The Benefits of a FSBO – For Sale by Owner – Home Sale

One of the most transparent benefits of an FSBO home sale to many home owners is that sticking that ‘For Sale By Owner’ sign in their front yard says that they might have some control over the selling of their home. However, what are the benefits of an FSBO home sale, and how do you go about doing it.

While not a ‘benefit’, one of the first things to remember when thinking about an FSBO home sale is that no matter where you are, the entire task can seem somewhat daunting and complicated. Adding to the complications is the fact that not only are there all kinds of legal forms required (if you have ever bought a home you know what I mean), but that requirements may vary from state to state. A California ‘for sale by owner’ home sale is probalby going to be different from a Texas FSBO transaction.

You might wonder that; if going the ‘for sale by owner’ route is so complicated and messy, why am I including this comment in an article for someone who is contemplating putting up their home in a ‘for sale by owner’ offering?

Well, let’s talk about those benefits.

1. The FSBO Kit – Despite the potential complexities, there are many companies which offer what could be called an FSBO kit. Depending upon the company, this kit will provide the homeowner with the FSBO legal forms, and hopefully some guidance on preparation and filing of the ‘for sale by owner’ documents.

However, be advised that an FSBO kit may range from simply the basic or most common forms needed with some instructions on how to fill them out and where to file them, to very complete FSBO kits which include ALL the legal forms needed, instructions on how to fill them out, where to file them, instructions on how to prepare your home for sale, how to advertise your home for sale effectively, and, in some cases, contact with a listing service which will help put the home out in front of prospective buyers.

2. Growing Public Acceptance of the FSBO Process – A few years ago, most buyers would have been wary of a home with an FSBO sign in the front yard. However, since more and more home owners have opted in for this type of home sale, not only are many more people actually looking for those signs, but an entire support industry seems to have sprung up to assist the homeowner who has decided to try the ‘for sale by owner’ route. Newspapers offer advertising packages and guidance, for example, and even some realtors have jumped on the bandwagon by offering assistance and guidance to the homeowner – for a fee, of course.

3. A Desire for Control of the Home Sale Process – I alluded to this above in the opening paragraph. Many people just want to have some control over the process and not feel that they are a pawn in the hands of the real estate agent.

Additionally, some people want to be involved in showing the house, explaining its values and even such simple things as ‘how nice the next door neighbor is’ to prospective buyers. Some people feel that this more personal approach may do more to sell the house than a realtor’s remark about how the owner mentioned that it was a nice neighborhood to live in.

4. Saving Real Estate Commissions and Fees – I saved this for last, just because I knew you wanted to see it first! Actually, I do not necessarily consider savings to be the main reason that ALL people choose to go with an FSBO home sale, but it is certainly a primary factor for a large percentage of home sellers. On the other hand, many of us simply believe that we don’t mind paying if we know what we are paying for. When that realtor walks off with a large commission, we often wonder what he or she did to earn it.

While ‘for sale by owner’ will certainly very often offer savings, ranging from small to large amounts, many of us are just happy to know where our money is going. While there is almost no concrete way to measure how much money is actually saved in an FSBO home sale, there will almost always be some savings, if the process is done correctly and efficiently.

For most, the FSBO home sale will be a rewarding experience if done properly. If you are not an experienced home seller, probably the best way to be successful is to do your homework and get your hands on the best FSBO kit you can find.

Donovan Baldwin is a freelance writer living in Central Texas, and is a University of West Florida alumnus (Accounting 1973). He is a member of Mensa and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions. However, his main pleasures have long been writing, nature, .and fitness. In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as health, fitness, yoga, writing, the environment, happiness, self improvement, and weight loss.

Good News for Owners – Sale of New Homes Down, but Existing Home Sales in Good Shape

Over the past months, we have all been inundated with projections on the housing market bubble — Will it burst? It is going to burst soon, be prepared! Sell Now! Buy Now! And the forecast differs depending upon the television channel you are listening to or the media article you are reading.

According to James Cooper of BusinessWeek magazine, the numbers point to a gradual slowdown of the market — not a sudden crash, as many have predicted. In his July 10, 2006, article, Cooper cites how different indicators for the housing market are up one week and down the next. Some homes for sale indicators decline, while others rise. Though it is difficult to accurately project the future of the housing market for the remainder of 2006, he is optimistic — in spite of all the noise that changes the market outlook on a daily basis.

Compared to last year’s peak numbers, the housing market is in decline for both new and existing homes for sale and the growth rate of prices continue to slow. Yet, the expected drop in sales has not been as bad as predicted, and the market collapse forecast has not occurred. The progressive slowdown is expected, however, to continue through the remainder of 2006.

The area of the homes for sale market that has been hit the hardest is the new single-family homes and existing condominiums and co-ops. Existing single-family homes for sale have faired the best with only a gradual decline in prices.

New home sales have fallen off sharply in 2006 and have the most volatile market indicators that cause the chaotic forecasts. There have been some ups and downs since the first of this year; however, new home sales are down overall by 10.9 percent since the end of 2005. Currently, builders have large inventories of new homes for sale that are expected to create further declines in both sales, prices and new construction starts for the future.

In May of 2006, the number of new homes for sale was up nearly 24 percent from last year for the same period. Median prices of new homes for sale were up by 5.1 percent for the same period but now have slowed drastically. With the average time to sell a new home being almost six months, builders are offering incentives to buyers, including helping with the closing costs, and are more willing to lower prices in order to sell off their inventories.

Condos and co-ops sales were off by 6.7 percent during the first half of 2006. The number of such homes for sale on the market has soared in the past year, gutting the market and bringing down prices and sales. The number of unsold units are up 73 percent.

The good news is for existing homeowners with homes for sale. This market is currently in good shape with both sales and prices holding up better than the new homes for sale market. Such sales have declined in seven out of the past nine months, but median prices are up 8.2 percent over the same period in 2005. According to Cooper, homeowners are not as willing to lower their prices as are builders, preferring to leave their homes on the market in order to find buyers willing to meet their price.

The bad news for owners of homes for sale is the number of existing homes currently being put on the market. In May of 2006, the number of existing homes for sale rose to 3.6 million, that’s one million more than in May of 2005. This is sure to begin affecting the existing homes for sale market. Additionally, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates soon that will affect mortgage rates for buyers. Right now is the best time to sell your home as buyers race to lock in current mortgage rates before the Federal Reserve takes action.

The predicted housing bubble crash is not expected in the near future. Consumer confidence is up by one point in June of 2006, according to the Conference Board’s index on consumer confidence, weighing in at 105.7. With good buyer confidence in the homes for sale market, a solid economy, and good labor markets, owners with homes for sale are still at a competitive advantage for now.