Home Selling in 80220>Question Details

Denise Gross, Home Owner in Denver, CO

I closed on a home June 21, 2012, I have put quite a bit into it, I paid cash. I now would like to sell it (fisbo). How do I even begin this process?

Asked by Denise Gross, Denver, CO Wed Aug 15, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


You want to do it YOURSELF;
But you want us to tell you how?
If you don't know enough to do it yourself, don't!
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
First off, I would hire a Realtor to help you with your sale. It's been proven time and again that Realtors net their Seller clients more money from the sale of a home than the client does on his/her own. This also ensures that your home will be marketed to the most people possible, through both the Multiple List and the assorted websites that either the MLS or the Realtor feeds the information to.

Additionally, you will be trying to sell your home within the 90 day window that flags underwriters to question why you're selling so quickly. Be prepared to turn over copies of all the work you've done, as well as all the building permits you pulled on the work.

Best of luck to you!


PS - the term is FSBO, which stands for For Sale By Owner. If you still want to go this route, make sure you offer a Cooperative Commission to agents who bring Buyers to your home - otherwise you're missing out on the largest potential group of Buyers out there - those who are represented by an agent.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
I will be so bold as to suggest a Realtor for selling your home. You're indicating right off the top that you haven't an idea how to begin. A Realtor can outline generally for you the process/steps to get your home listed.

Many agents are only too happy to answer your questions. It costs you nothing to speak with an agent, even when your intent is to sell your home yourself. However, you might be impressed by the individual who shows their knowledge.

Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2012
Hi Denise:

Generally I do not discourage homeowners from trying to sell their own homes. But if you are unsure how to start the process, I am a little worried about how you will do. There are numerous steps involved in selling a home, so let me suggest you spend some time learning about each before you plant a sign in the yard. I do offer a booklet called "20 Steps to Selling Your Home." It provides most of the basic information you will need. I will be happy to send you a copy. Just let me know how to get it to you. Once you have read the booklet, you can contact me for answers to specific questions. No obligations or sales pressure, of course!

Kind regards,
Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Most helpful response...
Flag Thu Aug 23, 2012

Your cash offer for the townhome you purchased in 80220 seems fair, Depending on the amount of money you put in for rehab, you should have some decent equity. When you purchased the home there was a commission involved that you did not have to pay. You are now considering a sale without a Realtor involved. Not a good plan. If you know nothing, you are setting yourself up for a multitude of potentially hard and expensive problems. The records show that many FSBO homes sell for 75-80% of the value when a Realtor is involved.

Your home near Lowry is in an interesting area. A Realtor can walk you through the process, take a lot of the risk, use their expertise and resources and more than likely leave you in a better position financially and emotionally at the closing table. One thing I often tell FSBO's is that I have a $1M Errors and Ommissions policy for a reason, how much do you have? I would certainly rethink the idea of FSBO for your own good, whether you use one of us here or not. Good luck and good success with your sale.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
1776 S. Jackson St. #412
Denver CO 80210
Direct – 303-669-1246
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Hire a realtor. You want advice from professionals but dont want to pay for it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Buy some books on the subject. There are plenty on Amazon on how to (try to) sell FSBO.

You don't explain why you want to sell so soon, but unless you bought well below the market, you're going to lose money on the transaction, even selling FSBO.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
You could give yourself a root canal, but would you really want to? No. You'd hire a professional for that. Buying and selling real estate is a complicated process and there are legal issues involved. Many FSBOs think they're saving $$ by not having a listing agent, but you'll actually save yourself money in the long run by hiring a Realtor to represent you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Unless you are fully versed on real estate contract law, hire a good realtor. Do you know your rights within a purchase and sale contract? More importantly, do you know buyer's rights? The buyer has considerably more protections that the seller. How will you address inspection issues? What if your home doesn't appraise?

Most importantly, "REAL" qualfiied buyers in the cars of realtors. I know it looks good on paper to attempt to sell on your own, but here's the reality ... if it were that easy, there would NO realtors. FSBO is like going to court without an atttorney ... you can do it, but the result won't be in your favor.

Don't fall in love with a number!! The truth is nobody gets paid, including you, until your home sells AND closes. It looks easy -- it isn't.

Julie Montgomery, Greenwood Village, CO http://www.jmontgomery.com
Web Reference: http://www.jmontgomery.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
I know Mayfair very well. High demand area, prices went up 20% in 2012.
Tomorrow I'm holding open 146 Magnolia from 12 to 3. I can tell you more then. But basically if you price it right you should be ok. I have a buyer for Mayfair, needs to close by April so let me know if your house still available. THanks 303.748.6559
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013
Hi Denise – I see your post on Trulia is from August, but thought I would check in. If you need assistance selling your home I can definitely help! In the past month, two homes I had on the market went under contract – one within 48 hours, and the other within 20 days. I know the Denver Metro area very well and would be more than willing to meet this week to discuss your goals. I know I can help you sell your house. Let me know if you need any assistance. Julie

Julie Bloch Burton - Broker Associate, Realtor®
Brixton Real Estate - http://brixtonassociates.com/
Cell Phone: 970.396.7435 | Fax: 720-306-2397
email: julieb@Brixtonmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2012
Well the obvious first answer is it is entirely worth hiring an agent to help. Especially for a flip - you want to maximise your return, so you need to maximize your exposure to the market. Marketing, staging, etc are all important parts of getting the max $ return.

Otherwise, try posting an ad on ListHub.com, which syndicates to many other websites. That's probably a solid start - make sure your pictures are good, provide a thorough list of the improvements made, etc. Be sure to instruct a title company, when the appraiser comes through for the buyer, provide him with your comparables and also a breakdown of the improvements you made (he will want to know, so he can justify the increase in price to the bank etc). Lot's to be aware of here - I know what we do seems very easy to many people, but selling a home the right way is a detailed and involved process. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
I see that FSBO's have a very high failure rate. I'm in favor of saving on commissions. Some realtors do charge way too much. But it's the realtors that have QUALIFIED buyers in their passenger seat. I know that many brokers just won;t show FSBOS.
Last time I spoke with a FSBO owner he started telling me how the industry works. We would not sign anything......Did not want to use a title company.....
In the end, it's not about 'saving' money. It's about the final net.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
I have been through 3 realtor sales and chose to do my most recent one FSBO. The old adage that a real estate agent can net you more money is not true if you are an educated and up to the task seller. If you don't have the time and/or knowledge to do it, don't. If you do, you can be successful if you think like a realtor.

First agent - worked both sides of deal. Didn't have to do much. I scheduled inspections. Mortgage company and real estate attorney the rest.

Second agent - start out as FSBO and she took listing later saying she would help me if I ended up getting a buyer myself. Would have gone that why except buyer used a relative who was an agent so she was "activated." She put me on the MLS (not knowledgable as I was to be later) and put her sign up. I did open houses and made up my own flyers. She rebated back to me a portion of the commission.

Third agent - enlisted her to sell my home from a referral. Gave her all the information for MLS. MLS had wrong information and then proceeds to argue with me about my real estate taxes. (Hello, I had the bills to prove it.) Going to do a house book for me (agreed to at initial consultation) didn't until she remembered a month later. I put sign at end of street to draw people down the street to my house. She made the flyers, ran out quickly. I waited for her to replenish. After a long wait, called her. She did hold open houses, but was over 30 minutes late each time. Third one (second on a weekend) involved a person coming back for a 2nd look and she knew they were coming back and at the start time - she was late. I was getting out of my car to go in with them when she finally showed up. Had a contingency offer on house she was the agent on for me to move to. She did suggestion the subdivision - I did all the looking at developer's open house. Seller's agent was pressing me to lift contingency before mine had been sold. My agent then began pushing me to do the same. Hey, who are you working for? This was before market crash.

Most recent time - I became knowledge and was ready months before I put my home on the market as a FSBO. Paid a service to put me on the MLS and they had a showing centralized service that was awesome. Sent me my yard sign (professional one) and I made up my flyers. Did offer commission to buyer's agents. Was successful and sold my home at comps. Now homes in there are selling for almost $20k less due to foreclosures on a little over $100k homes.

It can be done - but you have to educate yourself well beforehand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
If you need help pricing Denise, let me know!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
I suggest that you retain a Realtor to list the home. This is,obviously, your first flip. You need a Realtor to help you identify what items you need to do to the home before you sell it. The Realtor will do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) to determine a listing price. The Realtor will market your home, so there is no question about the quick turnaround from purchase to sale, etc. After you have been through one Realtor sale, then you can decide if you want to try a FSBO for your next flip.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 22, 2012
Hi Denise. I'm not local to your area but this is a common question and I would like to add my comment. First, an observation. It would seem that you made a purchase as an investment with an eye to flipping. I base my comment on the extremely short amount of time you've owned the property. I might conjecture you bought the property at a very good price. Since you've renovated ("...put quite a bit into it..."), I would think you're looking to get an appreciated amount to cover the purchase with upgrades and then some. The question is what price did you have in mind and how do you come to this new valuation? In short, how did you comp it out?
Short of marketing the property yourself, you have to have a realistic price point or your property will linger on the market.

The larger question of course is, how do you market the property effectively in order to get it in front of enough customers? I won't presume to tell you how to market in your market. Sellers who choose to go FSBO will have difficulty as they mostly rely on their sphere of influence. This will include your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Will that pool of potential customers be enough? What is plan "B" if the property lingers? How long can you deal with a mortgage and other operating costs if you have no solid offer in say, six months or longer?

You might reconsider using a broker because the longer the property sits, your monthly pay out might be money down the drain that would be equivalent to or more than a brokers fee. The fact that you ask "how (to) begin the process" is telling. Lastly, my point of view is this, if you want to go the FSBO route, you go right ahead and see if you like it. You seem to think it's a cake walk and maybe licensed professionals who have sold and continue to sell in your market are not for you. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2012
DORA website has all the contracts you'll need. Zillow can be a good place to give it a shot.

good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Yes, all the contracts are on DORA (the State's Department of Regulatory Agency website) but Zillow is a very bad place to start. Zillow, with all the money they throw at marketing, attracts many people who do not have a clue about real estate. Their data is often inaccurate, as well, so even if you're asking a valid price, if their automated estimate of value is much lower, you'll have to contend with somone telling you you're overpriced.

If you're going to go this alone, I would suggest you advertise in the paper before you use Zillow.
Flag Thu Aug 16, 2012
Many interesting comments on here. I will give you a lender's perspective. When I as a lender have worked with FSBO sellers, I have ended up taking the reigns. Mainly because there are processes involved that an average seller doesn't understand. Not to say a FSBO can't be successful. So make sure to do your research, including title insurance.

First, how are you going to price the home? What loan products will be available to the potential buyers? Are you prepared to satisfy all health and safety items for your buyer's loan approval? Pay for an additional appraisal? These may be requirements for your buyer to close on their loan.

Depending on what you bought for, what you are selling for, and how much you can show in documented improvements, these questions are important.

Because FNMA, FHLMC, VA and FHA all have lending guides for this type of transaction. The appraisal is going to be critical for you. So be prepared with extensive documentable list of improvements with a cost breakout. These could be critical to getting the value you strive for. But again, how are you going to price the home?

Best of luck~

Ray Williams
Branch Manager
Summit Mortgage- Denver
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Give me a call. I will tell you how much it is worth and help you get moving.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Hi Dennis,

Successful fix n flippers keep detailed records of the cost of improvements to the property. The price you paid for the home is public record so buyers want to substantiate the asking price. Lenders also have been very pro-active in asking for the same improvement information.

Most FSBO's use homes that were listed and sold through the MLS system.to come to an asking price for their home. Of course I and any agent will gladly help you establish a selling price.

Homes sold through the MLS system sell for a "retail price" and a success fee (commission) is usually paid to the listing who in turn pays a portion of the fee to the selling agents at the time of sale. Most owners selling without the help on an agent make the mistake of pricing their homes based on MLS retail prices when in fact the very structure of the transaction is to be a commission-free sale. You'll have a much quicker sale for a much better value if you price it wholesale instead of retail.

I am happy to help in any way. Good luck.

Ed Quinn, Owner/Broker
Quinn Corp Metro Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
Truthfully, if selling a house were that easy, there would be no Realtors.

Selling a home, what sounds like a "fix & flip" comes with a lot of complications. How will you determine the "right" sales price? How will you advertise the home to REAL buyers. Here's the thing ... buyers are are motivated and qualified for a loan work with realtors nearly 100% of the time. Realtors will rarely if ever show a For Sale By Owner property.

What if you get an offer? Do you know your rights as a seller? Do you know the rights of the buyer? Contract to buy real estate are now 13 pages long and are filled with a thousand ways a seller can be sued. When you say you've put "quite a bit into it," what are talking about? Do you know how your renovations translate into REAL dollars?

I've seen more "fix n flippers" filed for bankruptcy in the last two years than those who have succeeded. Selling any home without a professional is exactly like going to court without an attorney. There's one big difference, however; realtors don't get paid (and either do you) until your house sells and closes.

Julie Montgomery, RE/MAX Masters, Inc., Greenwood Village, CO, http://www.jmontgomery.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
This is bogus...I have spoken to mainly realtors who say that the majority of their clients come to them with a search preconducted using sites like zillow and redfin. Those sites include FSBOs and if a buyer sees a home on their they think they might like and the agent says they should avoid just bc its a FSBO, the buyers will scoff at them.
Flag Thu Aug 23, 2012
Start by gathering market facts. The most similar, closest, recent sales. The most similar, nearby properties now on the market. A Realtor can help you with this....................Ken Miller, 303-810-5535
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
If you want to do a FSBO, here are some tips:
1) Pricing - Determine what you should put the house on the market at. Look at what has sold in the area to figure out the best pricing.
2) Staging - Make sure your property is up to par and that the updates you did were good quality. Staging generally makes any property look good and can help get a higher price.
3) Access - Make sure you have a way to allow people to look at your property. Will you be there for all showings? Will you have a lockbox? Do you have a way to verify that the person calling you is qualified to se the house?
4) Appraisal - Be ready to support your sales price. Many deals fall through because the appraisal does not match the sales price so make sure to keep detailed documents and costs that you can show an appraiser. There maybe some lenders that do not allow buyers to purchase a fixed up property in less than 90 days.
5) Advertise your property - Craigslist, Open Houses, Sign in your yard, etc. You will get the most amount of activity by listing on the MLS which is done with a realtor or some FSBO sites will do this for a fee. Send emails to agents that work the 80220 neighborhood. Agents also represented qualified buyers. If you do not offer a coop fee (where you pay the Buyer's Agent), you will have less people looking at your home.
6) Contracts & Disclosures - Make sure to fill out all the Colorado Disclosures and make sure you are familiar with the Colorado contract and how to read and offer.

Good luck with selling your house. If you have additional questions or would like to talk to an agent that is familiar with this neighborhood, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers, Nina
Broker Associate
Cherry Creek Properties LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
It really isn't that difficult to advertise a property on Craig's List, your local newspaper or with a little more effort create a website for your property. My concern for you is what happens when you get a buyer? Do you feel comfortable negotiating or would you be concerned someone might try to take advantage of you?
Contracts to buy or sell real estate have become almost 20 pages...all with the intentions of protecting the public. If you think you can handle it...go for it. Have you ever read a contract?
Denise, when someone says "How do I even begin this process"...THAT raises a big red flag to me. I strongly suggest you discuss this with a (or several) local real estate agents and just be honest with them. You might find someone you trust and believe in to help you. It might cost you a few thousand dollars when you sell but it could save you EVERYTHING.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
To begin, just start advertising. Selling a home is a big undertaking. By the nature of your question, I would venture to say that you are new to this and need help. Hiring a real estate broker to list and sell your property sounds expensive; that is until you slip up on something simple that ends up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in fines from government agencies. Among other things, you need to know what disclosures are required by state and federal laws. When it comes to pricing and negotiating the sale alone, a good listing broker is well worth the money they are paid. I am available to help. The important thing to keep in mind is, if you are new to this (as your question indicates), you should hire a Realtor to help you through this first transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
it looks like you are flipping houses, so first of all you'll have to come up with a good reason to put your house back on yhe market so quickly. Customers usually ask this kind of question. Second of all get in touch with a real estate agent who farm your area. He or she is the one who know the best your neighborhood and may already have potential client for your house.
Very easy, go on a real estate website, check out houses for sale in your area and note the agent's name which shows up the most.......good hunting
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
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