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How to List a House for Sale by Owner

by Lee Grayson

Selling your home by owner, commonly known as FSBO, means devoting yourself to the marketing efforts, negotiating a sales contract and handling the legal documents required by the federal, state and local governments. You can decide to take on all of the listing and selling duties or hire a cafeteria-style real estate office to help you with the tasks that you don't feel comfortable handling or don't have the time to complete.

Clean the interior of the home and garage and repair any visible damage on the interior and exterior of the house. Repair cracks and repaint surfaces that you can't clean with a neutral-color paint.

Remove clutter from shelves and counters and store large furniture that makes the rooms appear smaller. Move extra clothes from closets and remove things from cupboards so prospective buyers can see the home's available storage.

Walk through your house with an objective friend or neighbor and make notes about the first things that attract attention -- both positive and negative. Use this list to make further repairs or modifications and to remove additional furnishings. This review also gives you information about your home from a less biased and emotional view.

Take photos of the exterior and interior rooms. Capture close-up images of important or attractive features that make your home distinctive, including an upgraded laundry room, available storage and images of the bathrooms and kitchen appointments.

Make a list and notes of your home's features, including the amount of square footage, number of bedrooms and baths and type and age of important systems, including water heater, furnace and air conditioner. Include the age of your roof and flooring, and interior and exterior paint on your list.

Set your asking price by researching recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. Pay a licensed real estate agent for a comparative market analysis of your neighborhood if you don't feel comfortable researching title records and county tax documents.

Collaborate with a local loan officer to develop a sales flyer that gives the various lending options for potential buyers looking at your property. Use your asking price as the basis for the estimated monthly payment calculations.

Design a sale flier that integrates attractive photos of your home with your list of home features and notes. Omit the price of the home, but include several ways to contact you to see the house. Use the phrase "shown only by appointment" on your flyer to schedule viewings at your convenience.

Buy a "for sale" sign with space to write an email address or telephone contact number for prospective buyers to contact you. Place the sign in your yard or window.

Post your home on real estate sale websites and advertise in local print publications, including newspapers and real estate magazines. The National Association of Realtors allows homeowners to place personal home offerings in the official listing service for the real estate industry. Locate an agent to assist you in this for-fee listing service.

About the Author

Lee Grayson has worked as a freelance writer since 2000. Her articles have appeared in publications for Oxford and Harvard University presses and research publishers, including Facts On File and ABC-CLIO. Grayson holds certificates from the University of California campuses at Irvine and San Diego.

Photo Credits

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