How to sell a house yourself

alanisSeptember 26, 2009

My Aunt wants to sell her home and I'd like to just put a sign in her yard...For Sale By Owner with my ph number.

She doesn't care about the money...she paid 180 for it 3 yrs ago and only wants to sell at 190

I plan to have an open house and let people come and look at it.

No, I have no experience with this except buying my homes and learning hands on when we sold our first home.

Anyone think this is doable? Have any advice for me?

It's a very nice, completely remodelled 3 BR home right across the street from the Mississippi River.

She said I'd get the commission if I can sell it!!

She said her lawyer will handle the legal matters.

So looking for some encouragement here!!



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Good luck, but one question. If she is willing to pay the commission, why isnt she hiring a professional?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:01AM
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Thanks! She is hard of hearing and doesn't like pushy people telling her what she should do!

If things get too complicated, then I'll turn it over to a realtor.
But thought I'd see what kind of response we get from the for sale sign.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:50AM
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"Pushy people"?

Maybe you're confusing Realtors with used car salesmen;
we have fiduciary responsibilities to our clients.

No Realtor would advise a homeowner to sell her home for whatever she paid for it plus a commission;
we'd *have* to give her our expert opinion on how much the house is worth.

sure you're not just trying to get an elderly aunt to let you sell her house for a fire-sale price so you can get the "commission"?

Tread carefully;
she may have other relatives.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 2:41PM
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If she "really" doesn't care how much she sells it for or how long it takes, go ahead. You will need to do some work though. You need to be available to take calls, email, texts etc and respond to them quickly. You also need to be available to "show" the house on short notice. If you have a full time job, that can be complicated.

With that in mind, putting a sign in her yard probably isn't going to get it done. Almost every buyer uses an agent of their own. Those agents are checking the MLS For houses to show. If you aren't on the the MLS, you will cut your buying pool by 90% or so. You can find someone to list the house for a flat fee of a couple hundred bucks.

The people looking for houses without an agent are doing most of their searches on the internet. If you don't get her house on the big sites, you will miss out on those people to.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 3:03PM
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This is from someone who has actually sold real estate for sale by owner (FSBO). I think you are in over your head. Selling your own real property requires a bunch of research in order to make sure you don't leave yourself wide open legally and financially. Other than posting here, it sounds like you have done little or none.

There are all manner of local, state, and federal laws and regulations that must be complied with, some of which can bring huge fines if not fully complied with. You can also leave yourself open to other legal claims.

A FSBO offering is a lot of work. It takes times to do it. There is a lot more to it than putting up a sign in the yard.

If you are offering the house in expectation of a commission, you are acting in a professional capacity and probably need a license. It also increases your risk of exposure, since you will be held to a higher standard than someone just doing a relative a favor.

By acting for your Aunt without due care, you will also place her in jeopardy.

If you still want to try it, Google FSBO and follow the links. There will be a lot of them.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 1:23PM
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I believe your ability to sell without a realtor depends on a few variables. How fast are similar houses nearby selling? If it's less than 6 months, I think you might be able to do it on your own. 2. How much traffic does she have on her street? If you simply put a sign in the yard, it needs to be in a highly desirable area with lots of traffic. 3. Do you have access to comps of similar sales through your county's audit website? I.e., will you be able to get a true understanding of what the house is worth? I would think if you are looking out for the best interests of your aunt, you would want to get top dollar. Her house could be worth 200, or it might be worth 150. You need to know before you list. I have sold three houses on my own and while it is a lot of work, it can be done if you do your research.

I personally think that the role of the realtor is being phased out. The only thing keeping the majority in business is that they have a monopoly on the MLS (which is the best way to advertise your house. is second). There will always be a need for the minority who are not capable of marketing their house themselves and showing people through (elderly, infirm, people who just don't need the extra money), but there is a huge (growing) population out there of people who believe that they would rather do the leg work (and belive me, it is a lot of work) on their own and save the 5%.

To me, it sounds like you have a lot of work to do before you put the sign in the yard. A lot.

Best to you,

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 2:33PM
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Just a couple of thoughts--are you your Aunt's only living relative? If not what do the others think, and do not depend on what you Aunt says. Are you prepared to list/tell/disclose what is legally required? Are you prepared to show it to anyone by your self and answer all the questions? Have you discussed this with her lawyer?
What is the house really worth? How much does she own and will she make enough to pay everything that is required by law and by the buyer--as you may know sometimes the buyer request the seller to pay certain fees.
Personally, I think she should deal with a realtor along with your guidance. Just get everything in writing, no verbal commitments. NONE!!!! Like Erin and several others stated, you may be over your head.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 3:24PM
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Our daughter did this. She had 3 open houses and the first gal that came ended up buying it. She even got more then she expected. She would do it again..

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Selling homes is not so hard ..... I do it all the time.


Good luck to you. Do your homework.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 3:25PM
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I have three lots that I would like to sell.Does any one have any advise on the best rout to take.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 7:50PM
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I've done it before. At the very least, why not try? If that doesn't work, then you may consider calling a realtor.

Try posting your home on zillow and see what kind of response you get. Look at other homes in the area on zillow and see what recently sold homes went for before you determine your price.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:47PM
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I would say give it a try long as you have done your homework first. Check comps, visit open houses to see what your competition is, talk to your Aunt's lawyer, and all the other suggestions. It may be more work then you anticipate if you have a job or live a bit of a drive from your Aunt's house. You could always go the realtor route afterwards. When we retire in a few years and downsize, we won't be using a realtor to sell our house. That is a whole other story...NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:17AM
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We bought our house in 2008 FSBO, we happened to drive by in the neighborhood we were looking at and loved it, a few days later signed- no realtors involved. Gotta say it was awesome!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:28PM
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It is not that hard to sell your house. Do the market research. Search the county auditor's site, trulia, and zillow.

My state board of realtors has a standard contract that can be downloaded and printed, and I got a property disclosure form online as well.

Make sure your buyer is pre-approved for a loan before you even think about accepting an offer.

Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:35PM
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I wonder if OP ever did sell her aunt's house (back in 2009). I always want to know the end of the story!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 7:21AM
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I guess this response is for doc, since the orginal thread is long dead.

Put them on Craigslist, any local online sites. Get on all your local facebook groups, for sale, housing, ect ect.

I sell all my stuff like that. I normally offer owner financing though. Contact a title company after you make a deal with the buyer. They will do everything for a set price, not a percentage like a realtor will. They will also make sure all the legal stuff gets done, disclosures, escrow issues, tax prorations, lead based paint disclosures ect ect. Its really funny to see the huge amount of paperwork a realtor expects you to sign, and then see the actual amount that is needed to be legal.

It will save you lots of money, but be ready to field LOTS of calls, texts, emails from tire kickers and other assorted idiots.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 6:19PM
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