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Understanding How For Sale By Owners (FSBO) Works


For sale by owner (FSBO) listings for real estate have increased significantly in recent years as the internet makes shopping for homes convenient. Instead of driving around from house to house, using up expensive gas, homebuyers can stay at home to view photos and videos of properties for sale. Here’s a look at the advantages of FSBO listings.

How For Sale By Owner Real Estate Works

A for sale by owner real estate listing is published by the homeowner without the assistance of a listing agent. Many homeowners do their own listings to save money bypassing the commission paid to an agent. It also gives the seller more control over the selling process. Some home buyers appreciate dealing directly with the seller because it allows them to ask important questions about the property’s history.

Homebuyers often work with a purchasing agent even when they’ve narrowed down their list of potential purchasing choices. Real estate is such a complicated business that it can be overwhelming for buyers and sellers to handle transactions on their own without the help of real estate professionals. A buyer’s agent can negotiate a better price and ensure complex paperwork is completed properly.

Negotiating with an FSBO

If you are representing a client but dealing with an FSBO, it’s important for you to use effective, friendly negotiating techniques. Some sellers, however, remain stuck on the asking price perhaps because they need a certain return for their investment or they believe market demand will meet their price. One of the keys to getting a seller to be more flexible about price is to emphasize the appraisal process.

If certain parts of the home need renovation, you can mention the costs to modernize the home. Many homes are not up to new building codes designed to make homes safer. You can explain to the FSBO how the parameters are changing for evaluating a home’s sustainability and that an investment in smart technology is a necessary upgrade. Smart devices such as electronic meters that measure environmental effects on a home as well as energy consumption are increasingly becoming the norm for new homes.

Energy efficiency has become an important selling point for homes this century. Now IoT devices can give homeowners instant data on how well technology is saving them money in the form of software that detects air and water leaks, extreme temperature changes, and efficient use of LED lighting.

Once you are able to negotiate with the seller, consider hiring a real estate attorney to ensure the transaction is handled fairly and legally. The attorney can help the seller understand the escrow and title transfer process.


FSBO sellers can make home buying easier in some ways, provided the seller is willing to negotiate. Using the home appraisal as a basis for negotiation can solidify closing the deal. Contact our agents at Brighton Escrow, Inc. for more information on buying a home from an FSBO.

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