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Tips and Perils of Selling Your Home – FSBO


I read the following on Trulia Real Estate today: “I am very disturbed as I posted an add with on Thursday 7/14/11 to rent my townhome. I listed my townhome for $1000. under my married name – M_xxx_. Today, Saturday 7/16/11, a woman appeared on my doorstep with her son stating she’d seen a listing for my townhome on Craigslist, listed for $600., which had my maiden name – P_xxx_. I have not listed with any other services and CERTAINLY have not listed with Craigslist which means the information must be coming from Zillow. I am very upset by this inaccurate information being disseminated and by a total strangers appearance on my doorstep with my personal information. I wish to pull my listing from IMMEDIATELY, removing all of my information from the internet. I also expect full reimbursement ($9.95+) for the listing posted with
Please respond as soon as possible.
A_xxx_ M_xxx_ –I’ve blanked out the name of the person because she is obviously upset about her personal information being given out on the web.

If you are going to sell (or rent) your home without professional assistance, you are going to have to deal with people who want to see your house In Real Life. I understand that having strangers knock on your door is disconcerting but it’s going to happen. You actually WANT them to contact you.

When selling your home (or renting), you will want systems in place to deal with the calls, emails, texts and real life inquiries. You are right to discourage the door knocks. Put a sign in the yard that gives them a number to call to arrange a viewing.

Have a way to qualify them. You can work with a mortgage lender to get your prospects pre-qualified before setting the showing appointment. There’s no point to showing the house to people who are unable to buy it. For renters, you also need to check their background for rental history, job and income verification, and criminal history. A lender will not be able to help you with the checks if you’re renting so use a service through your local Landlords Inc. or one like

If they pass the initial checks, arrange a showing. You will need to coordinate your schedule with theirs so that no one is greatly inconvenienced by the showings. Tell someone you trust that you are showing your home. Give them the name of the person you will be showing the house to. Arrange to call them at a certain time – maybe 30 minutes after the appointment. If you do not call them at that time, they should try calling you. If you do not answer, they should call the police immediately and tell the police that you may be in imminent danger. Give the police all of the information you have. Please see Moby’s Staying Safe While Showing Properties for more safety tips.

During showings, allow the potential customer to feel as if the home could be theirs. For tips on how to enhance the home’s appeal during showings, see this article on Home Showing Tips. When showing the home, you are also sizing up your potential client. Do they seem to be all that they said they were on the application? If this is a rental, is this person one you would want as a tenant?

Don’t try to sell the home! The home will sell itself if it’s right for this buyer. Have ready The Seller’s Disclosure, last year’s Utility Bills, and Warranty Information for any work done on the home. Those are the things a buyer will need to know about before making an offer to purchase the home. Present these to the potential buyers and let them wander through the home to get a feel for it.

Once the buyer is ready to make an offer, use the Sales Contract provided by your local Real Estate Board to start the transaction. Read the contract before hand and be familiar with the sequence of events that occur after the Initial Offer. Be sure to follow local procedures and protocol and be aware of all deadlines referenced within the contract.

Contact a local Title Company to help you with the documents you’ll need to transfer ownership and coordinate financing if the buyer is using a mortgage to finance part of the purchase price. You will want to meet with the Closer at the Title Company ahead of time so that you have a relationship with them and can talk with them over the phone when you have questions.

As far as other websites picking up your listing, that is going to happen. From a marketing and advertising perspective, this is a GOOD thing. You want your property advertised on as many sites as possible so that you reach as many potential customers as possible. Please refer to Property Marketing Tips For Professionals for a complete list of how to effectively market your home for sale on the Internet.

If you don’t want to deal with people calling or knocking on your door, just hire a professional to do that for you. If you want to do it yourself, then you have to deal with the people.
*This article originally published by Maria Morton on Active Rain

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