Any advice for sale by owner?

Asked by Songpaulette, Boston, MA Fri Apr 5, 2013

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Evie Hunt, Agent, Abingdon, VA
Sat Feb 21, 2015
Statistics support that one can usually receive a higher return on a property sold by a Realtor; however, that is not your question! My advice would be the same as if I were speaking to you as a seller client. This advice would include such things as making sure your home has nice curb appeal, keep the home clean and uncluttered for showings, etc. However, the best advice I can give to a FSBO seller is 'BE VERY AWARE OF WHO YOU LET ENTER YOUR HOME"! As Realtors, we can meet with a client before a viewing which sometimes serves to give us a better idea of our safety! I am always concerned about FSBO sellers when it comes to this issue! Be safe!
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Gloria Donnon, Agent, Moorestown, NJ
Sat Feb 21, 2015
People think they will save money by going the For Sale By Owner route, but the truth is that people who sell with realtors actually net more money on average for their homes (AFTER commission). So by not using a realtor, you will probably make less money than if you had. Also, only about 15% of FSBO actually sell their home on their own. There's a lot more that goes into selling a home than just posting a sign. You may want to reconsider.
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Masha Sender…, Agent, Newton, MA
Sat Feb 21, 2015
Would love to know what you ended up doing :)
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The Graveline…, Agent, Longmeadow, MA
Tue Jan 20, 2015
The best advice we could give you would be to contact a local Realtor. Search under the Agent Directory for a well reviewed Realtor. Realtors must abide by a strict code of ethics which offers you consumer protection as well as piece of mind. Selling on your own isn't easy, and the statistics aren't in your favor.
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Benni.gholami, Both Buyer And Seller, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 19, 2015
When we have a property for sale, the primary focus is always the price. Homeowners have a high tendency to simply put an expensive price tag on their property without doing any homework or background research. You need to ensure what you are doing is relevant to your property and not simply pick a number out of the blue. Consult experts in this field and seek their professional opinions as to what is the best proposition to take. After which, start taking secondary steps like cleaning the house, financial planning and other relevant processes.
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Ron Danklefs, Agent, Jamaica Plain, MA
Wed Jul 9, 2014
Other than trying to talk you out of it, my best advice is to price the property accurately. By this I mean not determining a price by what you'd like to clear from the sale, but by painstakingly evaluating other similar properties that have sold in your immediate area during the past 6 months and basing your price on these "comps." This is difficult unless you have access to the MLS, but access to the MLS is not enough. An experienced realtor will have actually seen some of the comps or will at least be able to evaluate the overall condition of the comps by a careful inspection of both the information listed on the detail sheet as well as any additional information provided as attachments on the MLS. The reason such a detailed evaluation is crucial to the seller is because arriving at the correct price on Day One of marketing can literally save tens of thousands of dollars down the line. Incorrect pricing often costs homeowners much more money (due to the inevitable price reductions and carrying costs) than they would have spent on a Realtor fee!
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Mario Pavli, Agent, Boston, MA
Thu Nov 7, 2013
What kind of advice were you looking for? Please be more specific.
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Fred Herman, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Fri Jun 21, 2013
Yes, here's my advice: click on the link below for some important info --…

(if it's not hyper-link text, just copy and past into your browser)

good luck
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Fred Herman, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Fri Jun 21, 2013
Yes, here's my advice: click on the link below for some important info --…

good luck
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Dean Charles, Other Pro, Boston, MA
Fri Jun 21, 2013
@Songpaulette...we recently put together a How to FSBO Massachusetts guide, see the web reference below for the details, hopefully you find it useful in better understanding the components to a sale, how to drive exposure for your property, and what to expect in closing.
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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Sat Apr 6, 2013
Price your property right. Most FSBO's over price their property because they haven't been given a realty market check by a professional and they are emotionally attached to their home.
In addition, make sure the property is staged well. Repaint and re-finish floors to make it sparkle, remove personal items, etc.
Consider doing an entry only listing to get your property in the MLS which feeds to every real estate website. This will get your property in front of more buyer's.

Good luck!
Massachusetts Premier Buyer Brokerage
617 848 5407 x706
Web Reference:
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Kevin Vitali, Agent, Tewksbury, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
The the two biggest problem for sale by owners have is exposure and

I leave you with two last thoughts. If you can overcome the first two hurdles, realize you will probably earn every penny you save it will become a full time job. Second, I actually have samples of how I sold homes for more money then a for sale by owner, earning my commision and putting more money in the sellers pocket through a carefully crafted marketing plan

Think twice about your motives and your willingness to put in the time.
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The one thing you will not have is the necessary exposure to get top
dollar for your home. Professional Realtors work full time at their job -
they have the necessary marketing materials at their fingertips and the
ability to show-case your home for you. In the current market priced right
your home could sell with multiple offers. Do you know what the best offer
is and what the contingency means? Do you have the forms you will need
for the offer? Honestly, you can probably do it, but it is time consuming and
there maybe other things you would rather looking for your next
home on a weekend? Good luck with your decision.
Flag Tue Mar 11, 2014
Louis Wolfs…, Agent, Needham, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Have you owned homes in the past?

Have you sold homes in the past?

Are you familiar with all the laws that govern real estate?

Are you familiar with all the forms that are involved?

Can you disassociate yourself from your home?

Are you comfortable with people putting down your home?

Can you pre qualify the buyer?

Do you mind holding open houses?

Do you have a good real estate attorney?

Can you deal with the home inspection and issues that pursue?

Or would you prefer to be on the golf course, beach or shopping for your new home?
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Curly Sue, , Texas
Fri Apr 5, 2013
GET A REALTOR! That's my advice.
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Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Fri Apr 5, 2013
You realize that you are addressing real estate professionals here, who make a living by helping the buying and selling public, buy and sell homes at the best possible price, terms and time frame. Their
expertise and experience and professionalism during all aspects of the selling or buying process are of
extensive value to the clients and as Realtors we personalize our services, and our suggestions and recommendations to get a home ready to go on the market, therefore it is hard to give you any advice,
short of suggesting that you should work with an experienced area Realtor.....

If you like to find out what the advantages would be, feel free to get back to me and I gladly go into
details and send you a detailed list of advantages, services etc. If on the other hand you need the recommendation of a good Realtor in your Area of Boston feel free to get back to me, by letting me know
about the type and size of your property and the location within the Boston area.

All the best to you
Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
And always with a SMILE 
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties ----
Check out my website at htttp://
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Yes; don't do it!
Pretend I gave you 10 reasons.
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George Wood, , Brookline, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013

I can fully understand the temptation to avoid using an agent. When you look at the dollar amount of compensation your agent would receive at closing for professional services rendered it certainly adds up to an amount of money most people would rather keep if they can.

You are in Jamaica Plain... That is one of my company's primary markets, and also happens to be where I have lived for decades. The market is very strong there. Properties that are marketed properly have been selling VERY quickly, often with multiple offers, and also often over the asking price. If you are having trouble selling a piece of Real Estate in the current market conditions, there is something wrong. What exactly is wrong is impossible for me to say without more information.

If you're looking for advice, you are probably starting to get a sense for how much more skill and experience it takes for a Real Estate agent to get a property sold than the general public ever knows before one decides to try and do it themselves. There are a lot of potential pitfalls in the sale of a property and an experienced agent will be able to navigate around them. An experienced agent will also have an understanding of negotiating tactics that will be used against you by buyers. There's no way to quantify it, but it's possible you'll net more in the end by using an agent than by selling yourself.

Every property is unique, so each one is going to need a unique strategy in order to get people to come see it, make offers, and hold the transaction together until finally the closing happens. Agents who have been through the process dozens of times will make it look easy, but as you are finding out, it's anything but.

I'm happy to answer specific questions if you would like to reach me through Trulia. Maybe we'll find out that we're neighbors!

George Wood
Prudential Unlimited Realty
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Rafael Herna…, Agent, Roslindale, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Best advice would be to use a local realtor who is experienced and can get you top dollar for your property. It may seem like our saving money by doing it yourself but think about the outcome and the things that can and may go wrong while trying to do it yourself. With a realtor by your side you will feel more confident and know that if anything comes up you have someone who has dealt with all sorts of real estate experiences and is there to help you out.
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Tean Wong, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
My first and most important advice is to look at it as doing business. Take your personal feeling out of it. Be a business person, learn the market, know your competitors, be flexible and willing to negotiate. Treat your home as a product, show it at the best possible condition. Good luck.
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Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Lower the PRICE!
Not knowing anything about your home, it's location, attributes that make it distinguishable,
one must resort to the UNIVERSAL marketing plan...Reduce the PRICE!
Now, you may find it benefical to retain (put in your pocket) as much of your home's equity as possible. You may find a quicker sale is less costly that a sale process that endures for months and month and months. Not knowing what your REAL goals are one must resort to the Universal marketing plan that overcomes all deficiencies....Reduce the Price!
It may be of value to you to control who has access to your home, who are these folks who are actually visiting your home, if these folks are entertaining themselves at your expense and inconveninece.
Perhaps sorting the tire kickers from the real buyers has some value for you.
Perhpas knowing those who are walking through your home actually have the ability to buy it has some value to you.Perhaps knowing you have a partner who has completed dozens of transactions a year has your back has some value.
Simply do not have sufficient data to provide anything but the UNIVERSAL marketing solution.
Reduce the price. At some, at this time unknown price, your home WILL sell.

You might consider CALLING an agent who works in Boston (if they have provided a number), if you are serious, and finding out the most benefical actions to take as well as the strategy to turn a observer into a buyer.
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Sharon Lucido, Agent, Sagamore Beach, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Hi there,
Selling your home yourself might look enticing because you can save on the commission.
With all things considered and there are many things to consider, the money you might save selling your own home is not worth the work you will have to do.
I suggest you contact a local agent in your area, drive around your area and notice for sale signs or even better; signs with "under contract" or "sold" on top of them.
Call that number and set up an appointment to meet with that Realtor.
Time and money well spent.
Good luck!
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Lynne Hagopi…, Agent, Framingham and Southborough, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
There are a lot of reasons why you should use a sellers agent as opposed to being a for sale by owner. Listings get much more exposure with the marketing depending on the firm chosen and usually makes for a quicker and smoother transaction as a listing agent is familiar with the home inspections, the purchase & sale agreement, the mortgage process aiming for commitment and closing and how most buyers think... The listing agent helps coordinate between the buyer, the seller, the appraiser, and the attorneys working on your behalf and as they are fully involved and can help work things out between parties sometimes become a buffer in transactions that need it between the buyer and the seller. As I work with a lot of buyers, they are sometimes uncomfortable dealing directly with sellers as they feel they cant speak up and say what they feel if remodeling is needed or issues arise from home inspections as it becomes personal when dealing directly with the owner. Agents help filter that and get the transaction done as best possible and in the shortest amount of time and hopefully for the highest dollar the market will bear as they understand the current market.
With that being said, if you choose not to use a listing agent, make sure you have a fantastic real estate attorney that will work hands on with you to coordinate the transaction.

Lynne Hagopian
508 648-0393
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Kenzo Tatsuno, Agent, Waltham, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
list with an agent.........
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Richard Shap…, , Framingham, MA
Fri Apr 5, 2013
On this site? You should list with a realtor
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Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Hi Songpaulette:
A number of agents (me included) answered a similar question during the last couple of days. See the link below.

But the short answer is that you really must educate yourself about a number of factors if you want the best possible outcome. It is not as easy as it looks.

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