Listing Your House for Sale by Owner

Here are some tips that I learned as a potential buyer of a for sale by owner home. These tips I learned from walking through open houses or during a private showing of a for sale by owner house. I wish I had understood these concepts three years ago when we attempted to list our home for sale by owner.

Don’t Talk to Much

The buyer does not want to hear about your doctor appointment, your previous life experiences etc. It is not that I was not interested in the lives of the people whose home I was looking at, on the contrary, I was. But often their stories helped clue me into a bad deal. In there stories, I was looking for reasons I should not buy the house. More importantly, as a potential home buyer, I had lots and lots of appointments to line up. Therefore, it is frustrating to have someone talk to me about the house. Typically when I see a house, I have a very strong favorable or non-favorable leaning towards that house. Excess words usually only swayed me away from any favorable feelings about the house. I also want to buy from one who were willing to respect the fact that time is precious to me today.

Don’t Ask Me Lots of Questions about Myself

I am not interested in telling you about myself or life history. I may interpret it as you manipulating a sale. Also, if I ask questions, I am simply being polite. During the first showing, I am usually interested primarily in finding out more about the house rather than your life. After I am more interested in the home, I will be more interested in your life and your families life, because getting to know you better will offer me security in knowing the home is well cared for.

Don’t Inform Me of Everything You Plan to Do

I don’t want to inherit your problems. If you have stains on the carpet and dirt on the walls replace the carpeting and paint. I am not interested in paying to live in your dirty home. I want to feel that my money is going towards buying something clean. (In the same way, I wouldn’t want to buy dirty, worn clothing with holes in it from you either.) If the problem isn’t fixed, you will only point out issues with your home and draw my attention to them. I do not expect you to fix the problems once I offer to buy your home. Therefore, you are wasting my time and your own if you haven’t resolved the issues with your home. If you are halfway through adding an addition, I will simply look at it as a chance to buy an extra project and I already have a long list to do. You will get buyers if you haven’t painted your walls and replaced your carpet. However, these buyers are typically investors interested in making a profit on a for sale by owner home, and therefore they will attempt to bargain down your price on your for sale by owner home.

Answer My Questions Quickly

I am on a tight schedule and I am not as interested in your homes history as you are. Answer my questions quickly and promptly. Don’t keep me any longer than I want to be in your home. Also, I will ask about what I am interested in and therefore be able to make the time the most productive. You can guess until you are blue in the face but you are very unlikely to guess what I want in a home. (Also, if you ask me what I am looking for in a home, I will not tell you. Why should I show my cards and leave me little room to negotiate? Or why should I offer you an opportunity to try and convince me that your home is something it is not?)

Be Polite When I Say Good Bye

Give me a chance to quickly and gracefully exit the conversation when I say good bye. Once I am ready to leave, whether I am interested or not, I would like the opportunity to leave. I have a long list of places to go in a short period of time (especially buyers looking from out of town). Allow me the chance to exit the conversation quickly and not have to worry about offending you or hurting your feelings. Also, if I have a baby crying and I need to care for his needs, give me the opportunity to leave immediately. If I am interested, I will be back. If not, you won’t be wasting your time. When I look at a house for sale by owner, the house speaks for itself and no amount of excess talking is going to sway me in any direction except a negative one.

When Listing a For Sale by Owner Home realize that number one the buyer doesn’t have a lot of time, number two they are not that interested in your home (not nearly as much as you are especially after the great amount of work you have invested into it) and number three the home will speak for itself. You do not need to speak for your home. Your home will speak volumes. Yes, I am truly interested in the possibility of buying your home. However, I will be able to determine this on my own.

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