Bonita Springs Bird House

For Sale By Owner in Bonita Springs Florida

So I’m up at the dog park trying to burn some energy off of “hell on four legs” and one of the regular dog park attendees strikes up a conversation with me and says, “I’m thinking of getting a real estate license so I can sell my house.” Besides being absolutely shocked that I was standing in the presence of a living, breathing, Floridian without a real estate license, I was also surprised that someone would go to the trouble of real estate school for the sole purpose of selling their own house.

Out of curiosity I asked what the motivation was to become licensed just to sell their own home. I was genuinely curious since licensure is not a legal requirement to sell one’s own home. Surprisingly, this person thought there were all sorts of financial advantages. I suspect that, just now, one out of every one hundred seventy-five people reading this hit the floor laughing because they know differently. In the state of Florida alone, 1 in every 175 residents is a Realtor® according to a recent report. In case you were curious, Florida is number three in the nation behind Arizona and Hawaii.

While there may be some advantages on part of the commission depending upon the end result of who brings in the buyer, there is nothing about being a real estate licensee that absolves a person from the responsibility of closing costs; documentary stamps on deed, prorated taxes and HOA fees and possibly title insurance. Having a real estate license also doesn’t protect your home from being overpriced, not appraising for the buyers mortgage or for not selling.

So here’s the deal about selling your home yourself. You don’t need a real estate license; you just need motivation, a plan and to be more honest with yourself about your home than you probably can even imagine, which is the biggest obstacle for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) home owners have. Some of what sellers need to accomplish isn’t markedly different than employing a real estate agent. Depending upon inventory, which is particularly low in entry level pricing, it’s now more probable that real estate will actually sell FSBO.

If you have the desire, time and inclination to sell your own home here is a list of eight action items for the FSBO home owner:

1. Pricing – Just like listing your home with a real estate agent, ninety percent of your success is going to be determined on properly pricing your home. It just is. Read that sentence again, slowly.

2. Prepare your home for sale. You can’t get it clean enough or organized enough.

3. Interview and hire a real estate attorney to protect your interests, prepare your contracts and to close the sale of the property. There is so more to selling a home than just finding a buyer.

4. Market your home, especially on the internet. About 90% of home buyers search for real estate on the internet. Also, don’t overlook neighbors as a resource for knowing people who are interested in the neighborhood.

5. Keep up on closed sales in the area. Think the neighbor’s house or a house in the area sold? Call the agent and find out. They will tell you the price after it has closed sale. The closed sales, good or bad, influence valuation and the ability of your home to qualify for financing.

6. Network with real estate agents in the area with similar listings and offering a co-broke fee for bringing in a buyer. If supply in the area is low, they’ll probably be calling you asking to bring in buyers.

7. Ask for showing feedback from the agents if they do show it. While buyers may not be as honest about pricing, condition, location an agent will and it will help you adjust to entice new buyers.

8. Read item number one again.


Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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