Selling your Home FSBO

By Steph | Prepping To RV Full Time

Jul 14

When we decided to sell our house and almost everything we owned to hit the road full time with our kids, we were told that our best bet would be to list with a realtor and then just pray we get the best offer we could. But we didn't want to fork over 6% to a realtor! So we went against everyone's advice and listed For Sale By Owner...and we are so glad we did!

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Why We Chose To Sell FSBO

We are a family with three kids. We did the math and paying a realtor a 6% commission was just too much money to throw out the window. We had an exact amount that we needed to get for our home so that we could pay off the mortgage and have enough left over to pay off a little bit of debt. 


Our home was in an area that homes were selling for way less than asking price. If our home did not sell for what we were asking, paying a commission to a realtor would make us take away even that much less than if we had done it ourselves.


Derek was almost always at our gym right up the street from our home, and I was usually home with the kids, so  it was easy for me to send the kids next door, and do showings. There is something special about being shown a home by the homeowner. As the owner, you are able to tell more about the home than a realtor who doesn't really know the home can. 

We Knew We Could Sell It

A little background: We owned a fitness and self defense facility for 4 years. It was in a tiny town where we were told it would never grow and would fail within the first year. 


We soon realized that traditional marketing methods were not going to work and so we learned how to run Facebook™ Ads to get clients into our gym. 


After Derek learned how to drive traffic and capture leads with Facebook™ Ads for our fitness facility,  he started running ads for other small businesses. We ended up selling our fitness facility and doing advertising full time. Realtors were some of our first clients. 


What we realized was that when it came time to sell our house, we could do it with Facebook Ads and never hire a Realtor!


How We Did It

There are many ways to go about selling a home and what is listed below is what worked for us. If we had to do it again, we would approach it this exact same way. 

Step 1: Market Research

Open Source Websites 

Search websites like zillow.com, trulia.com, and realtor.com to find out what houses in your area have been selling for. 

Look At Other Homes

This one may be a bit sneaky...but it's ok, I promise. Call a local realtor and tell them you are looking to buy.  Have them show you homes comparable to yours in nearby neighborhoods. When you list yours for sale,  call that realtor back and tell them you are offering a commission to a buyers agent!

Visit The Courthouse

In our town, you could visit the county courthouse and request to see all the home sales within the last few weeks/months. It's public information, so usually pretty easy to obtain. Some counties even have it on the internet!

Step 2: Prepping Your Home

MINIMALIZE

Get rid of ALL non-essential items. If you haven't used something in six months or more, sell or donate it. Have a yard sale, sell on ebay/craigslist/Facebook Marketplace, or donate stuff to charity. 


You do not want a house that is cluttered or over run with personal items. Check out exactly how we purged all of our stuff HERE.

Make A List

Every home will have something that needs to be repaired and/or touched up. Make a list of all the things that need to be accomplished.


Nothing is worse than walking into a home for sale, than to notice little things that were not done by the owners, If a buyer sees that you have kept the place in good repair, it is an automatic good first impression. 


Start at the very top of the outside of your house, and work your way down. Do the same for the inside. Don't forget the yard too!

Stage It!

This is probably the biggest thing that people overlook. They like their furniture and their things, and they think that everyone else will too. The problem is that you never know who will walk through that door. You want your home to feel inviting, open, and neutral in taste. 


Get rid of all personal items such as family pictures, things with names on them, nick-nacks, awards, trophies, or anything that is super niche like sports memorabilia, or collectables. 


Remove furniture that is blocking traffic so that when a potential buyer enters a room, the room is open and appears as large as you can make it. 


Keep surfaces cleaned off, beds made, and toys/pet items picked up or hidden away. 

Step 3: Out Market The Realtors

Take Professional Photos

The photos in your listings make a HUGE difference. If you do not have access to a good camera or a professional photographer, hire an aspiring photographer or college student. OR...take them on your smartphone. If you take photos on your phone, you can use an editing app to brighten them up!

Create A Website

Yes, you heard that right. Your home needs a website. You need somewhere that you can upload unlimited photos and can tell a potential buyer everything there is to know about your house!


You will also need a website if you are trying to sell with Facebook Ads so that you have a page to capture all of the traffic. 


If you do not want to create a full website, you can accomplish the same result with a landing page builder.  


No website skills? No problem; Just Use A Landing Page Builder 

A landing page is kind of like a website. It's really just a page setup to capture a lead. There are several landing page sites available and most of them are easy to use. 


We wet up a landing page with several pictures and lots of information about our home...


But we left one important piece of information out. 


Can you guess what we did not include on the landing page?


ASKING PRICE!!! 


We were asking $165K for our home but instead of including the asking price, we included the phrase...


"Between $150K and $200K enter your info below to get to current asking price"


This gave the prospect just enough information to see that our house was a potential contender but it also raised enough curiosity for them to leave their contact information. 

 

Here is my favorite landing page builder. This is the exact system that we used to build our website.  That was before we knew the in-and-outs of website development.  If you use the above link, you can get a 14 day free trial to see if you like it.  


A Dirty little & Ethical  Secret For FSBO Marketing

 Once someone left there email address and phone number we would contact them with the asking price and set up a walkthrough. 


Sounds pretty straight forward right?

Thats not all we did 

When someone entered their information we added them to a free Contact Management System or CRM. 


That gave us the ability to send emails in bulk to all of our leads.  By asking for an email address and a phone number before seeing the asking price, we were pre qualifying leads. 


If they were willing to give us that much information, then that meant that they were a qualified lead. 


So here is where the secret comes into play.  We knew that our asking price was at the very top of the spectrum. We also knew that no one else had  taken the time to research all of the true comps like we did. 


So we needed to create scarcity for our home and this is how we did it. 


Every time someone would view our home after scheduling,  we would send an email to every contact on our lead list.  We would let them know that someone had walkthrough and viewed our home. 


Not only would we let all of the contacts know that someone had viewed our home, we would also be candid about what the potential buyers thought of our home. 


If they thought the floors were a little scratched up in one spot, we would let all of our leads know exactly what they thought.


This worked out in our favor for a few reasons. 


1.) It let everyone on the list know that our home was getting viewed...a lot!


2.) It also showed that we were honest and that we were not trying to hide anything


This built a little trust with our leads and I think it I think it really opened up a line of communication. 


For example, one couple that walk through our home mentioned that the basement was extremely dry and well maintained.  They also mentioned that all the other homes similar to ours in the area had moisture in the basement. 


This sparked a ton of questions about our basement. 


  • How big is the basement?
  • Is it a walkout basement?
  • Is the basement sealed?
  • Is the basement wired for power?
  • Is there a living space in the basement?

When we received all the basement questions re realized that we had forgotten to put all the information about our basement on the landing page.   


So we went and added all the questions leads had to our landing page. we actually did it in question and answer format.  

Drive Traffic With Social Media Ads

Contrary to what many people will tell you, you CAN sell your home on the internet. And you can get it in the hands of the right potential buyers with social media ads. 


So how do you run a social media ad?  I actually out line the exact ad strategy that we used in our FSBO Mastery Course


Did you know you can actually put a Facebook ad, Instagram ad and a YouTube ad directly  in front  of someone searching for homes in your area? 


This is an extremely powerful tool that a majority of realtors are using. 


Realtors understand the importance of Social Media Ads but they don't use them mainly because they don't understand the social media ad platforms.  Also they don't want to pay a freelancer hundreds of dollars per month to run ads. 


That means that you can out market almost any realtor in your area. Even if they are backed by a huge brokerage, you can steal all of their traffic. 


A realtor is compelled to show a buyer any home they want to see.  


So if you target a n audience that is already looking to purchase a home in the area, and they want to want through your home, even if they have a realtor, they will most likely want to see your home.  


Our first Facebook™ Ad that we ran had a picture of our home taken from the street. 


The ad copy was something like this: 


GREAT PHOTO OF HOUSE 


"Hey (name of town, city, or subdivision),  this tutor home just went on the market and it is turn key ready.  

It's close to everything and well maintained.

Click below and find out more about this 3 bedroom 2 bath home in downtown (your town)."

This first ad worked great and it's a good thing because we found out that realtors do not like working with FSBO sellers.      


In general, realtors do not like to deal with FSBO properties for the following reasons:


  1. They think FSBO sellers are had to work with 
  2. They don't want to take a lower than 6% commission
  3. They think FSBO sellers are narcissistic and better than anyone that chooses to use a realtor.  It's almost as if they take it personally that a FSBO seller did not use a realtor.
How to deal with real estate agents 

We called every broker in our town and surrounding area and told them that we were listing our home FSBO. 


We politely requested permission to send an email to the broker with all of the listing information and we asked that the brokers forward the email to all of their agents. 


We also held an open house for only real estate agents where we provided wine an

hors d'oeuvres.  We walked them through the entire house and we explained how we arrived at our asking price. 


We also let the realtors know that we were offering a 3% commission to buyer's agents. 


This sparked a lot of interest and ultimately accelerated the purchase of our house and added to "the buzz"...but all of the low ball and almost insulting offers that we received came from buyer's agents. 


All of the offers that came from leads that we targeted from social media ads, were actually reasonable.   

 

Step 4: Get It SOLD

Show It To Buyers

For me, the most rewarding part of the entire selling process was getting to show it to potential buyers. After getting it so clean and tidy, and looking fantastic, it is fun to show it off. We suggest walking buyers through once, and then stepping outside so that they can explore on their own and not feel uncomfortable talking about it.


Then reconvene and ask the potential buyer:  "Other than the asking price can you tell us what you think of the house?"


Sometimes I would ask something like: if money was no object tell what was good and what was not so good about the house. 


This opened a dialogue and allowed us to gage if our asking price was an issue. It also allowed us to get their comments so we could email all our leads with their statements.   

Accept An Offer

Of course, this one is what we all hope for from the beginning. We received several bad (and almost insulting) offers before getting the right one. Do not be afraid to turn down an offer if it doesn't feel right. 


Negotiating can be stressful, but just remember that they want the house as bad as you want to sell it.


When we accepted an offer we used a standard real estate contract from our state that we found on the web. 


There are several sites that offer state specific realty contracts.  


Rocket Lawyer is a popular site.  Also, Law Depot is another site that has contract templates. 

Close The Deal

This is the part that most homeowners think is impossible to do on their own. But this was actually the EASIEST part for us.


Once an offer had been accepted, our buyer's bank actually did most of the work! 


Some people will hire an attorney to represent them through the process. However, we found that with a little research, and some very cheap online legal documents, it was easy to do on our own.  


Total Cost To Sell Our House FSBO 

Social Media Ad Cost - $320
Legal Documents - $19.97
Home Inspection - $275
TOTAL COST = $614.97 

6% Commission To A Realtor would have been $7,200 

TOTAL SAVINGS = $6,585.03


Deciding Factors of FSBO

Should you really list your home FSBO or should you get a realtor?

Pros

  • Faster communication with buyer. No middle men/women to relay messages 
  • Flexible show schedule.  You set the show times. 
  • You are the best salesperson for your home. You know all the selling points and you know how to answer all the questions
  • You save $$$$money$$$$ when selling FSBO.  Not just some but a lot. 

Cons

  • The research and pricing is time consuming
  • Takes time to take photos and build a website 
  • MLS listing is expensive but you don't need to list on the MLS
  • Buyer's agents do not like working with FSBO sellers

Conclusion

Selling FSBO is can be intimidating. Especially when homeowners are programed to think that we NEED a realtor.  It takes research and it takes time to professionally photograph your home, build a website for your listing, and learn how to run Facebook™ and YouTube ads to your website.  


All these challenges with listing your home FSBO does not compare to the money you save when you list yourself.  We saved $7K by selling FSBO and that was after all the ads that we purchased to get our website in front of the correct audience. 


If we ever sell a home in the future we will not use a realtor. After the easy communication with our buyer and the easy negotiations, we are convinced that we sell our home as well as any realtor.    

About the Author

Stephanie (Mom) is the crafty one. She puts up with everyone's nonsense with a smile...and a glass of wine.

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