Are you tired of having to pay commissions to real estate agents when you sell your house in Tampa, FL?
Did you know that it's possible to sell your house on your own and keep all the profits for yourself?
How to sell a house by owner in Florida may appear challenging at first. But with the right information and tools, it can turn out to be a financially rewarding venture.
Don't want to read the entire article, watch my YouTube video on How To Sell Your Home Without A Realtor here.
Tampa real estate agents are often considered the experts when it comes to selling a house.
We possess the expertise, knowledge, and networks required to market your property and negotiate deals on your behalf.
Nevertheless, our services come at a price, typically in the form of a commission.
Naturally, an increasing number of homeowners are choosing to sell their homes themselves to avoid these costs and have control over the selling process.
If you're thinking about selling your house without the assistance of a Tampa real estate agent, then it's essential to grasp the intricacies of the process.
TAMPA HOUSING MARKET ON THE REBOUND
Tampa's housing inventory levels are on the rise, to the tune of 3.7 months, up 32.1% year over year. Home prices have even appreciated by 3.3%. (Nov 2023)
While real estate agents might not readily share these details, I will!
There are strategies and techniques you can utilize to sell your house on your own.
I'm gonna uncover the hidden, inside secrets that real estate agents won't tell you about selling your house by owner.
By equipping yourself with this knowledge you'll be able to navigate the world of real estate and maximize your profits.
What Is For Sale By Owner?
Selling your home as a FSBO (pronounced fizbo) is a common acronym used between real estate agents.
Essentially, FSBO (for sale by owner) is a selling strategy where the homeowner takes on all responsibilities typically handled by a real estate agent.
This means that the homeowner handles everything from listing the property to negotiating with buyers to closing and everything in between...more on that below.
The idea behind FSBO is rooted in the desire for independence and financial savings.
Choosing this method, homeowners can usually avoid paying commission fees to real estate agents...which usually ranges from 5% to 6% of the sale price.
DID You know?
commissions are negotiable
Just because an agent quotes a certain commission fee, usually a percent, that does not mean you have to agree to it. You are able to negotiate the fee.
This can result in cost savings, especially in markets where property values are going up, like Tampa, FL.
However, selling your home as a FSBO goes beyond saving money. It also provides control over the entire selling process.
Homeowners who opt for this approach have the freedom to set their prices, develop their own marketing strategies, schedule showings at their convenience, and directly negotiate with buyers.
This hands-on approach is particularly appealing to those who want personal involvement or have unique properties that require special marketing tactics.
Although FSBO offers advantages it's essential to note that it may not be suitable, for everyone.
It takes loads amount of time dedication and understanding of the real estate profession.
Homeowners must be ready to manage tasks ranging from conducting market research and handling documentation to preparing the property for sale promoting it and engaging in negotiations, with prospective buyers.
Pros of selling FSBO
Opting to sell your house without a real estate agent certainly has its advantages - ones that are overlooked in the traditional selling process.
Although it may appear overwhelming to take on the role of the seller without professional assistance, there are several distinct benefits to consider.
This is the number one reason that homeowners opt to sell their home on their own.
No doubt that the financial savings from not having to pay a real estate agent's commission is a huge motivator.
If you factor that agent fees commonly floated is 5% - 6%, then this can reduce the profit from the sale of your home.
But with FSBO, you can keep a larger portion of the sale price.
Control Over Your Listing
FSBO provides you with autonomy over your listing.
You have the freedom to determine the pricing of your home, devise marketing strategies, and schedule showings at the most opportune times.
This level of control gives FSBO's a more unique and individualized approach to selling their home.
You Can Skip the Home Makeover
When selling through an agent, there's often pressure to invest in home makeovers to make the property more appealing.
Selling your home by owner gives you the flexibility to decide whether such investments are worthwhile, potentially saving considerable amounts of money and effort.
Control Over Your Showing Schedule
As agents, we like the flexibility of showings, with minimal restrictions.
That gives us a higher probability of increasing buyer foot traffic.
On the other hand, with FSBO, you have the autonomy to schedule showings at times that are convenient for you, without having to reason with agents.
This can be particularly advantageous for sellers with busy schedules or those living in the home during the selling process.
You Can Still List Your Home on the MLS
You may not know this, but Zillow is NOT the only place to list your home for sale.
Let me let you in on a little secret...
As a home seller, you have the option to list your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) through a flat fee service.
FSBO Homes Can Sell Faster
In some cases, FSBO homes can sell faster than those listed with an agent.
This is often due to the direct communication between the seller and potential buyers, streamlining the negotiation and decision-making process.
Less Stress from Open Houses and Showings
Don't like the idea of hoards of strangers walking throughout your home?
FSBO sellers have the choice to forgo the stress and intrusion of open houses and frequent showings.
This can lead to a more relaxed and controlled selling experience, as you can choose to only show the home to serious, pre-qualified buyers.
What are seller closing closts?
get the breakdown of what homeowners are expected to pay when selling their home.
Cons of selling FSBO
Although there are advantages to selling a house by owner, it's also crucial to take the potential disadvantages into account.
Selling a property without the help of a REALTOR® can be a time consuming process that demands extensive knowledge and effort.
Below is my list of what I believe are the downsides to selling your home on your own.
Lower Sales Price
According the 2023 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers study, FSBO homes sold at a median of $310,000 in 2022, compared to agent-assisted homes at $405,000.
That's a 30.6% difference!
I'm sure this can be attributed factors like:
- lack of a professional pricing strategy
- limited market exposure
- and negotiation skills
Marketing Takes Time and Money
On the subject of limited marketing exposure, having an effective marketing plan is crucial for a successful sale.
This can be both, time-consuming and costly.
Listing your home on Zillow, for example, is not a marketing strategy. It's only one fraction of it.
In other words, one major disadvantage of selling your home on your own means that you're responsible for all marketing efforts.
This includes things like:
- creating attractive listing descriptions
- online advertising on multiple fronts
- managing the social platforms
- staging your home
- reaching out to photographers/videographers
- writing a blog
...and the list goes on and on...all of which can be a daunting task for those without experience.
Managing a Listing is Labor-Intensive
Are you ready to manage all the parts of a property listing? Here's what I mean by managing a listing:
- answering the many daily calls from brokers/agents, potential buyers, flippers
- scheduling showings
- scheduling a photo/video shoot
- continuous communication with potential buyers and/or agents
- feedback management
- negotiating with agents and/or buyers
- dealing with home inspectors and their reports
Managing a listing as a FSBO seller is quite demanding and time consuming.
It involves investing an amount of effort and expertise, in the real estate field.
Susceptibility to Mistakes
Sellers who choose to sell their property without a real estate realtor might be more susceptible to making procedural errors.
Some mistakes to be mindful of:
- Pricing errors
- Overlooking Legal Requirements
- Inadequate Contract Knowledge
- Neglecting Necessary Paperwork
- Marketing Missteps
- Misjudging Buyer Qualifications
- Failing to Stage Effectively
- Inadequate Negotiation Skills
- Ignoring Property Inspection Insights
- Timing the market incorrectly
These mistakes can have significant implications on the sale process, resulting in complications and financial setbacks.
Potential Commission to Buyer's Agent
Although FSBO's can save on listing fees, they might still be responsible for paying a commission to the agent representing the buyer.
According to NAR, 89% of buyers use an agent to buy their home.
This could potentially diminish the advantages of the sale, particularly if the commission rate is substantial.
DID You know?
Listing Agents Share their fees with other brokers?
Section 9 of the listing agreement discloses that the listing agent cooperates with other brokers. The fee paid to cooperating brokers is taken from the overall fee agreed to between the seller and listing agent.
FSBO Homes Tend to Sell for Less
Statistically speaking, FSBO homes tend to sell for less than homes sold by real estate agents.
As I mentioned earlier, homes sold by owner sell for 30.6% less.
For those who have not sold homes before, the sales process can be overwhelming.
There are many aspects to selling a home, as you can see.
Great real estate agents are not only qualified sales professionals, but also great at marketing, communication, negotiation and timeline management.
You, as a home seller, will have to learn all those skills.
There's going to be a lot of learn-as-you-go.
The result could be a longer than usual sales process.
Photos and Staging are Your Responsibility
Presenting your home in the best possible light is crucial...even downright critical...for attracting buyers.
Sellers will need to take care of staging and professional photography themselves, which can be challenging without the right skills and resources.
Personal Safety Concerns
There was a study done by the NAR's 2023 Safety Residential Report. It stated that 75,000 real estate agents reported being victim of a crime in 2023.
Moreover, 7% of them happened during an open house or a showing.
To minimize these incidents, sellers are burdened with the task of screening potential home buyers.
Handling Negotiations Yourself
Let's be real for one moment.
Here's what potential buyers are thinking when they see homeowners selling a home without a Realtor...
"bet I can get a deal on this."
Amateur home sellers must be prepared to handle negotiations themselves.
The process can be intimidating and challenging, especially in complex or high-stakes situations.
Worse, Zillow says that 89% of buyers work with an agent. It's one thing to negotiate with a potential buyer one on one.
It's another ball game when sellers negotiate with a buyer's agent. Sellers can be at a disadvantage.
In summary, while selling a house by owner offers autonomy and potential financial savings, it also comes with its own set of challenges.
From the risk of lower sale prices to the demands of managing the sale process, FSBO requires careful consideration and preparation.
Steps to selling a house without a Realtor
Selling your house without a realtor, while challenging, can be a rewarding experience, if done correctly.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to navigate the FSBO process:
1. Find the Best Time to Sell
Knowing when to sell your house by owner is important. I understand that one's circumstances can dictate when you put your home on the market.
Barring that though, data shows that the Tampa market is most active during May and June.
Check out this graph. It shows the activity of CLOSINGS is strongest in May and June, although activity picks up in March.
Mind you, the chart shows closings, not when homes are listed.
So, in order of your home to close in that time period, you'll want to consider putting your home on the market a month or two earlier.
Also, you'll want to factor in the length of time it's taking for homes in your neighborhood to sell (days on market).
2. Consider Using an Attorney
One thing that real estate agents cannot do...and should not do...is interpret legal contracts.
We can get into a lot of trouble for doing so because it puts us in a position of interpreting law, which is only left for lawyers.
At any rate, hiring a real estate attorney is advisable, even if you were to work with a real estate agent.
They can help you navigate the complex legal paperwork and ensure compliance with local regulations, providing peace of mind throughout the process.
3. Prepare the Required Legal Disclosures
On the topic of legal documents, there are a few documents and disclosures you'll need to fill out and complete.
If you live in an HOA community, for example, you're required to complete an HOA disclosure.
Or, if your home was built prior to 1978, then you'll need to fill out the lead-based paint disclosure.
Other documents to be aware of:
- Seller's property disclosure (mandatory)
- CDD disclosure
- Condo rider
- Purchase agreement
If you're selling a condo, be extra careful. You may need to provide the buyer additional documents, like the the association's annual budget and restrictive covenants.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list by any means. Talk to your attorney and/or agent for that.
4. Research Your Home's Market Value
Ok. Now that we've got the prerequisites out of the way, it's time to get busy.
There are a few ways to get the market value of your home.
Get an AVM
I talked about AVM's and how they work here.
The obvious ones to use are Zillow, Redfin, or Realtor.com.
These websites utilize automated valuation models (AVM) and provide estimated market values based on recent sales data, property characteristics, and market trends.
Request a CMA
Next on the list is to request a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent.
A CMA provides an in-depth analysis of recent sales, current listings, and market trends to determine a more accurate estimate.
Agents will access the MLS and pull comparables (aka - comps), giving you a pretty good indication of the price range you may sell your home for.
Get an Appraisal
Another viable option is to consider hiring a professional appraiser.
The appraiser will walk your home, analyze local market trends, review recent comps, and assess specific details of your home to estimate its value.
An appraiser will offer an impartial and unbiased assessment, considering factors like:
- the state of your house,
- any improvements or remodeling done, and
- the current market conditions in your local area.
By getting an appraisal, you can steer clear of setting your home's price too high or too low, thereby increasing the likelihood of a successful sale.
It's also important to note that even if you have your own appraisal done, the buyer and their lender will likely require a new appraisal as part of the contract process.
5. Set a Competitive Listing Price
Now that you have a good idea of what to price your home, resist the temptation to set it higher than what the market is telling you.
I get it...as someone wanting to sell a house by owner, you feel that your home is worth more because of this or that.
Remember, it's the market that will dictate what your home will sell for.
More importantly, the longer your home sits on the market, the higher the chance of getting low ball offers.
Worse, and depending on market timing, you may miss your opportunity to sell your home.
Let me give you a quick example...
I listed a single family home in a very beautiful waterfront community.
The home itself was well taken care of. The only obvious issue was that the interior was a bit dated and needed minor work.
Homes sold in the neighborhood had upgraded kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
I recommended listing the home between $815k-$850k (low and high end).
The owner felt his home was worth a lot more and so we listed at $915k...at the end of summer.
The listing was priced 7.6% HIGHER than the HIGH end of what the market was telling us.
Although I advised otherwise, I represent the seller, so I am obligated to act accordingly.
Now, I still marketed the living mess out of it.
Nevertheless, we had limited showings...a quick indication of a problem.
Meanwhile, mortgage interest rates continued to go up...and up...and up.
Rates on July 27, 2023 were 6.81% and peaked on Oct 26, 2023 to 7.79%.
So, I had a few discussions with the owners and made price adjustments along the way.
Long story short, it wasn't until we priced it at $800k, a little over 2 months later, did we finally get it sold.
Ultimately, setting a listing price that is realistic and appealing, you'll increase the likelihood of a faster sale...one that is much closer to your initial asking price.
6. Market Your Tampa Property
Your job when selling your home without a realtor is to maximize the exposure of your listing in the shortest time possible.
Having a solid marketing plan is crucial in attracting buyers and their agents.
It's important to highlight the features and advantages of your property to increase its visibility and appeal in the market.
To help you do that, this section is dedicated on how to sell your house by owner and how you can effectively promote your property to reach potential buyers.
Prepare Your Tampa Home for Sale
To get your home ready for sale, you'll need to tackle a few tasks around the house.
Start by giving your house a deep cleaning. Make sure to cover every nook and cranny.
Next, declutter the space to create a spacious feel that will appeal to potential buyers.
It's also crucial to stage the home in a way that showcases its potential.
As you prepare for showings, make sure you have a plan in place for your pets so they don't cause any disruptions or damage.
Brightening up each room with lighting will create a warm and inviting atmosphere that buyers will love.
Don't forget about the exterior!
Spruce up your landscaping.
Consider giving the exterior a coat of paint if needed and add welcoming touches like a doormat or potted plants to boost curb appeal.
Finally, prioritize security by storing away any valuables before showings.
In short, focus on:
- curb appeal
Hire a Professional Photographer
I cringe each time I see real estate "professionals" use their smartphones to take pictures of listings.
What a disservice!
See the picture above? It didn't take me long at all to find them in the MLS. To keep it simple, I found two separate vacant homes, focused on the kitchen, and both selling in the mid $400k.
Which one would you want potential buyers to be see online?
I feel really bad for the homeowners. They deserve better service.
Never underestimate the power of proper visuals.
The first touch point with potential buyers is online. What are your images conveying?
That's why investing in professional photography can greatly benefit sellers.
Professional real estate photographers have the experience, skills and equipment needed to capture your property in its best light, showcasing its features and creating a strong first impression for potential buyers.
Craft an engaging listing description
The purpose of creating a compelling listing description is to grab the buyer's attention. What better way to do that than to tell a story, right?
Not only that, a well-written description has the power to paint a vivid picture of your home, enticing buyers with its unique features and potential.
Keep in mind, your story should evoke emotion and create a connection with potential buyers.
Make them envision themselves living in the space.
Finally, what action do you want buyers to take once they finish reading? Do you want them to call, text, email, etc? Be specific.
In marketing, we call this a CTA or Call to Action.
List Your Home with a Flat Fee MLS Service
The one major advantage that real estate agents had was exclusive MLS access.
Today, that's no longer the case.
The MLS is utilized by many online real estate portals that you're familiar with - Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, for example.
The balance of power has shifted.
Those who want to sell their home without a realtor are now able to do that.
For sale by owners now have the ability to access the power of the MLS.
Here are a few ways to do that.
1. Hire a discount broker
Discount brokers typically provide the essential services needed to buy or sell a home at a discount.
It includes listing your property on the MLS, marketing the home, handling negotiations, and assisting with paperwork.
Redfin, for example, is a discount broker.
Keep in mind though, you get what you pay for.
2. Flat listing fee
A flat fee listing service allows for sale by owners to pay a fixed rate for listing their property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
It's a cost option, especially beneficial, for sellers who prefer to sell their property without hiring a traditional real estate agent.
DID You know?
Sellers can get their home listed on the MLS without realtor assistance?
Real estate agents are able to list a home on the MLS for sellers who do not want the full range of services of a real estate agent. We call this a limited service agreement.
By opting for this service they can gain market exposure while saving on commission fees that would typically be paid to a service real estate agent.
A couple of flat fee MLS service providers include Houzeo.com and ISoldMyHouse.com.
However it's important to note that this service may have quite a few important limitations compared to what a full service agent can offer.
3. List your home on Zillow and Trulia
Another inexpensive option of listing your home for sale is to list your home on Zillow.
Since Zillow owns Trulia, it'll get pushed there as well.
Oh...one detail I forgot to mention in the listing description section above...
Make sure to including keywords like FSBO, Zillow, Trulia, and for sale by owner in your listing.
You can increase the visibility of your property to potential buyers who are specifically looking for FSBO properties.
4. List on free For Sale By Owner sites
There are a couple of other options at your disposal when selling your home without a realtor.
This includes sites like:
- Facebook Marketplace
I recommend listing on all the above sites when you want to sell your home without an agent.
Distribute Signs and Initiate Online Ads
Using the pictures and videos from your professional photographer, you'll want to create a few pieces of collateral.
By collateral, I refer to all things, digital or printed, that you'll use to promote your Tampa, FL home for sale.
You're gonna want to create designs for your:
- for sale sign (yard)
- social media posts
- social media ads
Once you've finalized the designs/content of the signs and ads, it's time to distribute them.
First, place your sign in the yard (assuming there are no restrictions).
Next, take to social media. Post on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Ask your friends to comment and then share your post.
If you have a Facebook community page, let your neighbors know there.
Here's a quick story...
A neighbor of mine was selling their home and wanted to sell their home by owner before working with an agent.
He let the community know that he was selling in our community Facebook page. Luckily, one neighbor had a friend who wanted to move to this area...
The rest is history.
Statistically speaking, only 4% of buyers found and bought a home through an open house.
But, I am a testament that it can work.
In 2022, I had a listing where the buyer backed out of a sale one hour before the scheduled closing. One Hour!
Needless to say, the sellers were not happy.
Then, as if things couldn't get any worse, interest rates went up...like a lot up.
Nothing's worse that having a deal fall apart and having to start all over with marketing.
Part of my plan was to hold open houses again.
Mind you, when I do open houses, I go all out.
I'll place close to 20 yard signs in high traffic areas and promote the open house a few days earlier on social media.
In this particular case, I did have 3 or 4 offers come in during that time, but the offers came in below the first offer (the one where the deal fell thru).
So, sellers declined all of them because they felt they could get more.
In the meantime, there were a couple of closings of similar homes in the neighborhood that drove the comps down. Ouch!
Nevertheless, on a bright and sunny Saturday morning, I had a couple walk in, looking for a second home.
Guess you can me a statistic 🙂
7. Field Phone Calls and Schedule Tour Requests
Assuming you nailed all the prerequisites and marketing above, chances are you're going to get a few phone calls.
You can bet that agents will call you because 80%-90% of FSBO's decide to hire an agent within 30 days of listing their home.
There are buyers and/or their agents calling you, asking about the home and when they'll be able to view it.
As a seller, you need to be prepared to handle these requests promptly and effectively.
Along the way, you'll also get your share of tire kickers and lookie loos.
Fielding phone calls gives you the opportunity to gather information about the interested parties, including their contact details and preferred viewing times.
It's a good idea to use a Google calendar or spreadsheet to put this info in.
8. Follow Up with Potential Buyers
As a real estate professional, one of the main duties I make sure to do is follow up with all interested parties.
Because you've decided to sell your home on your own, this is an important task that you need to take on.
It's perfectly normal to feel curious about how buyers perceived your home.
Some potential buyers may be reluctant to share criticism with the owner.
So, it's crucial to ask questions in a manner that encourages honest feedback without making them uncomfortable.
9. Review Offers and Negotiate with the Buyer
Getting an offer on your Tampa home can give you a sense of accomplishment when selling by owner.
But, you're just getting started.
When evaluating offers from buyers, it's tempting to just look at the price being offered.
There are other factors you need to look at as well. These include:
- Dates - Closing and possession
- What's included in the sale?
- What's excluded in the sale?
Check with your attorney on what all this means.
Before you start any kind of negotiation, make sure to confirm the buyer's financials.
Confirm the Buyer’s Financials
I strongly suggest to ask for a buyer's pre-approval letter from his/her bank or mortgage lender.
Then, you may want to follow up with these follow up questions to the lender:
- confirm if the buyer is self-employed, salaried employee, working on commission, etc
- if they reviewed the buyer's tax returns for the last 2 years
- if buyer has enough cash to close
- has the buyer's loan been approved through underwriting or loan processor
That's not an exhaustive list. Nevertheless, it's a great way to ensure that the buyer has a high likelihood to close.
Whether working with a real estate professional of selling your home by owner, the negotiation process is the same.
Generally, you have 3 options. You can accept, decline, or counter the offer.
Needless to say, don't sign anything without consulting your attorney.
As previously stated, you're likely to negotiate on one, some or all of the following: price, terms, dates, inclusions/exclusions and contingencies.
The terms of the contract include things like earnest money, down payment, and whether the buyer is financing or paying cash.
Dates in the contract refer to closing date and possession date.
Inclusions and exclusions has something to do with what is/not included in the sale of the home (appliances, fixtures, etc).
Finally, look to see if the contract is contingent on things like: financing, needing to sell their home first, inspections, etc.***
***Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and anything you read here is not meant to provide legal advice of any kind. Please consult an attorney with regards to contract law and/or interpretation.
10. Manage Contract Timelines and Due Dates
Congratulations! You've accepted an offer and you're under contract.
From this point, it's very, very important to keep track of important dates and deadlines.
Though this is not an exhaustive list, definitely keep an eye on these different timelines:
- Closing date
- Financing contingency period
- Title commitment
- Delivery of condo and/or HOA documents
- Earnest money delivery
- Inspection period
The common timeline you may have heard of is the inspection period.
In this case, for example, it's important to keep track of how long the buyer has to get a home inspection done.
I personally use Google Calendar to keep track of showings, and contract timelines, like inspections, earnest deposits, and closing dates.
This allows for any necessary negotiations regarding repairs or potential issues that may arise from the inspection.
Due dates necessitates being organized and paying attention to the specifics.
It's essential to establish a system for monitoring these deadlines and guaranteeing their timely completion.
Neglecting management of these timelines could result in missed chances for negotiation or potential legal complications.
11. Schedule Inspection Appointments with the Buyer
On the subject of inspections...
If the buyer is proactive, they or their agent will pay for and schedule a home inspection immediately.
As a Tampa FSBO, your main job in this phase is to ensure the buyer and inspector have access to the property.
12. Renegotiate with the Buyer’s Agent Based on Inspection Findings
In my experience, I've seen my fair share of homeowners get furious in this phase.
After the buyer inspection, it's typical for buyers to engage in discussions with the seller regarding home repairs.
Depending on the inspection results, they may request that you address issues before finalizing the sale or propose a credit to offset repair expenses.
It's crucial to handle these negotiations with tact and be willing to compromise, if needed.
13. Navigate the Settlement Process and Close Your Home Sale
In this final phase of how to sell a house by owner, understand that working closely with a title company or your attorney is important in delivering a clear title.
I'll be focusing on working with title companies here.
The title company will ask for certain documents, so have them ready.
This typically includes obtaining copies of the title and deed, as well as any applicable homeowner's association covenants or restrictions.
It's also important to know the exact mortgage payoff amounts, which may be collected at closing.
The title company conducts a thorough examination of the property records to verify that there are no outstanding liens or any other legal issues that could hinder the transfer of ownership.
They also help facilitate the transfer of funds and documents between all parties involved in the transaction.
This process provides peace of mind for both the buyer and seller, knowing that they are entering into a legally sound agreement.
should you sell your home without an agent?
In summary, mastering the art of how to sell a house by owner a real in Florida requires dedication and research.
It also necessitates the willingness to take on the responsibilities of a real estate agent.
This guide has walked you through the various stages of the FSBO process, from understanding what it entails to navigating the intricacies of marketing, legal paperwork, and negotiations.
Selling your property without the help of a real estate agent can offer savings and a feeling of empowerment.
However, it's crucial to equally important to weigh and recognize the time, effort, and expertise required to make it across the finish line.
In the end, the choice to sell your house on your own should be made after taking into account your individual circumstances, the current market conditions and the resources available to you.
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FSBO sale Q&A — additional expert tips and insights
When learning how to sell a home by owner in Florida, many homeowners choose this option in order to save on commission fees and have control over the process.
Along the way, there are often questions and concerns that come up when pursuing a FSBO sale.
Below is a list of common questions and answers to help you sell your home on your own.
1. How Much Can You Realistically Save With FSBO?
Selling a home using the FSBO method can potentially result in cost savings, mainly avoiding the listing agent side fee.
The flip side to that though, there are expenses associated with selling a house by owner.
These expenses include items like:
- professional cleaning
- professional photography and video
- MLS listing fees
- legal and appraisal fees
- potentially paying a buyer's agent commission if the buyer is represented by an agent.
Although the idea of saving money is attractive, individuals who choose to sell their homes without a real estate agent often encounter difficulties and feelings of dissatisfaction.
For example, they may face challenges in figuring out the appropriate price for their home, which can ultimately result in a lower sale price.
Additionally, many people who opt for a "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) approach find it challenging to market and showcase their home leading to longer periods on the market.
Lastly, navigating the paperwork aspects of selling a home without professional guidance can be overwhelming.
Having said that, many Tampa homeowners had success selling their home without a realtor.
2. Is it safe to sell your house without a Realtor in Florida?
In my opinion, inviting strangers to your house bears some amount of risk.
I've mentioned above the number of times that, in 2023, 75,000 real estate professional were a victim of a crime.
So, selling a house without a realtor can pose potential risks for homeowners.
Without a realtor by your side, there's a lack of buyer screening, which could lead to dealing with unqualified or dishonest buyers.
Furthermore, fraud protection is limited, leaving homeowners vulnerable to potential scams or fraudulent transactions.
If you're wondering do you have to hire a real estate professional to sell your home, then the answer is no you do not.
3. What paperwork do I need to sell my house by owner?
In Florida, selling a house by owner requires several specific pieces of paperwork.
Among the documents you'll need include:
- Residential contract for sale purchase
- Seller disclosure form
- Property deed
- Repair and upgrade receipts
- Condo and/or HOA documents
- Lead-based paint disclosure (if home is built before 1978)
- Mortgage documents
- Home warranty information
4. What is the top mistake FSBO sellers make?
According to NAR, pricing their home appropriately is listed as the most difficult task when selling their home FSBO.
Overpricing can lead to a stagnant listing, while underpricing might result in financial loss.
Conducting a thorough market analysis or getting a professional appraisal can help set a competitive and fair listing price.
5. Does the seller need an attorney at closing in FL?
The short answer is that it is not legally required, but highly recommended.
In fact, even if homeowners decide to hire a real estate agent, it's advisable to hire an attorney.
6. Do you need a deed to sell a house in Tampa, Florida?
Yes, you need a deed to sell a house in Florida.
The deed is a legal document that transfers property ownership from the seller to the buyer.
It must be legally executed, witnessed, and notarized to be valid for the transfer of ownership.