Robert Donica

Selling your home on your own? Rocket Realty can help you with the FSBO safety basics in seven easy steps.

RocketRealty_0000_1If you are thinking about selling your home on your own, you may be wondering how to balance a number of different concerns.  How do you sell your home: Safely, Quickly, and Affordably?

At Rocket Realty, we believe that it is possible to balance FSBO safety with efficiency and affordability.  In this blog, you will find seven important tips that will address top security concerns while still helping you to sell your house quickly and to enjoy the savings that listing your home for sale by owner can offer.

Easy Steps to FSBO Safety & Savings

FSBO safety and savings aren’t rocket science, but they do take some planning ahead.  The following tips will help you to save money, sell your home quickly, and protect yourself and your family from a number of safety and security risks.


  • Do Your Homework.  Before you begin listing your home, one of the most useful things you can do is to gather vital information about your home.  Get any necessary inspections done ahead of time (and resolve any issues they may reveal), and do some research on the local market.  You can find help pricing your home by checking out comparable listings in the same neighborhood.  This will help you to list and price your home accurately, protecting you against unrealistic bids as well as potential buyers claiming you misrepresented the property.  
    ForSaleByOwner.Com recommends pricing your home at 5 to 10 percent above the market price, which will put you in a good position to end up with an offer close to the true value of your home.
  • Be Honest, But Don’t Overshare.  Although it may be tempting to try to gloss over any of your home’s less desirable qualities, full disclosure is always the best policy.  If there is anything wrong with your property, it will be found in the title search or inspection, anyway, and the delayed discovery will only hurt your relationship with a potential buyer.  Even if you are able to hide an issue until after closing, you are still liable if the buyer can prove that you knew about it prior to the sale.  This can result in a legal headache for you (not to mention the end of any FSBO savings you might have been looking forward to.)  Save everyone time, stress, and money by being direct from day one.
    However, while honesty about your property is the best policy, it is imperative that you don’t overshare about your personal life.  Don’t share your schedule, or any unnecessary personal information, with potential buyers.  If a buyer is coming to your house, make sure to lock away any personal information, including schedules, bills, and prescriptions.  
  • RocketRealty_0004_houseScreen Your Buyers Before The Tour.  You have the right to be highly selective about who you allow into your home.  You should never allow an unrepresented buyer into your home if you are alone.  No matter how great the buyer seems or how desperate you may be to have the property off your hands, the potential sale is never worth your safety or the safety of your family.
    To go along with this FSBO safety tip, you should always ensure that buyers are prequalified with a mortgage broker or a bank before allowing them to tour your home.  This means that a potential buyer should be able to show you a letter of qualification or provide the contact information for their lender.  Even if the buyer does provide a letter, you should always call the lender to verify its validity.  
    Some potential buyers may be reluctant to provide this information, because they are still early in their own search process and simply want to look.  In such cases, don’t be hesitant to decline the showing.  You are looking for an efficient sale, and you don’t need to waste the time–or take the risks associated with–entertaining unqualified buyers.
  • Stage Smart & Safe.  Whether you are planning to host an open house or you are simply showing your home to a single interested, qualified buyer, you need to spend some time staging the property for safety and appeal.  
    As mentioned previously, you should be sure to hide all of your medication and valuables whenever strangers will be coming into your home.  You should also put away calendars, bills, mail, and any other personal information.  Although many buyers really are genuine, open houses are a major target for both drug seekers and petty theft.
    To increase the appeal of your home, you should also clean up extra clutter within the home, and also in the yard and driveway.  Clean all visible surfaces, paying extra attention to the windows and floors.  You may also want to add a nice smelling candle or fresh flowers to add to the welcoming feel.  screen
  • Finally, during any showing, leave all of the lights on, inside and outside.  Not only does this give your potential buyers a great first impression of your bright and welcoming home, but it also protects them as they walk around your property.  And even if your open house or showing starts during the day (3pm is a popular start time in Indianapolis), you want the property to stay bright even as daylight begins to fade.  
  • RocketRealty_0002_3Be Smart About Your Lockbox.  First and foremost, you should make sure you have an electronic lockbox.  If you don’t, check out an a la carte discount real estate agency like Rocket Realty, which offers services like these for a flat fee.
    Once you have a lockbox setup, be sure to change the code frequently.  Although agents should never share codes with their clients, the reality is that clients can easily look over an agent’s shoulder to see the code written on paperwork.  Frequently changing your code adds another level of security, especially if you are showing your home to several buyers.
  • Stay Objective.  Selling your home, especially on your own, can be an emotional time.  You may experience stress, excitement, nostalgia, and frustration throughout the process.  However, it is important that you do not allow these emotions to affect how you interact with potential buyers.  Giving in to stress and panic may lead you to overlook a buyer’s lack of qualifications, or nostalgia may cause you to overshare during a showing, impeding the buyer’s ability to see him or herself in the home.  It can be helpful to have a friend or family member on your team throughout the process to help you avoid these pitfalls.
  • Hire A Broker To Do Your Contracts.  Finally, when you do find a buyer, hiring a broker can help smooth out the final stage of the process.  Because you listed your home on your own and found a buyer, you will save significantly more money than you would have hiring a listing agent.  So, find a flat fee broker who can ensure that all of the final paperwork is done quickly and in good order, so you can close out on a good note.
    Wondering where to find a discount broker who supports FSBO sellers?  Be sure to check out Rocket Realty!  We love to support sellers working on their own with good advice and great services.

RocketRealty_0003_4What FSBO Safety Advice Have You Heard?

Have you sold a home FSBO before?  Have you simply heard many of the pros and cons about the process?  We’d love to hear the advice that you have about FSBO safety, efficiency, and savings!  Tell us what you think in the comments section below.