For Sale by Owner or FSBO is when the owner of a home attempts to sale the home without the use of a listing real estate agent. Due to declining property values, many owners are opting to sell their own home in an attempt to recoup some equity or perhaps break even and avoid a short sale situation. Some owners have sold their home with success; however, in this market with the inventory of homes at an all time high it is crucial that the owner brush up on „showing the home skills„. Here are a few tips to consider and possibly apply to your showing technique:
The Stalker Homeowner: Don’t follow the prospective buyers into each room and stand there. The key is to point them in the direction then let them look. Standing over a buyer makes them feel uneasy and makes them want to hurry on their way. Give a short guided tour and point out anything that can easily be overlooked. Then tell them to feel free to open doors and closets and you’ll be in the yard if they have any questions.
The Never ending Talker: Stop talking! Disclosure is necessary but prospective buyers do not need over explanation of each room and every decision you’ve made. If your appliances are more than 8 years old, there is really no need to point out the fact they may be a „brand name„. They are just old to a buyer. Drawing attention to the name is only drawing attention to their age. If your kitchen and fixtures throughout the home are more than 10 years old…your home is dated. Like it or not, your home is going to need updates from the prospective of most buyers. Although you may be proud of the brass chandelier hanging above the entry, many buyers will be calculating costs to replace it.
The Tattle Tail: No need to point out the potential honey do list you have not had a chance to do. Once, I showed a FSBO home and the owner had hardwood floors. Rather than just pointing out the hardwood, she went into detail of how they can be refinished. Then the buyers realized the floors really could use a refinish and that was more work to do. If it is not a disclosure situation, then do not point out what is so time consuming that you did not even tackle it prior to selling. If the buyer commented about the floor, that would be the opportunity to explain a possible solution.
Know Your STUFF. Know your energy bill averages. Know your neighborhood and amenities; know where parks and schools are located (you may not have children but a prospective buyer could). Know the basics of your home construction (year, energy features, foundation type, and furnace location/type). Know your property lines (if they are not clearly defined or perhaps they extend past what may appear to be the end).
Remove the Sentimental Feelings From You and Your House. Buyers do not care that you paid so much money to paint the dining room green…chances are, they don’t like it and plan to repaint. If you go on in detail about your decisions on what you have done to the home (or the garden you worked so hard to plant on the side yard) buyers feel guilty as they may have plans to turn your hard work into a RV driveway. Point out unique features that may go unnoticed then retreat to the front yard. Wait for them to ask questions and give them a SIMPLE answer. Be welcoming and polite, but they are not here to meet you. Clean out your personal belongings and pictures. It’s hard enough that someone is living there, and that the person who does live there is offering a guided tour…but if on top of that all of your family pictures are everywhere. It will be hard for a buyer to imagine it to be their home.
If you have the phone number, call the next day for follow up. Ask simply „what did you think of THE home (not „MY“ home)?“ Ask how they felt it showed and the pricing as compared to others. Listen to what they say. You may not agree with how they felt but use it as constructive criticism. Remember, this is now business…not personal. Treat it as it is…a transaction. Do not rule out a buyers agent if they would like to sell your home. You will still save money and if it means selling the home faster, it will be in your best interest.