With persistent shortage of inventory in Silicon Valley, it should not be that hard for you to sell your own home as a FSBO. But you would be wrong. Even homes that are listed by real estate agents are collecting dust on today because of poor timing, planning and execution. That’s why we wanted to write about what you need to know about selling your own home.
So, you have decided to sell your own home in this market. Despite the seasonal slow down of buyers with kids, there are still plenty of buyers on the Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Campbell markets today.
However, before marketing your home as FSBO you should consider the following:
Buyer qualification: Selecting a qualified buyer from your list of multiple offers can be a difficult task. You should ask for mortgage documents and pre-approvals from direct lender and accept the offers that are only conditioned on value. If you choose the buyer who can NOT perform, you might have missed the marketing window and lost other buyers.
Buyer Negotiations: Most FSBO sellers get offended when buyers offer a lowball price on their home. That’s just a starting point and you are well within your rights to counter or reject them. Unless you are certain that this low ball offer is not going to close, then you should counter them. You can retain an attorney for a fixed fee to help you with the negotiations.
Listing Price: Most owners have a false sense of value when it comes to their own home. So, unless you can stay unemotional about pricing your home, you overprice your FSBO which could result is long marketing cycle and low ball offers. Some free services such as Trulia and Zillow are notoriously unreliable since there is no way for the home owners to adjust for amenities and options for upgrades and remodeling done to the home. Most importantly, how will you know that you are not under-pricing your home.
Developing disclosures: By California civil code, any information about the condition of the property that could cause the buyer to change their mind has to be disclosed. Neglecting to disclose this information would create legal and financial liabilities for you for at least 5 years! So, you have to balance the savings of selling FSBO for the potential of defending yourself in Civil and Criminal court because of missing or mis-leading disclosures.
So, even if the information sounds too ordinary and boring, disclose it. Cracks in the sidewalks and your exterior walls are expected in Northern California. But you should still disclose it.
Marketing Skills: Despite the many online sites such as FSBO.com or CraigsList.org, MLS listed home fetch the highest prices for sold homes in US. So, selling your home as a FSBO, you will be eliminating this powerful marketing channel for your home. You might want to consider a fee based site which will list your home on MLS.
Contract Knowledge: Unless you negotiate legal contracts for a living, you will have a steep learning curve when it comes to California Residential Listing agreement. There are a lot of new terms and fees that will be new to you.
Finally, selling your home is the largest financial transaction for most California residents. So, get help when you need it or you will be risking a legal headaches up to 5 years after the sale of your home.
Contact Us if yo have any questions about selling your own home.