Main Content

Home » For Sale By Owner

For Sale By Owner

Winning the bidding wars

Ask Phyllis is a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.  Have a question about real estate?  Email us here

My husband is being relocated back East and we need to sell our home. The market is great, why shouldn’t I try a for sale by owner?  Why don’t more people try this?


Dear PJR,

Most sellers hire Realtors because selling a home is extremely complicated. The purchase contract and addenda comprise nearly 20 pages and then there are approximately 25 pages of disclosures and a 53 page Homeowner’s Guide to Earthquake Safety which must be provided to the buyer.

Assuming you don’t prepare your own income taxes, treat yourself when you are sick, repair your car, why wouldn’t you hire a professional to sell and oversee one of your greatest assets? The number to focus on is your bottom line, not the Realtor’s® commission. Of course as a real estate agent, that’s what I believe, or I wouldn’t be offering the service I provide.

Selling your home entails much more than deciding on the asking price, placing a “For Sale” sign in the yard and finding a buyer. There are numerous appointments: showings, inspections, walk through, etc. Each time a seller meets with a buyer, his liability increases. When a real estate agent is shielding the seller from these meetings there is less opportunity for the buyer to claim (rightfully or not) that the seller made certain statements regarding the desirability or condition of the home.

For Sale By Owner

In today’s heated seller’s market, it’s all about packaging, and exposure.

1) Packaging
When you want to sell for the highest possible price, understand your home is a product. You may want to spend some time, money and effort in prepping it for sale. I believe any dollar you spend should net you at least three. Your home needs to be professionally photographed and compelling marketing copy written.

2) Exposure
Your home should be listed on all of the major real estate web sites. In today’s internet driven world, open houses sell homes (and you should not be the one hosting). If you are concerned about security insist that your agent have more than one representative at your home. Once you receive an offer, there is much more to it than opening escrow.

When selling for sale by owner, you need to negotiate the price and terms. You will need to be ensure that the buyer is qualified. Then you will need to provide comparable sales and listings for the appraisal. If the buyer’s appraisal comes in at a value less than the purchase price, the buyer may no longer qualify for financing and/or the buyer may be unwilling to pay more than the appraised value. After the buyer’s inspection, there may be another round of negotiations.

If you do elect to opt for the for sale by owner route,  you should at a minimum hire a real estate attorney to review the purchase contract and disclosures.

Related Post: For Sale by Owner Woes 

One thought on “For Sale By Owner

  1. John says:

    Selling a house is so incredibly stressful in the first place. I can’t imagine taking on the added responsibilities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *