News & Advice

Buying or selling a home that is “FSBO”

June 9, 2020

What does it really mean to buy a home that is “FSBO”, or for sale by owner? On the other hand, what does it take to sell a home as FSBO? The real estate industry can be challenging to navigate as a buyer or seller without much experience, and working without a real estate agent may only add to the complexity of buying or selling a home. However, you can find tons of tips on how to sell your house and with the right amount of research, you can decide if FSBO is right for you by asking the right questions.

What is the value of my home?

This may be the first question you ask yourself when deciding whether to sell your home, and it may be one of the most important questions you ask! You can use free online tools like SetValue to help you find the value of your home instantly. This will help you to determine the answer to some other questions, like “Can you sell a home as is?” in order to get the price you want (we’ll touch on this question later). If your home may need some work, you’ll have to do some research on how to advertise a fixer upper or to find a contractor within your budget to up your home’s value before selling. Before setting the listing price for your home based entirely on your home’s value, it’s important to do some research on the current state of the housing market to get the best tips on how to sell your house depending on the real estate climate.

Can you sell a home as is?

Selling your home “as-is” is an option if you want to sell your house fast. However, selling “as-is” may result in a lower number of interested buyers. Depending on the amount of work your home needs, you may need to lower the listing price to attract buyers, as they will be responsible for any refurbishment, reconstruction, or replacement costs that come with the house. If your property is in need of some serious maintenance, looking into how to advertise a fixer upper may be your best option if you want to sell a home as is.

Does the Seller have to be present at closing?

In most cases, the seller is not required to be present at closing. It’s pretty typical for the seller and buyer to sign all of the required documents separately instead of in each other’s presence. Be sure to get all of your paperwork in order for a smooth closing process. Some paperwork you’ll need to get together include:

  • Title to your home
  • Property taxes history
  • Loan documents
  • Inspection details or permits, requested by buyer

What should I do if I want to buy a home that is for sale by owner?

There are steps you can take to purchase a home that is for sale by owner. Since an FSBO home means there is no seller’s agent, you should strongly consider working with a buyer’s agent to negotiate and handle all of the paperwork for you. This can take the complexity out of the process and help you to get the best deal. You’ll also have to get pre-approved for your mortgage, which you can do through your bank or another lender. Before making an offer on a home that is for sale by owner, be sure to take an in-depth look at the home; your real estate agent can help you schedule an in-person or virtual home tour. You’ll also want to schedule a professional inspection on the home to give you a better idea of what may need to be fixed or replaced, which you can then calculate into your final offer price. 

Selling your home as FSBO has its advantages, like having extra money in your pocket that would typically go to a real estate agent. However, you will have to put in the extra work that you would normally rely on an agent to do. Be sure to brush up on your knowledge of the real estate process for the best tips for selling a house and do some research into the current state of the housing market. 

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