Things To Know Before Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner!


If you have been thinking of selling your home in this very hot seller's market, you may be thinking that maybe you should sell your home without a Realtor - after all, homes are going under contract for well over asking price in most areas of Richmond, and they are selling many times with multiple offers and in only a few days! So why not try to save a bit of money by selling it yourself!


If you are considering this option, here are some things you should know about selling your home For Sale By Owner, even in this very very hot seller's market!


First, let's look at why you may want to sell the home yourself ---

  1. You can avoid having to pay the listing side of the commission! This is a very big draw for most sellers I have talked to who are selling their home For Sale By Owner!

  2. You will have complete control of the listing price! You set the price you want to sell your home at and you decide when (and if) you will drop the price!

  3. You can manage the schedule of showings and open houses! You are in control of when you will have the house shown and when (and if) you want to do an open house!

  4. You are motivated to sell your home at top dollar! However, I think that most sellers are motivated to sell their homes for top dollar!

But before you take on the challenge of selling your home yourself, there are questions you need to ask yourself! Here are the questions I think you should ask before putting your home on the market without using a Realtor!

  • Can you set aside the emotional attachment to your home? You will be having buyers come through your home and you will be able to hear whatever comments (positive and negative) they may have!

  • Do you know how to stage & position your home so it appeals to most buyers? Each room has great features as well as flaws and making sure you know how to highlight the features & minimize the flaws goes a long way to making sure you can get top dollar for your home!

  • Do you know your competition? Even in a market with low inventory such as 2022, your home will be competing with other homes. Those homes may be in your neighborhood, your school districts or even in other counties! You need to know how your home will compete with your competition!

  • Do you know the market? You need to know not only what is for sale (your competition), but what has recently sold (and why these homes sold), what these homes did well, what they didn't do well and what those listings that did not sell did wrong!

  • Do you know how to market your home to get the most traffic? Even with the heated up market we have had, most homes get listed on the Multiple Listing Service, which is then syndicated out to hundreds of websites out there. The ones with the most traffic tend to be Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Redfin.com but there are lots of other sites out there that get traffic! You need to be able to get your home marketed out to as many sites as possible, even those that are not as well known! FSBO sites like forsalebyowner.com garner a fraction of the traffic that sites Realtors use do!

  • Will you offer a competitive buyers agent commission? Although you are going to sell your home without having to pay the listing side commission, most buyers today are working with a Buyer Agent. If you are not willing to pay a competitive buyer agent commission, the buyer's agent may not show the house!

  • Do you know the required disclosures in the state of Virginia? Each state has their own disclosure laws! Even though Virginia is a buyer beware state, there are still disclosures a seller must make. You need to make sure you know those disclosures and comply with the law!

  • Do you know what are the protected classes of people? Under Fair Housing laws, there are certain people who are considered protected - you need to make sure that you don't violate those laws, either in your advertising or in your conversation!

  • How will you handle inspections? Many buyers are not willing to give up inspections, even if they are not going to ask the seller to do any repairs. However, if there are inspection issues that arise, you need to know how you plan to handle those.

  • How will you handle appraisals? If your buyer is getting a loan, the lender will most likely require an appraisal to be done! You need to know how you plan to handle any appraisal issues that can arise!

  • Do you have a network of professionals? If there are things that arise during the transaction, do you have a list of qualified and trusted professionals who can assist you in resolving the issues!

  • Do you have the time to follow up on a weekly basis to ensure that the deal does not fall apart before closing? Sometimes things can come up - weekly follow up is important with all the parties to the transaction so that any issues can be resolved quickly and allow the transaction to move forward to closing!

  • Do you know how to qualify the buyer? This is especially important if the buyer is not being represented by a Realtor! You will want to make sure that the buyer whose contract you accept can actually buy your house!

  • Do you have safety precautions you can take when letting strangers into your home? This is a very important and something that you should think about before you put your home on the market!

  • Are you prepared to deal with the bargain shoppers you may be targeting your home? These shoppers already know you are not paying a listing side commission and they may figure that they can get a better deal on the house if there is not a Buyer Agent representing them!

  • Are you familiar with the buyer's loan type and how that can impact your home's sale? There are lots of different loan types out there - VA, VHDA, FHA, Conventional, USDA, Grant Down Payment Assistance Programs, Renovation - each one is a little bit different and each one may have some unique things that have to be done for the buyer to get the loan. Make sure you understand the type of loan the buyer will be using to buy a house!

  • Finally, are you available during a work day whenever someone wants to see the house or to answer phone calls and questions about your house? Real estate is a full time job - not all buyers will be working a Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 job and many are now working from home, which means that they may want to see your home at 10 am on a Wednesday morning or they may call at 9 at night with questions on the house!

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into selling a home, even in the 2022 real estate market! And it is definitely much more than just putting a sign in the yard and putting the house on Facebook or other social media sites! If you do decide that you want to sell your home yourself to save the money you would pay at closing to a listing side Realtor, make sure you are prepared to do everything you need to do to ensure a successful sale!


As a full time Realtor in the Richmond area since 1996, I am ready to help you with the sale of your home! I have helped hundreds of families throughout the years with the successful sale of their home and am happy to answer any questions you may have! Feel free to call or text me at 804-869-1191 or email me at Barbara.Reagan@LongandFoster.com. Have a great day!

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