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Stage 01: Decide to Sell by Owner

Ready. Set. Go.

Good morning/afternoon/evening. Please sit down and make yourself at home since we have a lot to discuss. We heard that you’re interested in selling your house. What an important decision!

REALTORS© would like you to believe that FSBOs are only for less expensive properties. Not true. The reality is that some of the most expensive home sales in the country are done via for sale by owner. In fact, just in May 2014 an 18-acre beachfront estate in East Hampton was sold for $147 million without the assistance of a real estate agent, saving the homesellers up to $4,410,000 in commissions. This property sale broke the record for largest residential property sale in the United States by over $25mm.

As you explore options on how best to sell your home, we can help you. BrokerZero will be your advocate guiding you through the process. But enough pleasantries, are you ready to begin?


Time is Money

We are assuming that you are seeking top dollar for your home sale… but if this is not the case and you are willing to sell your home at a steep discount in order to avoid the attention and scrutiny of a public listing -- then send us an email at private-sale@brokerzero.com to discuss other options.


Kiss a lot of Frogs

Excellent. Now that we all agree that we should do our best to sell your home for the most value, let’s set some expectations on how we can make that happen.

First and foremost, the more people who see your home for sale, the greater the interest. The greater the interest, then the higher the probability of a compelling offer. Yes, we’ll want to ANNOUNCE TO THE WORLD that your home is for sale. (Sorry for yelling, but sometimes we have trouble controlling OUR EXCITEMENT!!!) We’ll be rolling out a red carpet welcoming prospective buyers into your home. Ok, the red carpet is optional but let’s assume that we effectively market your home and attract a lot of prospective buyers to your open house and property viewings.

Will you be comfortable allowing strangers into your home? Will your family be supportive of preparing the house for home shoppers to do walk throughs?

Hopefully, you and your family are willing to navigate a few frustrations in order to complete the journey of selling your home.


I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough...

In order to complete a successful sale, you will want to mentally prepare yourself for the rollercoaster ride of placing your most expensive asset up on a pedestal for public scrutiny. You see, prospective buyers are conflicted. On one hand, they are seeking out their dream home where they can envision their happily ever after. On the other hand, they’ll not want to divvy out too many compliments otherwise undermining their ability to negotiate on price.

Lovely natural lighting, but are those single pane windows?
What a spacious yard, if only it were flat so the kids could play on it.
Even for a starter home, this house feels a bit cramped.

This process will help you develop some thick skin. Keep in mind that if they weren’t interested in potentially purchasing your home, then the likelihood is that they wouldn't be browsing.


Be Patient

One key real estate statistic to gauge market conditions is days on market for each home. In hot markets, there is more demand than supply so new homes are purchased almost as quickly as they are listed. On the other hand, if the houses are stuck on the market for longer on average, then typically there is excess inventory of homes.

For now, the important takeaway is that the median days on market for San Mateo county is 36 days, Alameda county is 22 days, and San Francisco county is 36 days (data retrieved on August 20th, 2014). The bay area then is a hot market, even when compared to the rest of the United States where the median days on market is 82 days as of July 2014. For perspective, REALTORS© consider a market is “balanced” if homes sell on average within 4-6 months; so these would all be considered “a seller's markets”. You might get a few compelling offers in the first few weeks. For other home sellers, it might take a couple months to get one reasonable offer.

Tip: REALTORS© List Homes Longer

Are you ready for your first pro tip? A study revealed that REALTORS© keep their own homes for sale on the market for an extra 10 days. Why? Because their houses will sell for 3.7% more than other comparable houses in their market. Therefore, you’ll want to keep your house on the market long enough to receive compelling offers. Most people kiss a lot of frogs before they find their prince.

Sign on the Dotted Line

BrokerZero does not require you to sign any contracts or make any commitments. We are confident that since we provide you with the most comprehensive how to sell your home guide at the most competitive price (FREE!) that there would be no reason for you to want to stray.

We almost feel silly for asking, but have you signed any contracts to sell your home through a REALTOR©? If so, please be sure to read the fine print of the contract as most listing agreements specify a period of broker protection even after the listing is removed. We have heard stories of home sellers who have found their own buyers but were still obligated to pay a listing agent commission due to the terms of the listing agreement. As always, this is in no way legal advice; we are simply talking to you as a friend.


Running the Gauntlet

According to the National Association of REALTORS©, the most difficult tasks for FSBO home sellers to complete are ("Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics" Realtor.org. NAR, June 2013. Web. 20 March 2014.):

  • Understanding and performing paperwork
  • Getting the right price
  • Preparing/fixing up home for sale
  • Helping buyer obtain financing
  • Attracting potential buyers
  • Selling within the planned length of time

We can sympathize as we’ve been helping hundreds of home sellers for almost 40 years. The good news is that we will address all these challenges in our guide. For example, we provide all the forms you will require in Stage 06.
Let’s wrap up this section and we’ll jump forward into the second stage, “Prepare your Home”, and we will start with the best practices on pricing your home.


A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Lao Tzu

Feedback is a Gift

If you believe that our advice is ever inadequate or requires an update, please send us an email at support@brokerzero.com. Also, we provide a link at the bottom of every section requesting your feedback. We look forward to your comments and we will do our best to ensure that your home sale goes as smoothly as possible.


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