On the surface, selling a home seems like a fairly simple affair. All you need to do is put up a “for sale” sign, hold a few open houses, and cash the check when the first potential buyer comes through the front door, right? Unfortunately, few “for sale by owner” (FSBO) experiences are actually this neat and tidy.
The truth of the matter is that plenty of pitfalls and unforeseen mishaps can derail your ability to swiftly and efficiently get your home on the market and in front of interested buyers. In an effort to help those of you who plan on traveling down this path on your own, here’s a look at the five FSBO fails you can’t afford to make and how best to overcome these real estate traps.
Skipping Over the Home Inspection
The first fail that you need to avoid at all costs, according to Michele Lerner of Realtor.com, comes in the form of skipping over a home inspection before you list your house on the open market. It might not seem like that big of a deal initially, but failing to bring in an expert to check your house for problems and issues is an easy way to let aggravation and wasted time – especially during the negation process – enter your home selling experience.
This concept holds even more weight if your property is a little on the older side. Thankfully, the sooner you uncover and address these issues, the more likely you’ll be to get things in order – and handled within your set budget – before taking the home to market.
Failing to Give “Curb Appeal” Its Due
On the aesthetic side of this discussion, Lerner also notes that many private sellers don’t place enough emphasis on the notion of “curb appeal” during the sales process. Yes, having a great interior layout and pleasing visual experience throughout the home is a big deal.
However, if you’re not able to do things like keep the yard trimmed and touch up the paint on the outside of the house before listing this property, then don’t be surprised when a substantial amount of prospective buyers pass on by without ever stepping through your front door.
Not Understanding the Finer Points of Home Pricing
Conducting market analysis regarding sales prospects isn’t exactly easy; especially if this is your first time trying to sell a home. Unfortunately, failing to understand and accept this reality can lead to either an overpriced home that sits on the market for months on end, or a situation in which you leave a considerable amount of value on the table. A better course of action comes in the form of at least sitting down with a professional and gaining some legitimate perspective on the finer points of pricing a home in relation to the current Jacksonville real estate marketplace.
Showing Off a “Junky” Home
Once you get to the point of hosting open houses and prospective buyer visits, the experts over at Forbes magazine point out that the last thing you want to do is show off a junky home. Clutter is a distraction that takes away from the appeal of the home, so spend some time cleaning off the countertops, emptying out any over-packed closets, and tidying up your house in general.
Aside from creating a more inviting visitor experience, enacting this strategy is a free and easy way to make the home feel more spacious and expansive; two attributes that can generate a serious amount of equity and expedite the sales process significantly.
Not Opting for a Little Professional Guidance
Finally, don’t be afraid to bring in a realtor or another trusted advisor for a little professional guidance if you’re feeling swamped or overwhelmed. As the team from Forbes goes on to explain, traveling down the FSBO path isn’t always easy – or feasible – based on your current situation, so it’s okay to reach out for a helping hand and ensure that you get the most out of your home.
As you can see, there’s a lot more that goes into selling a home on your own than you might have initially expected. Fortunately, if you’re able to embrace this reality, and put to good use the rest of what you’ve learned here, then there’s no reason why you need to worry about joining the ranks of other FSBOs who succumbed to the aforementioned home selling mishaps, missteps, and outright fails.