FSBO (For Sale By Owner)
Besides preparing your home to sell, if you are going to try and sell it without a Realtor, you need to make sure you are prepared and educated on some of the steps.
What you will need to know, before selling your home yourself.
1. The home needs to be priced right to sell, or it won't!
2. Advertising and Costs: Where are you going to advertise, and how much are you willing to spend.
4. Paperwork and extra services that you will need:
Title: You will need them to pull a PR for you to research the background on your property, to ensure that there are no liens on the home that will affect the transfer of the title to the new buyer. They will also be putting together the paperwork to complete your final Hud settlement statement for you real estate transaction. Give the company a call early on and tell the escrow officer that you’re selling your home. She’ll need some information from you, including your social security number, date of birth, any previous aliases and the address of the property..
You’re also required to purchase a title insurance policy as part of a real estate transaction. This policy will protect both you and the buyer from any unknown liens on the property.
The title company can hold the buyer’s earnest money until the transaction closes. You will also need to send them a copy of the completed purchase contract, once you’ve negotiated an agreement
5. How are you going to show the home? If you do not use a realtor who is, Utah licensed and bonded and would install a Realtor key for showings, you will need to be there yourself.
6. Protection: Figure out how are you going to handle buyers who may walk up to your door and want to see your home? Many will when they see it is a FSBO. And are you going to follow behind them as they walk through it? Be on the alert of potential thieves that are not real buyers, they may separate so they can case the home. Just be aware ahead of time how you want to handle it. Security is important.!!!!!
7. The Contract: I have included details below. Do you know how to read the contract and what you need to watch out for? You should probably Get an Attorney! So many things can go so very wrong during a real estate transaction. And when things go wrong, people end up in court. It goes without saying that the sale of your home is a high-stakes venture. We’re talking about a large sum of money. In addition, buying or selling a home is such a deeply personal transaction that emotions tend to run high. So many things can go so very wrong during a real estate transaction. And when things go wrong, people end up in court.
8. When should a homeowner who is not using an Realtor, but who wants to sell his own home, contact an attorney?
Ideally, as soon as possible. Experienced real estate attorneys can provide valuable advice about local laws governing the advertisement and sale of real estate. They can also draft real estate contracts, or review existing contracts.
9. What are some of the contingencies are you willing to give the buyer? Appliances, Home warranty, extended settlement deadlines, furniture, etc.
10. Are you going to purchase a Home Warranty on your home while it's on the market? I usually do for my seller, and it has saved them a lot of money when something unexpected happens right before closing. (Ex: the furnace or air conditioner break down. Then it's just the $60.00 fee instead of the $3000 to replace.)
11. The offer and negotiation: Can you emotionally disconnect in negotiations?.
Once you’ve found a buyer who is interested in purchasing your home, it’s time to negotiate a contract. A real estate purchase contract can have many components, and each is unique, depending on the agreement between buyer and seller.
Some homeowners purchase basic forms that cover their state’s requirements for real estate transactions. Others utilize the services of an attorney. Here’s a general explanation of some common elements you’ll find in a real estate purchase contract (REPC). See Below.
12. Plan in advance how to handle inspections, negotiation, and requested repairs? Remember you will need to be there then to open your home for each evaluation so that they can get into your home.
13. How much earnest money are you going to require?
14. Where is the earnest money going to be held? By law it has to be placed within 72 hours.
15. What inclusions and exclusions are going to be a part of the sale?
16. Do you know the difference between settlement and closing?
17. Showing: final walk through and when possession will take place
18. Seller Disclosures: Documentation and invoices. Important, very important to make sure you have everything Documented on the Seller Disclosure addendum. What repairs have you made to the property. Fill out the Seller Disclosure addendum fully. AND, If the home is 1978 or older, you need to have a Utah State Lead Base paint addendum disclosing that and what you know about it.
19. Make sure you understand deadline dates: Appraisal, financing, due diligence. as this will determine if you get the earnest money if the transaction falls out. Deadlines in the REPC. Do you know how much time is realistic for inspection, financing, appraisal, and settlement. Important as that is how long your home will be off the market for others.
20. How would you handle multiple offers if you get them?
21. Closing costs. Negotiation in who pays for which. It is a negotiation issue.
22. What do you do, if your final walk through fails?
23. What happens if the buyers loan does not get approved and now you've spent a lot of time on the transaction.
24. The buyer will probably be represented which means the buyer's agent is watching out for their buyer only, and not you. You need to be aware of this.
25 . Have Names and numbers of experts in case the buyer asks for repairs.
26 . Closing: You will need to Set up the closing time and date, with you, buyer, lender and title and verifying all issues like insurance, utilities and water and sewer have been taken care of.
27. What if the buyer states he needs seller financing? Interested at all? If so, make sure you have a lawyer go over the paperwork. there are advantages and disadvantages.
28. Do you know what to do, if there is an appraisal issue, and your value doesn't come in?
29 What are the components of the Real Estate Purchase Contract that you need to watch for? See below for details:
Common Elements of the REPC
Offer Date: The first element of a contract is typically the date of the offer, and the names of the parties involved.
Earnest Money: An important element to a binding contract is “consideration,” which is defined as “something of value.” Earnest money is one such form of consideration. In most cases, the buyer presents the seller with a check that will be deposited and held in escrow once the home is under contract. Earnest money is applied toward the purchase price of the home at settlement.
Property Description: The address of the home is shown on the contract, as well as a legal description of the property. You can find a legal description of your home on your Deed of Trust, or by calling or visiting your County Recorder’s Office.
Inclusions and Exclusions: The purchase contract should clearly state which items are included in the sale, and which are not.
Purchase Price: The purchase price for the home is clearly written into real estate purchase contract. The section may also include a breakdown of financing: how much cash the buyer will bring to the transaction, and how much money will be financed with a mortgage.
Settlement and Closing: There is a difference between settlement and closing. Settlement occurs when both parties have signed all the paperwork involved in transferring ownership of the property, and the buyer has presented required funds (not including the funds that will be generated with a new mortgage). Closing typically happens within 4 business days of settlement. Closing occurs once the bank has transferred certified funds to the seller or escrow office, and the closing papers have been recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. Deadlines for both settlement and closing should be recorded in the purchase contract.
It’s important to note that you haven’t officially sold your home until closing occurs. Though it’s rare, occasionally last-minute problems arise with bank funding, or with the title.
Possession: The date that the buyer may take possession is written into the contract. In most cases, the buyer should be able to receive keys to the home within a specified number of hours after closing has occurred
Title Insurance: The seller of a home typically purchases a title insurance policy to protect the buyer from undiscovered liens on the property.
Real estate purchase contracts contain a number of required seller disclosures. The disclosures required by your state may vary, but often include:
Property condition: This is disclosure document that requires the seller to list any known problems with the home. It covers a wide array of items—everything from foundation or roof leaks to broken appliances.
Copy of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions for properties that are part of an HOA: If you’re selling a home that is part of a Homeowner’s Association, there is a set of rules and restrictions in place that governs what you can and cannot do with your property. The buyer is entitled to a copy of these rules (also called CC&Rs).
Minutes, Budget and Financials of HOA: Since the financial status of an HOA can impact the buyer, the minutes of the last HOA meeting, most recent budget and most recent financial report are often required to be disclosed to the buyer.
Claims and Conditions, Environmental Problems or Zoning Issues: If you’re aware of any zoning issues, or environmental problems relating to your property, you’re required to disclose them to the buyer.
Lead-based Paint: If your home was built prior to 1978, it may contain lead-based paint, which has been shown to be harmful, especially to children. You’re required to disclose that your home may contain lead-based paint, and also any specific problems of which you aware.
This section of the purchase contract will outline a deadline for the seller to present the buyer with these disclosures.
. Buyer Conditions
These are conditions under which the buyer may cancel the contract. They may include:
Appraisal: If the home appraises for less than the purchase price, the buyer may cancel the contract.
Financing: If the buyer is unable to obtain financing, he may cancel the contract.
Due Diligence: The buyer may perform “due diligence,” which basically covers a host of inspections, tests and review of the seller’s disclosures and HOA information in order to ensure that the home is in acceptable condition to the buyer. Examples might include a home inspection by a certified home inspector or contractor, tests for lead-based paint, water contamination issues, radon, or other contaminates. If, after review, he finds that the home is not acceptable, he may cancel the contract.
This section of the contract also contains specific dates by which the buyer has to conduct his due diligence and present the seller any objections in writing. There are many other clauses that are often found in real estate purchase contracts. They’re designed to protect both the buyer and seller during the escrow period and can outline such issues as:
- Insurance coverage during the escrow period, and the responsibility of the seller to repair any damage that occurs to the property prior to closing.
- Remedies for default by either party.
- The requirement for arbitration prior to court proceedings, should there be a dispute.
- The responsibility for attorney’s fees, should arbitration or court proceedings occur.
Everything should always be in writing—especially changes to the original contract. A handshake is not binding, and can get you into real trouble. Once you’re under contract with a buyer, changes must be added in writing, in the form of an addendum. Consult your attorney.
Protections with a Realtor or Attorney
When you list your home with a Realtor, you’re protected by a few important distinctions:
1) The REPC used by your local Board of Realtors has been drafted and reviewed by real estate attorneys and covers the requirements for such contracts as outlined by your state’s laws.
2) Your Realtor has been educated regarding the requirements for the contract and addendums.
3) Your Realtor’s broker is ultimately responsible for any errors that occur during the transaction. The broker carries an insurance policy which provides for settlement of such issues.
When you sell your home yourself, you have none of these protections. Laura Hyde, “It’s so important to make sure that you’re covered legally. I’ve known several people who have completed transactions on their own, and things have gone wrong. They’ve been sued in court and have lost a lot of time and money that they would have saved had they listed their home with a Realtor.”
I cannot emphasize enough the importance, if you are not using a Realtor, then please involve an attorney for the purchase contract and escrow period of the sale of your home.
10. Once You’re Under Contract
Getting an offer negotiated, signed and official, is just the beginning of the home-selling process. Now you’ve got to make sure that everything goes smoothly so that the buyer can pay for the home, and you can get your money.
11. Deadlines in the REPC
While you may feel as though you and the buyer have bonded over the negotiating process and are the best of buds, never forget that the REPC is a legally binding contract. The dates that are outlined in the contract are not to be casually dismissed, unless you want things to get ugly.
Make sure that you present the buyer with all your Seller’s Disclosures prior to the deadline. Also keep an eye on the buyer’s deadlines—he should be immediately working on getting a mortgage, ordering an appraisal and hiring a property inspector. It’s not your duty to remind him of the dates, but unless you want the contract to fall through, you’ll pay close attention.
12. Property inspection
The property inspection is an important part of the real estate transaction. It ensures that your home is in good condition, and puts the buyer at ease.
The buyer will be responsible for ordering and paying for the inspection, which usually costs just a few hundred dollars. The buyer (and his Realtor, if he has one), will arrange a time for the inspector to come and will meet him at the property before he completes his work. It takes a few hours for an inspector to thoroughly check out a home—he’ll go up on the roof, down in the basement and all over the house, testing appliances, light switches and outlets, looking for foundation cracks or roof leaks.
You might be nervous to have your home under so much scrutiny, and afraid that the inspector will find something wrong. Let me put your mind at ease right now. The inspector WILL find things wrong. Every time. No matter how nice your home or how well you’ve maintained it, every home has a few things amiss.
Even though you may know which repairs you are willing to make, talk to the lender and buyers agent, before putting anything in writing or you could totally throw the deal out and make the buyer unable to move forward.
Once you’ve spoken to the buyer and agreed on the items that you’ll fix, you’ll need to fill out an addendum to the contract and both you and the buyer should sign it. In addition to a very specific list of items to be fixed, there should be a date clearly stated that outlines the time frame for which you have to take care of the issues. If you don’t meet that date, the purchase can fall through.
After you and the buyer sign that initial REPC, he will take a copy of it to his loan officer, who will begin working on obtaining the mortgage. Part of that process involves hiring an appraiser to come to your home, gather information and make a report to the bank that reassures the guys with the money that your home is worth what the buyer is paying.
The appraiser will call and make an appointment to stop by. He will usually prefer that you be at home in case he has any questions, and he will need access to both the exterior and interior of your home. The appraiser will be there anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the size of your home and the complexity of the appraisal. Verify that the lender is choosing the appraiser, and not the buyer himself if it's a cash transaction.
There are closing costs associated with selling a home. You should plan on those costs being around 1.25% of the purchase price. Most of that amount is for the title insurance policy. The rest covers the escrow officer’s closing fees, document prep fees and recording fees.
You may be asked to pay for the buyer’s closing costs as part of the contract negotiation. This is fairly common, especially with first-time homebuyers who are already stretching to come up with a down payment and moving expenses. Buyer’s closing costs are typically around 3% of the purchase price.
Communication is Key: Time is very important!
Throughout the escrow period, it’s important to stay in communication with your title company and the buyer (or his Realtor). If the buyer’s loan officer contacts you, make sure to be available for any questions he may have (he can’t and won’t share the buyer’s personal finance information with you, but he can usually provide you with an update on where he is in the process of obtaining the mortgage).
If any problems arise during this time, you’ll want to know about them immediately. By staying in contact with all the parties involved in the transaction, you’ll stay abreast of potential issues and may be able to resolve them quickly.
Last by not least: Emotion is the second biggest problem when a seller is selling the home themselves.
Terri's Real Estate Education, Designations and Affiliations:
Terri received a Bachelor's degree in Education and Special Education from the University of Utah.
She also is an AB (Associate Broker) and has the designations of: GRI designation (Graduate Real Estate Institute.) an ABR designation (Accredited Buyer Representative) a CDPE designation (Certified Distressed Property Expert. Below see details) , an ARC (Advanced Real Estate Certificate). and a CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) ACDT (Certified Default Advocate) Is an Advocate for those in Destressed home situations!
She has acquired these designations to make sure that you get the best service, the best price, and can enjoy the process, knowing that you are in good hands, for your best interest!
She has completed in-depth training for commercial properties and residential homes. Classes which includes the prestigious training from CCIM(Commercial Real Estate Institute for Financial Analysis) NBI (National Business Institute). She has also taken courses in Taxation, fair housing, professional standards, loan fraud, investment analysis, legal aspects of Real Estate and business development among many others. She is also a member of the RCA ( Real Estate Agents Commercial Alliance) and the Association of Real Estate Agents (National Association of Real Estate Agents).
Awards: Terrilee has received many Awards throughout the years of her Real Estate service. Some include Top Producer, Many years of ReMax Executive Gold Awards, Equity achievement awards and excellent Real Estate Agent Service awards. Now with her present company, Realtypath Success, Terri has received an Award of Excellence and a Community Service Award!
Articles: Terri was Spotlighted in the local "Real Estate Agent Magazine" Feb 2011 as "Good Real Estate Agent Award" and Articles have been written up about Terri in a national magazine called "Investor Magazine" and also in the Salt Lake Trib.
Community Service: Terrilee is currently on the Board of Directors for Cottonwood Hills condo community and she is also on the Board of Directors for HUGs for T.UGs. A organization currently building two orphanage in Uganda and Tanzania.Each transaction that Terri closes, a portion of her proceeds go to help fund this organization. When you work with her, you can know that you are also apart of a bigger picture.
Terri's Standards for service:
" Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let eachof you regard one another as more important than himself, do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." Phil 2:3