell your house quickly and for a fair price. Who knows, being a FSBO might even be fun!

Or, you can hire a Realtor who does this already.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




Contact Information

Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908