For Sale By Owner – The Smart Choice for Independent Sellers

For Sale By Owner is one of the fastest-growing segments of the real estate industry. Also abbreviated as FSBO, this refers to the practice of selling property without the intervention of a broker. Some FSBO sellers do use limited services of a real estate broker for getting their homes listed with a Multiple Listing Service. With the right research and marketing efforts, you can sell your home FSBO and avoid costly broker fees. These real estate broker fees can range between 5% and 10% of the final home price. FSBO selling allows the home owner greater control over the sales and marketing process and brings in buyers who might not be attracted by ordinary real estate listings. Because FSBO sellers are often willing to make arrangements with a buyer, such as a rent to own situation, buyers can negotiate directly with the owner. For Sale By Owner selling accounted for 12-13% of the properties sold in 2005 and 2006.

Marketing your FSBO property is an important part of the selling process. Buyers can’t come to see your house if they don’t know it’s there. The simplest and least expensive method is the yard sign. In areas with hot real estate markets, a yard sign can be enough to bring buyers to your door. Even in slower markets, signs can bring in interested parties in your immediate area.

Next up from the yard sign is the classified ad. This is still inexpensive, and allows you to reach a large number of people easily. Local papers are read by many prospective customers every week. A short ad that runs multiple times will reach more people than a long ad run only a few times. You can announce open houses and other such events with a classified ad, also.

Brochures and bulletin board ads are other good ways to get your house noticed. With the help of a camera and computer, you can produce announcements about your FSBO sale. Many public buildings and workplaces will allow posting of these ads. You can also make brochures available in a container attached to your yard sign. Be sure to keep a few at home so that visitors can remember important information about the house that they have come to see. Home shoppers see many houses in a day, so having a brochure could be the thing that makes your FSBO property stick in their minds and eventually sell.

Another great way to market your For Sale By Owner property is through Internet FSBO sites. These sites allow you to put up details and photos of your house, including dates for open houses and other events. A site like FSBOmarketing.com or one found through a search engine can help you reach a wide range of browsers. Many people in the real estate market now start their house hunt online with a FSBO site. For a small fee, these web sites can improve your exposure dramatically. If you’re comfortable with the sales and negotiating processes, there is no reason at all that you should pay a Realtor to do things that you could very well accomplish on your own. Hot real estate markets can make real estate agents almost irrelevant.

Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, are factory-produced homes that can be transported anywhere and installed at a selected site with or without a permanent foundation. Manufactured homes have revolutionized the American housing market by providing affordability and flexibility to potential buyers.

During the past few years, nearly 1 out of 3 new homes sold has been a manufactured home. With increasing home costs, many buyers prefer manufactured homes, which meet basic housing needs at a lower price. Instead of constructing a house in 3 to 5 months from scratch, you can get a ready home within 5 to 10 days. Today, manufactured homes are spacious, well-designed and affordable. The main advantage is that these homes are thoroughly inspected to meet the construction standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the design, energy efficiency, durability, strength, and fire resistance protocols.

Manufactured home dealers provide manufactured homes that fit almost everyone?s tastes and pocket. Some are designed for those on a limited budget. Other models offer luxurious features at a higher price. The home can be a single-section unit or a large multi-section unit. You have the option of choosing from a wide variety of home styles. There are more than a hundred and fifty companies dealing with manufactured homes and more than four hundred factories located throughout the United States which manufacture them.

When buying a manufactured home, you have to keep the prices in mind. The sales price for a new manufactured home ranges from under $25,000 for a single-section home with basic features to prices in excess of $100,000 for a deluxe multi-section home. Depending on the location and excluding the cost of land, construction cost per square foot for a new manufactured home averages anywhere from 10 to 35 percent less than a comparable site-built home. A manufactured home is the answer if you are looking for a first home, a larger home for your growing family, or the perfect retirement home.

How to Sell a House: Tips From Real Estate Agents

With the country’s declining real estate market, a home seller can easily sell a house if they lower the price. But for others who can’t afford to lower their asking price, it is best to find other ways to make their home more attractive.

Real estate agents are familiar with the trends in the industry. They are also very knowledgeable about selling homes and choosing the right homes. For this reason, we have come up with a list of house selling tips from successful real estate agents.

Make The House Stand Out From The Competition

It is very important for the property to attract potential buyers. Home sellers should consider custom designs or adding a few design touches, such as improving the landscape, or updating the roof and windows. These simple touches can have significant impact in improving the home’s aesthetics. It is important to avoid over-improving the house. For instance, renovating the bathroom and kitchen may not always pay.

Clean The Clutter

Before listing the property in the market, it is crucial to first clean the clutter from the home. Clutter will turn off potential buyers because they cannot picture themselves living in the house. As a tip, consider removing a few unnecessary furniture pieces to make the space look bigger. You should also keep family pictures and other personal items into storage so that potential buyers can imagine themselves staying in the house.

Staging the house is very important. You may want to hire a professional for the job. This may cost additional expense but it will be worth it. Real estate agents believe that a professional stager can make the home more attractive and salable.

The Price Is Right

No matter how you stage your house or how much space you renovated, it is very important to price the property appropriately. An agent can help you determine the right price for your property. You can also hire a property appraiser for the job. It doesn’t matter whether you are offering the lowest price in the neighborhood, especially if your home is very appealing and if you have made significant improvements to your home. It is important, however, that the listing price will not be so far-fetched with the other comparable homes in the market.

Selling a house in a slow real estate market will require patience and perseverance. Make sure that the house is in good condition and hire a credible agent to help you sell the house faster. Following these tips will help increase your chances of getting a good deal for your property.

Fashion Do’s and Don’ts When House Hunting

Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home offers homebuyers fashion home runs and strikeouts when shopping for a home. It might not be obvious that what you wear when house hunting can impact what you pay for a home. Years of showing homes and introducing prospective buyers to home sellers, the way buyers project themselves fashion-wise makes a big impression.

First impressions by real estate agents and home sellers are all they have when assessing potential buyers. If you appear well-groomed, under-stated and wear home price-range-appropriate clothes you could pay less than the tattooed, big-hair, over-jeweled and torn-blue jean buyer your in competition with in multiple-offers for the same home. Buying a home is a business transaction, think business wear when shopping for a home.

Women

-Pants are fine, but make sure they’re not low riders.

-Ditch the tee shirts, tank and tube tops. House hunting is not a vacation.

-Skirts are great. Minis send the wrong message.

-Wear comfortable but presentable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking, climbing up stairs and in and out of transportation.

-Forget high-heels. Spiked heels on shoes can easily dent bamboo and other softer wood floors. Plus if you got into the yard to take a look at the roof you might end up aerating the lawn.

-Leave the animal prints for when you’re out to a nightclub. Busy or fussy fashion looks can be distracting and not on everyone’s top ten fashion list.

-Simple jewelry and limited amounts accent your business perspective. Omit the” bling” otherwise you might end up paying more for a home, because the sellers think you can afford it.

-Simplify make-up, hair and manicure styles to appeal to the majority of people. You’re not going to get a better deal because the sellers love your fabulous acrylic nails.

-No fur coats, ever. It’s a political and extravagant statement that could cost you a home or an additional $10,000.

-No low cut or revealing looks. Very rarely do homebuyers get a discount for sex.

Men

-Verify shoe soles aren’t caked with mud before you enter any open house. Many a homebuyer never made it to the kitchen after walking across freshly cleaned carpet with dirty shoes.

-No jogging, gym-wear, bike shorts or swimsuits. Unless, you’re testing the workout facilities in a condominium building on your second visit.

-Business-casual pants are best, but if you must wear jeans, make sure they’re clean and not ripped.

-Open collar shirts work fine, but realty agents and home sellers don’t need to see your buffed or not so buffed chest or four gold chains.

-Think twice about sporting more than one earring. If we were all the same life would be boring.

-Omit muscle and tee shirts and no underwear elastic waistbands displayed please. You might turn Ms. home seller on, but Mr. home seller might not appreciate it.

-Limit tattoo exposure, they’re the rage, but not for everyone. Ditto the ladies on this one.

-Wear simple patterned shirts with matching plain pants. Remember that red denotes power.

-Don’t over-dress to impress. Leave the cuff links and French cuffed shirts at home.

Both

-Coffee “go-cups” aren’t a fashion accessory. Coffee is easily spilled on carpets when walking up stairs or opening closets and cabinets when touring properties.

-Baseball caps are for bad hair days. Plus they send the wrong negotiating message when purchasing the largest asset you’ll own.

-Wet umbrellas should be parked outside the front door, not on hardwood floors or entry tables and chairs.

-Wear slip on shoes when touring open houses. You might be asked to remove your shoes out of cultural respect to the owner, inclement weather or newly installed floor coverings.

-If you don’t want to take off your shoes buy and carry blue disposable surgical booties-or ask your agent for a pair.

-You must wear socks or stockings. No sandals, period. If you are asked to remove your shoes, owners don’t necessarily want your bare feet on their floors.

-Cell phones. If you need to make or receive a call go to a place where you won’t disturb others at the open house. Never negotiate a home purchase contract on a different property contract while your viewing a home.

-Carry bicycle and motorcycle helmets with you. Ask before your park them on any surface.

-Shorts are okay if they are close to knee length. No torn or overly tight styles.

-Dress for the season. Don’t wear shorts in snow or black wool in August, even if it is your best house-hunting outfit.

-Remove your sunglasses when inside buildings. People expect some eye contact.

-Go easy on the perfume. Many people have allergies to it today and they could be the owners of the house you fell in love with.

-Put cigarettes, cigars and pipes out of view. They’re not exactly a popular fashion or political statement in 2006.

Children

-Tops, pants, shoes and socks required.

-Diapers are not fashion.

Home Sellers! Are You Guilty of the 7 Sins of Home Selling?

Greed: This one is a biggie. It was easy in a seller’s market to get in touch with your greedy side. Feeling like Midas, anything you asked for from a buyer turned to gold in your hands. Drunk with that kind of power, buyers were often left feeling helpless to comply if they wanted your home. In a balanced market, or even in a buyer’s market, many sellers have not kicked the greed habit. Ironically, greed is costing those sellers money. Ask any real estate agent and they will tell you stories of deals that were blown because of a $300.00 item that could not be agreed upon. No longer with the advantage, many sellers are refusing to make any concessions if it means less money in their pockets, but now the buyer’s are free to move along to the next house on their list. A seller may balk at fixing a $500.00 item in the house, or providing an inexpensive home warranty, but when the buyer moves along to an accommodating seller, the greedy seller is left to wait for another buyer – all the while making mortgage payments on the house they can’t sell. Bad move.

Unrealistic Expectations: Anyone who has sold a home in a seller’s market is going to have a hard time grasping a buyer’s market. If you want to sell your house, you have to forget everything you remember about selling your house in the past. Odds are that your home will not sell in a week, nor will you receive multiple offers. Unrealistic expectations are the foundation of blame and resentment, and they keep you from selling your home. The first few weeks of having your home on the market is filled with hope, anxiety, and irrational exuberance. It’s completely normal to believe that your home is somehow more special than the others on the market, and yours will be the exception to the tough market. Once it becomes clear that the bidding war has not materialized, and your home still sits along with the others, a home seller with unrealistic expectations is crushed. Stay positive about your home, but don’t blind yourself to what selling it will entail. A home seller with a realistic view of what it takes to sell a house in a balanced or buyer’s market, can easily adapt to changing market conditions, use constructive feedback to improve their home, and in return sell their home faster.

Pride: If you really want to sell your home, make the promise right now that you will never utter the following phrase: “I’m going to send that buyer a message.” If you enjoy sending messages, then perhaps you could raise carrier pigeons. If you want to sell your home, drop that phrase from your vocabulary. The message that sellers send, when they respond to buyers that way is “I don’t want to sell my house to you. You have insulted me.” In the end, all you are left with is your pride, and that house that just will not sell. As an active Ebayer, I have never witnessed a transaction in which the seller of an item got indignant at the lowest bidder. It’s all business. Divorce your emotions from the home selling process, and you have an advantage over the angry sellers in your area, because the buyers that they turn way with their “messages”, are going to buy a home – just not theirs! The message to send to a buyer should be in the form of a counter-offer. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Impatience: You want this home sold. Now! The impatient seller can’t understand why their home hasn’t sold in the first week. By the third week on the market, the impatient home seller is fuming, and wondering how to get out of the listing agreement. Are you an impatient home seller? If you’ve chosen your real estate agent carefully, and believed when you signed the listing agreement that they are up to the job, then sit back and let the market work. The impatient seller calls their agent more than once a day for updates, even if there has been no activity on the house. The question, “why isn’t it selling?” is regularly pleaded over the phone. Are you, the impatient seller, doing everything you need to do to get your home sold? Have you done the things your agent suggested to get your home in selling condition? Did you really listen to the comparable pricing data your agent provided you? Or did you have a set price in your mind and refused to move from it when listing the home? The impatient seller can create an enormous amount of stress for everyone involved in selling the home, and it’s totally avoidable. In the end, the timing of the sale of your home will be a combination of price, condition, and luck. No amount of impatience is going to change that.

Ignoring the market: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is disaster for a home seller. Yes, we know that your neighbor sold their home for the same price you want for your home, but that was four months ago. The residential real estate market is more fluid than ever now. Educate yourself about current market conditions, not last year’s market, not even last month’s market. A home seller who ignores the market will interview a few real estate agents, read the data provided by the agent, then ignore the data and list with the agent that gives them the least argument about pricing their home unrealistically. Real estate agents do not price homes, sellers do. The agents will provide valuable information and input to help a seller choose a price. Some agents will refuse to take a listing if they feel the seller is unrealistic about pricing, but many others will take the listing with the caveat that the seller be open to reducing the price later. With so many other properties on the market, an overpriced home will sit there like a deli tray at a gathering of vegetarians. Then, the seller will be chasing the market by lowering the price after watching the prices around them fall. Eventually, the house may sell, but the price will be determined by the market, as it always is. If you are guilty of ignoring the market, you can save yourself a lot of time and headache by scheduling a meeting with your real estate agent to go over the current sales data for your home, and setting a realistic price, now.

Stubbornness: When selling your home it’s best to imagine yourself as a supple tree gently swaying with the wind, instead of a donkey with its heels dug solidly into the dirt resisting all attempts to be budged. Stubbornness can show up in many situations. When you are contacted to schedule a showing, do you leave the house? Though it’s a fact that your home has a better chance of selling if you are not there for the showing, do you refuse to be inconvenienced by having to leave? You may tell yourself that the buyers can work around your schedule. They won’t. The chance for a sale often vanishes because a buyer feels uncomfortable with the homeowner in the house, and cannot freely assess the house. Expect to be inconvenienced when you sell your home. It’s part of the process.

Being Uncooperative: Are you a partner with your real estate agent when it comes to getting your home sold? Do you resist all suggestions by your real estate agent to make changes to your home that will help it sell faster? I’ve had this conversation with home sellers many times. Is it fair that people judge your home based on the things that are not going to be in it when you move out? No, probably not. Do buyers judge your home based on those things? Absolutely. I’ve seen buyers lose their enthusiasm for a home based on a decorating theme that didn’t suit them. No matter how many times their real estate agent might remind them that they can decorate in their own style, it’s too late. The home is now referred to as the “duck home”, or the “doll home”, or the “pink home.” Every house gets a nickname when buyers are shopping. Don’t let your refusal to cooperate stop your home from being the “perfect home.”

The sale of your home requires the cooperation of countless people, many of whom you’ll never meet. The key word here is “cooperation.” We, as home sellers, expect those that are working to complete our sales transaction to be cooperative. What about you, the home seller? Are you willing to meet the buyer halfway in negations? Are you willing to work within someone else’s schedule to get something signed? Remember, you may be selling a property, but in the end, real estate is about humans. Be a good one.