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For Sale By Owners

FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

I have prepared this information to help you if you are planning to sell your home yourself.

The price is the most important factor affecting how quickly your house will sell.  90% of any great marketing plan is pricing your home in the right range. The price of your home should be based on the market value of homes, similar to yours, that have recently sold in your area.

There are numerous ways for you to determine your asking price:

  • Check out homes for sale in your area that are similar (in terms of size, features, yard, etc). Visit their open houses and collect their feature sheets. You can also compare your property to property listed on the MLS by visiting http://www.mls.com/search/california.mvc
  • Most real estate agents will provide (for free - no obligation) a comparative market analysis to help you determine your price. Make sure it's free and with no obligation.
  • Independent Appraisal - done by a professional real estate appraiser. The beauty of an independent appraisal is that you will have an objective measurement of the value of your property. It isn't your opinion, it's the opinion of a professional appraiser and that can be helpful in your advertising and during negotiations.
  • Buyers use the internet to make their initial decisions, and eliminate many choices, by comparing most features for the best price.  Stay objective; put yourself in the buyers shoes, which house would you buy?


A home has the best chance of selling if the price is based on market value. Sometimes the seller determines their asking price by taking the price they paid (possibly when the market was high), adding in the amount of money they've spent on renovations/repairs and then adding in some room for movement. This kind of reasoning is not based on market value and can lead to overpricing. There can also be a temptation to purposely overprice your home on the chance that someone will buy it anyway. Problems that can result from overpricing are:

  • Missed opportunity - It is normal for buyer interest to be high when a home first goes up for sale, potential buyers may move on to other homes
  • Longer time to sell - not only can this be costly to the seller but potential buyers wonder why a house is on the market for so long


By doing your research up front you can also avoid the possibility of under pricing your home (especially in a hot market). In the end it is still your decision on the price - often tied directly to how anxious you are to sell.

Final Comments on Price:
The first month that your property is for sale is typically your best chance to sell - the interest level will be high because your listing is new.. It is important that you take advantage of that first month by making sure your property is properly priced.
Whether your property is in a high price range or a lower price range, you can still sell after 30 days - many do, I am willing to help you achieve your purpose.

Other things to consider:

  • What are your deadlines (school, job, winter, etc)
  • Determine a possession date
  • Determine what's included in the price (fridge, stove, dishwasher, etc)
  • Determine the minimum price you will accept for your home
  • When determining your bottom line don't forget your closing costs


Quick tips:

  • Bowl of Vinegar Overnight — Place a bowl of vinegar in a smelly room overnight to soak up the unwelcomed scents.
  • Have Coffee and an Orange — Coffee grounds and orange peels are great odor neutralizers. Add one of them to a bowl in the room, inside the trash can, or down the garbage disposal to help eliminate odors.

I wish you good luck, if you have any questions please contact me.    
Lynn  858 335 6396,  email me @ lynn.fixter@harcourtsusa.com