Sell My House as FSBO

So you are ready to sell your San Diego home! Congratulations on coming to that decision!  Visions of a home sale are dancing in your head despite the uphill battle you may have ahead of you.  You have many decisions to make.  When will you sell?  Is your San Diego house move-in ready?  Do you need to do any renovations prior to listing your home?  And most importantly, HOW will you be selling your home?  Will you sell with a real estate agent or will you do a FSBO or “for sale by owner.”  

There are many reasons why sellers may find the FSBO or “for sale by owner” option appealing.  The most rewarding aspect of an FSBO  is that you do not need to pay the hefty real estate commissions, which can put more cash in your pocket.  According to Houzeo, Real estate agents’ commissions in San Diego are around 5%-6%. The Realtor commissions are split between the buyer agent and the seller agent. In San Diego, real estate commission percentages vary depending on the location.”  Real estate commissions can be insanely expensive and a hard pill to swallow, especially if the main reason you are selling your home is because of financial distress or monetary reasons.  

Although you may be now seeing life through rose colored glasses, imagining the tens of thousands of dollars you just saved yourself, it is important to understand the various steps that go along with selling your San Diego house on your own and the responsibility that you will need to take on.

First and foremost, by selling your home on your own, you need to wrap your head around the fact that you, and you alone, are solely responsible for the entire house selling from start to finish.  That means that you will be managing an often emotional and stressful process on your own.  Are you ready for that type of roller coaster?  


You will be responsible for setting the right price for your San Diego home and marketing the home.  Let’s dive into setting the right price.  This simple step can cost you time and money.  Setting a sales price too low will strip you of tens of thousands of dollars that could be yours and setting a sales price too high can cause your house to sit on the market for days or even months.  You will know very quickly if you have set your house too high or too low.  Either you will have motivated sellers chomping at the bit to snag a low house sale or you will be hearing crickets as you watch your home collect dust as your stress skyrockets.  A good way to figure out the right sales price for your home is to research homes in your specific San Diego neighborhood, homes that are similar to yours in size and features.  These  homes are called comps or comparables.  The sales price of these homes will help you determine the right price for yours.


Next, you will be responsible for the marketing of your San Diego home.  When working with a real estate agent, they will spend hefty dollars to market the homes they are selling, because, well, they want their hefty commission as soon as possible!  When marketing your home you will consider paying for professional photographers and videographers to capture your home in a unique way, staging your home so your home can be shown in the best light, and also consider using social media to market your home.  If you are not familiar with how to market a home, these steps can seem daunting and also expensive.  Pro-tip:  potential buyers do not want to see you use your phone to shoot pictures of your kitchen and living room.  It.  Doesn’t.  Work.  Spend the extra money for professional photos.  


So now that you have a few key points under your belt when attempting to do this FSBO thing, let’s try to figure out how to sell your home on your own!  

  1.  Get ready to be an expert negotiator.  The world of San Diego real estate can be brutal.  We live in a beautiful part of the country and people want to live here.  You need to be ready to stand your ground to make sure you receive the price for your San Diego home that you feel is fair.  If you are lucky enough to have multiple offers, you could have a bidding war on your hands.  
  2. Get ready for the paperwork.  There is A LOT of paperwork when selling a home.  You will need to be able to navigate the world of contracts, legal documents, inspection reports, and you will need to have the ability to work through contingencies and disclosures.  If all of this real estate jargon is making your head hurt, just wait until your desk is filled with paperwork coming at you from all directions!


So have you ever been on a blind date only to have your date stumble into the restaurant late?  First impressions matter and selling your San Diego home is no different.  If you are selling your house as an FSBO, you need to understand that your collection of Star Wars figurines and collection of your grandmother’s tea pots do not need to be on display.  To go one step further, sellers are not going to be drawn to a home that lacks curb appeal, outdated kitchens and bathrooms, and unique decor and fixtures that don’t appeal to the masses.  You will need to have a real honest look at your home to determine what you may need to do to make sure your home sells for top dollar.  This could mean investing in putting new cabinetry in your kitchen, replacing carpeting with hardwood or laminate flooring, and putting in new grass in the backyard.  If your home is in good condition, you will want to seriously consider decluttering your home, or better yet, move all of your belongings into storage and hire a professional stager to come in.  This will not only help your home look amazing in the marketing photos, but it will make your home look bigger, more up to date, and more appealing to buyers.  Unfortunately, all of these things cost money.  All of a sudden the bundle of cash you just thought you saved on real estate commissions is dwindling!

So….have we lost you yet?  Should you really consider selling your home on your own?  Make sure you asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have the time to devote to the house selling process from start to finish?
  • Do you have the energy to get your home ready and to navigate the ups and downs of a real estate transaction?
  • Do you have the financial means to prepare your home for sale?  This can be simple repairs to complete renovations?
  • Are you able to handle the emotional turmoil that can come with selling your house, not to mention, selling it on your own!
  • Are you knowledgeable enough to market your home in the best light?
  • Can you handle the negotiations and piles of paperwork that can go along with selling your home?

Have we scared you off yet?  Selling your San Diego home on your own can be done.  However, at Trusted House Buyers, we wanted to be able to lay out the reality of the ins and outs of an FSBO to make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into before it’s too late.  If taking on this task seems too overwhelming and the idea of handing over thousands of dollars of your profits to a real estate agent makes you want to drown in your sorrows, then consider a direct home sale to a cash buyer like Trusted House Buyers.  At Trusted House Buyers, we are your neighbors here in San Diego and understand how valuable a quick sale can be, especially if you are in a situation that requires fast action.  We are able to provide a quick close, usually within 10 days!  And the best part is that there are NO hidden fees or commissions.  We are always available to help and can walk you through every step of the process.  Give us a call today at 619-786-0973.

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