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When You Sell a House By Owner Remember to Negotiate!

Apr 1, 2008
Making the decision to sell a house by owner is the easy part of the home selling process. It's even easier than searching for a good real estate agent. But do you realize that selling your home without the assistance of a professional who is trained in this area is risky and that these types of sales do not always go through for many different reasons? If you decide you're going to sell your house by owner, make sure you're being realistic about the process. After all, the money you save on commissions won't always offset the money you lose out on if you fail during the negotiation stage.

Making it to the negotiation phase is a feat all by itself. If you're taking the sell house by owner route, make sure you know what you are going to do when you're faced with a Purchase and Sales Contract. At this point, many FSBO sellers are feeling the stress of the process. They find themselves tempted to "give in" to any terms and demands made by the buyer. Sellers get in this situation because they're anxious to take the sale to the next level, because they think another buyer won't materialize and they don't want to blow their chances of closing, or because they simply haven't mastered the fine art of negotiating.

When you get to the contract stage, be aware of any contingencies the buyer has added to their offer. It's standard to have the sale contingent on the results of the Inspection Report. But watch out for rent-back clauses and offers that are contingent upon the sale of the prospective buyer's home or on their ability to secure financing.

A significant number of home sale deals fall through because the buyer isn't able to secure financing. This happens to sellers who sell a house by owner as well as those who use realtors. If you're about to receive a bid from a prospective buyer, it's in your best interest to find out what you can about the buyer's mortgage approval. One thing about realtors is that they know how to glean this information without coming right out and asking.

And remember, even if you sell a house by owner, if you're the least bit uncertain about something listed in the contract, you have every right to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate. The ensures that everything goes smoothly and you feel good about your decision.
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