For Sale By Owner Frequently Asked Questions
Q- How do I get started if I want to sell my home myself?
Pick up a FSBO pack from Nations Title, print information from our web site or request that our FSBO Information Packet be sent to you by mail. It includes all of the information you need to sell your home yourself.
Q- What are the costs involved to sell my home myself?
All normal costs include tax and homes association proration, title insurance, repairs, FSBO fee, FHA non-allowable fees, etc. In addition, you may want to purchase a yard sign, run open house ads in the paper, and prepare an informational flyer with a picture of your home.
Q - How do I know what price to ask for my home?
Nations Title will provide you with an appraisal, which will give you an idea of the price range in your area.
Q- What if I don't understand how to complete the contract following negotiations with my buyer?
Nations Title can refer you to a real estate attorney that can advise you on contractual issues.
Q- When my buyer and I have completed and signed the contract what do I do?
Bring your signed contract along with any earnest deposit and a FSBO information sheet to Nations Title. Nations Title will order your title commitment and forward a copy to you, your buyer, and your buyer's lender. We will prepare seller's documents or contract seller's document preparation depending on state law. We will order payoffs and address any title issues that may appear on your title commitment. We will coordinate a closing with your buyer's lender. Nations Title also can, upon request, conduct the Buyer's closing and disburse funds.
Q- After I have signed a contract, should I continue to make my mortgage payments?
Yes, you don not want to adversely affect your credit by missing a payment during the sale of your home. You should contact your closing agent, if you are making a payment within 14 days of closing.
Q- If I am currently escrowing for taxes and insurance in my mortgage payment, why should I credit the Buyer for taxes through the date of closing? Doesn't that mean I am paying taxes twice?
Your lender will refund your escrow account by reducing your payoff or sending you a check after closing. You will never pay taxes twice. (This answer may vary from state to state and are subject to state and federal law.)
Q- What are some helpful hints to entice potential buyers as I prepare my home for selling?
Make your house look it’s best. Here’s some helpful hints:
- Make Repairs - Do the necessary repairs so that your home looks its best for the upcoming open house.
- Clean, Clean, Clean - Make sure you wipe down your walls, remove any spots on your carpet, dust well and put everything away insuring that prospective buyers see a clean, neat home in good repair.
- Patch work - It is helpful to patch any cracks and cover any nails holes.
- Landscaping - Trim the trees and bushes and make sure that you have excellent 'Curb Appeal'. Rake the leaves in the fall, remove snow in winter, plant flowers in spring and summer.
- Polish the woodwork - Old English works great for light and dark wood.
- Lighting - Replace any burnt out light bulbs.
- Closets and cabinets - Make sure they are neat and clean.
- Ceiling fans and ceilings - Dust and remove cobwebs.
- Switchplates - Wipe them down and the area surrounding them.
- Doors - Test the squeaky doors and oil hinges.
- Chimney - Be sure that it is free of debris and nests.
- Exterior - Wash windows, clean screens and windowsills. Polish the front door knob.
- Adding luxury and extras make a difference - Fresh cut flowers in the spring and summer, a fire in the fireplace in the fall and winter. Clean the hardware in the bathrooms and kitchen to make the sinks sparkle. New bathroom and kitchen towels, as well as a new shower curtain, are a nice touch.
Q- What are some hints to having my own Open House
Here are just some ideas to help make sure your open house is a hit:
- Suggested Date and Time - Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
- Guest Sign in Sheet - Have everyone sign in so that you have a record of who has viewed your home along with the date and time.
- FSBO Seller Beware - Be sure that your valuables are safely stored away.
- Lighting - Open curtains, drapes, and blinds.
- Pets and Kids - You should always have your pets and children in another location during a showing. The most important thing to remember when showing your home is you should not have any distractions while people are walking through it.
- Answering Machine - Let the machine pick up any calls you may get during your open house.
- Music - Soft music is a nice touch.
- Cars - Park your car on the street so that your driveway is clear and your garage is open for viewing.
- Cookies - Fresh baked cookies make the home smell great and provides you the opportunity to speak with potential buyers when they stop for a quick snack.
Contact a Nations Title representative to learn more about selling your own home.