Selling Our House

Updated on August 05, 2010
S.D. asks from Indianapolis, IN
18 answers

After 6 months on the market, we decided to end our relationship with the Realtor and take a break from having the house on the market until after the holidays. But, we thought we might keep a "by owner" sign in the yard and list online.

Have you done this? What sites are there that have free real estate listings other than Craig's List? Thanks Ladies!!

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V.M.

answers from Youngstown on

Hi Sara,
After my dad passed away I listed his house on a web site called forsalebyowner.com. A sticker on the sign I bought gave me the address and you can list for free. You can also post pictures. Try buying your sign first, it may help steer you in the right direction.
Hope this helps. Have a Merry Christmas.
V.

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C.C.

answers from Indianapolis on

i think there are some ways to list on the MLS, even when you are FSBO. Check with Help U Sell & maybe others.

Good Luck, S.!

C.

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P.B.

answers from Dayton on

Hi S.,

I know Facebook has a really great free posting. CraigsList is okay but you need to make sure you repost it every 10 days or it will just fall deep into the system.

On Postlets.com S., you can create a flyer too and send that in emails or post on various sites. I utilize that on every single one of my listings. I utilize the social sites, facebook, myspace, twitter.

Remember though, December and January are some of your best marketing months due to the fact that you have less competition. Now right now, I have noticed people slowing down sooner than normal for Christmas. However, usually January floods with calls and it is a super time to start marketing properties.

I wish I could help you more with "free" sites but those I've listed are about all I can think of. All of the other sites I use, are streamlined from the MLS's I am a member of. Now, Realtors must utilize ALL sites possible to give their listings maximum exposure.

Signs too! If you live on a side street or back road, make sure you put up directional arrows.

Best of luck and Merry Christmas,
P. Bowman
Roediger Realty, Inc.

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J.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

I am a real estate investor, and I do understand you wanting to take it off for a break, especially since there are holidays coming up. However, it doesn't cost any money to have your house on the market, so wouldn't it be worth it to keep it on the market? You could always try another realtor. Also, another bit of advice....when you have your house on the market, about every 45-60 days, reduce your price by $100.00, or even $50.00. Everytime there is a change in the price, even if it's just $1.00, the listing is treated as a new listing and is sent out to all the people whose criteria it meets again and again. It helps keep it out there instead of being one that people forget about. As far as FSBO. You're probably going to find that it's WAY more of a pain in the butt to sell this way, especially if you're wanting to take a break. People driving by will call at times and ask if they can come in right then to see it. Also, you'll have people call and set up an appt. to see it, and then not show up. With realtors, all you have to do is get your house ready to show. With FSBO, you'll have to answer ALL questions everytime someone calls, set up showings, show the house whether your kids are there bugging you or not, be able to understand the offer acceptance and counter offer procedures, find your own title company once you have an accepted offer, and many other little things you don't think of when you list your own house. If you do it though, definitely find the title company first.

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D.H.

answers from Dayton on

A great site is www.militarybyowner.com. I don't know if you can list for free or not. You don't have to be military to list, but lots of people check that site and I have heard several people say it helped to be listed on that site. Our realtor put our listing on there and I have seen several listings where realtors have posted the listings and not the owner.

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M.H.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hello S., We tried the FSBO route and found that it drew nothing without an MLS listing to draw buyers via the internet and far away. What did work was asking a realtor to list our home for us for a flat fee and we did all the showing work. He would only earn a percent when at the closing he did all the paperwork/contract. This was an unconventional option, but besides the "turning on of the house lights", we did not value the "professional service" that a realtor supposedly provides. The showing realtors often let the viewers go through the house without much comment or selling information beyond what anyone could see or read from the spec sheet. More often than not, the showing realtor had missing information or neglected to know important details about our property - like that it was 7 acres. One potential buyer came back months later asking if land around us was available for his horses, only for us to discover, he did not realize the home was already on the land he needed. The frustration! The realtor told him it included what was gated (about 2 acres), totally wrong. I'm convinced from our experience, that a realtor's service is valuable when someone just cannot show their own home. But given that the preparation and cleaning has to be done for every showing, why not just show it yourself and save the huge commission. In this lousy market, you too might find a realtor who is willing to negotiate with you on their fee. It will be interesting to see what happens to this profession if there is ever a successful public access MLS. My guess, it will go the way of the typewriter ribbon industry.

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L.P.

answers from Cleveland on

Dear S.: Be agressive with the pricing and marketing of your home. With the extension and expansion of the first-time home buyer program there has never been a better time to buy and sell. If you have been in your home for 5 years or more and are able to obtain a contract for the purchase of your home by the April 30th deadline, you will receive a $6,500 tax credit. This should help ease the hit you may take on the dipping home values. Yes, I am a realtor and I would be happy to answer any of your home selling questions. No obligation. Best of Luck!
L. A. Panfil
Howard Hanna Real Estate Professional
###-###-####

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R.S.

answers from Terre Haute on

As a retired real estate agent, I am wondering. Do you realize that it takes at least 6 months on the market before you get any real bites?
Did you agent do something wrong? or were you just disappointed with the market?
I discourage being a For Sale By owner unless you have a lot of time to show the home to people who may or may not qualify for a loan.
I showed a couple who was pre-qualified hundreds of houses over a 4 year period before they actually decided to buy.

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D.K.

answers from Indianapolis on

Not sure where you live, but in our area there is a company called FOR SALE BY OWNER and they put out their own magazine. This saves lots of realtor fees, too

I can't think of the name of it off the top of my head because it's been such a long time since I've been on the site, but I KNOW there is a FSBO site out there, too, besides Craigslit.

I've worked w/ alot of realtors and have a couple that do an EXCELLENT job of getting things done. Sometimes, it's tough when you don't have a realtor who really knows the market and/or is willing to do what it takes to help you sell your house. We found out the hard way, but have a couple of people we depend on for just about everything. THEY FOLLOW THRU AND GET THINGS DONE!

We had a house that was listed a few years back and this realtor told us we thought we should list it for $359K. We finished the basement, except for carpeting, thinking we'd let the owners decide on what they wanted. The basement itself was 1400 SF. After listening to this guy for months, we decided to change realtors.

He told us A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT story that the guy before. Come to realize that even though this guy had been in the business for years and had done very well (he was a referral), he didn't know the market where our house was located nor was he used to dealing w/ individuals and homes in that price range.

Once we changed realtors and went ahead and carpeted the basement like he recommended, we had an offer in 3-4 weeks and sold the house. I guess people are too visual and can't see the possibilities like we do when we acquire a house to resell. We learned some valuable lessons!

Good Luck!!

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M.V.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi S.,
I am a Real Estate agent whom has worked with a lot of For Sale By Owners. It can be real frustrating experience. Did something happen to sever your relationship with the agent? If you do decide to do by owner, think real hard about why your home hasn't sold yet, and if I can answer some more specific questions to help you, I would be happy to.

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J.C.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi S., my husband and I did the same thing with the realtor. We listed on For Sale by Owner.com - there was a small fee, but you can keep the listing up forever and the charge was minimal. We have had our house off the market for a year now, but keep it up there just in case we need to re-list and we still get calls.

A.M.

answers from Richmond on

Hi S. D. One thing I would suggest is talking to a financial advisor (esp depending on age) beofre selling/buying. The consultations are free through Ameriprise Financal. I was referred there before and they not only help you with advice on your home but long term, they can better tell you what price range you should be looking at in order to retire and at the right time. My advisor is Justin Martin with Ameriprise...he is the most honest broker I know and I have been through quite a few.

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L.M.

answers from Terre Haute on

We tried out HouseHunters.com (I think), but I dont remember if it cost much or anything. It really is more work though. Constant phone calls at all times of the day, inconvient showings which also happen with realtors, but you are there for them. Plus one thing we were told was that if an old catalogue that the realtor has put out attracts a buyer, then the agency gets to collect commission even if it is FSBO. That may be hard to prove, but in our case we cut out a house we wanted to see so that when we were in the area we could check it out but by the time we were there to house hunt, it was FSBO and our realtor explained he would still get commission if we bought it.

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D.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi S.
I think it is great if you can sell your home yourself.
You must take the price you were quoted and take off the commission. Because the only buyers you are going to attract are the ones looking for a deal. Also if you still have a copy of your property and lead base paint disclosure you will need to make copies of them. Ohio state law requires them whether you sell yourself or by a real estate company. Put a for sale sign, with your phone number, in the yard. I would not recommend any brochures on the sign. Because you want them to view your home inside not from the sidewalk. Keep valuables hidden when showing your home.
I wish you well. I am also a realtor. You can check out many of the wedsite such as google etc. to upload your home pics. Also try cincinnati.com. If you need anything else feel free to contact me.
Blessings
D.
[email protected]____.com

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J.B.

answers from Columbus on

S.,
As many other people have mentioned, the most important aspect is offering your home for sale via your local MLS. If you are convinced a For Sale By Owner arrangement is for you, then seek out a local flat fee agency that offers this service. Normally, you will be able to have an MLS presence this way, but still retain the responsibility for showing your home, and contract negotiation and follow up on your own.
I do not agree with some of the other responders who undercut the value of a Realtor to help you sell your home. After all, everyone is suggesting MLS to expose your home to local Realtors who have buyers currently looking for properties. I am a Realtor in Ohio. I can assure you by main responsibility is not to unlock doors for sellers who are unavailable, but goes way beyond that. Most homeowners are exposed to a real estate transaction 3-7 times in their lives. Most Realtors, are exposed to that in just a month or two. You may consider interviewing multiple agents in your area, and discussing your past experience. They should be able to offer valuable advice which will sell your home next round!

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J.C.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi, S.,

When my husband took another job across the state, I stayed behind with the children to sell our house. I did it by owner, and handled the negotiations with the buyer's realtor myself. I found it very easy, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I have many friends who are realtors up in this area (I didn't know anyone personally down there) and they all say that one should never sell one's own house because they don't know all the ins and outs and they won't make as much on it, and they're not the professional. While I respect that, I also know that I had no problem doing it, and we made $40,000 on the sale. I priced it 15% over what it was worth so I could come down a little in negotiations.

It helped that the person across the street from us was selling their house at the same time, so everytime I saw their realtor's sign that they were having an open house, I made sure to get mine ready and had an open house the same day, so buyers looking at their house, walked across to see mine, also. :)

Best of luck!
J.

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H.J.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi S.,

So, have you had about a hundred realtors respond to this!?

I am a realtor with F.C. Tucker, but fairly new. (first year) I don't think there are any other free websites other than Craig's List. The newspapers aren't free, but it is another way to advertise. I'd love to help you out even if you decide not to list again with an agent. Any chance I get to help someone, is just more experience for me at this point!
And, if or when you do sell your house on your own, maybe you could keep me in mind if you know of anyone who does need help with any real estate issues they might have!

I'm a mom of four, from 18 down to 4! Becoming a real estate agent as a stay-at-home mom was perfect for me. No daycare, and I make my own hours!!

Keep me posted if you need anything.

Oh, and I am curious, why is one circumcised and one not? My two youngest are boys as well.

Thanks,
H.

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S.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

Our house has been on the market since June 1st. We almost sold it in Sept but that didn't work out. As someone on here already mentioned forsalebyowner.com is the only one I can think of when selling your house yourself. But in this day and age it is hard enough selling with a realtor let alone trying by yourself. I would stick with a realtor. Maybe try a different realtor the first of the year. Hopefully it will pick up after the first of the year and you will could be eligible for the tax credit if you close by April. Good Luck!

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