Here’s a secret from a real estate agent: learning how to sell a house by owner is not difficult. What is more difficult is knowing the rules, the guidelines, and the process. Also, selling a home takes a lot of time. Regardless, many homeowners wanting to avoid paying costly real estate commission fees choose to sell their home by owner. This guide will help you understand how to sell a home by owner with a specific focus on the Indiana FSBO.
Indiana FSBO Overview
Homeowners do not need a Realtor®, real estate agent, or a lawyer to complete an Indiana FSBO. It is likely you will need the help of a title company, though.
Selling a home in Indiana FSBO is not necessarily difficult. However, there are some obstacles and guidelines you should know. Indiana FSBO sellers must follow the rules and laws including the Indiana sales disclosure law under I.C. 32-21-5-2. Also, the buyer of your home must work within the guidelines set out by his or her lender. This will also require you to work within those guidelines, too.
But, at the end of the day selling a house in Indiana without a Realtor® is just a process. If you are determined and focus selling your home FSBO is a process you can complete. This guide will help you better understand how to sell a house by owner
How Does For Sale By Owner Work
In a for sale by owner (FSBO) home sale the seller represents themselves. Some for sale by owners seek out an attorney to assist with the process. All a for sale by owner means is the owner does not have a real estate agent. Instead, the seller markets the home themselves to attract a buyer. At some point, the seller will accept a buyer’s offer. At that time the FSBO seller will work with the buyer, the buyer’s lender if there is one, and a title company to get the transaction closed.
A buyer may have a real estate agent even though the seller does not. You should know if you choose to work with a buyer who has a real estate agent the buyer’s agent is there to work in the buyer’s best interests and not yours. At the same time, the buyer’s real estate agent must still act honestly and ethically when communicating with you. It is up to you as the seller if you want to offer the buyer’s agent a commission.
How To Price Your Home
The most common error made by FSBOs is incorrectly pricing their home. If you get this wrong you are willing just killing the momentum of getting your home sold. Here are three solutions for how to price your FSBO home correctly.
Option #1 To Correctly Price Your FSBO Home
The best option is to get a broker price opinion (BPO). A BPO is the work product of a real estate agent. Real estate agents have quick access to a tremendous amount of data and are best suited to provide you with a market value for your home. Real estate agents can be incredibly specific and target remarkably similar homes. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $400 for a BPO. Some real estate agents will refuse to provide a BPO. However, if you call around you should be able to find a real estate agent who will provide you a BPO.
Option #2 To Correctly Price Your FSBO Home
Contact an appraiser and have your home appraised. Appraisers are licensed professionals whose daily business is placing a value on properties. However, there is a problem with appraisers which is why they are the second best choice. Appraisers are less likely to be as granular and specific compared to the results of the real estate agent’s BPO. Due to this fact, the appraiser will likely give you a wider range than what a real estate agent will provide you. Be prepared to pay $200 to $600 for an appraisal.
Option #3 To Correctly Price Your FSBO Home
The third option is to be the truest of true FSBOs and do it yourself. Yes, you can look at some past sales on websites and in county and state records. However, I strongly advise against this. Knowing what to prioritize and what variables have real weight in valuing a home is important. It is unlikely you will know this. Additionally, to do this properly will likely take several hours of your time. So, it this method though free, is time consuming and carries a meaningful amount of risk of making a mistake.
How To List Your Indiana Home For Sale By Owner
To ask how to list your Indiana home for sale by owner is a misnomer. Listing is more like adding it the home to the database of all homes for sale, which would be the MLS. Due to the fact your are selling for sale by owner your home will not be included in the MLS. However, there are steps you should take to advertise your home for sale.
- Place a For Sale By Owner Sign in your yard
- Add your home to websites which will accept For Sale By Owner Listings
- Make social media posts to let people know your home is for sale
- Advertise an open house where people can walk-in and tour the home without an appointment
How To Have My Indiana Home For Sale By Owner Included In The MLS
There are real estate agents who offer an ala carte service with minimal representation. This can include simply placing your home in the multiple listing service (MLS) for your region. However, at this point, you are no longer truly a for sale by owner. Under the circumstance I described here you likely signed some type of agreement with a real estate agent. Though it is for a minimal amount of services, the property is no longer truly a for sale by owner.
How To Sell A Home By Owner (FSBO)
When wanting to know how to sell a house by owner just follow these five steps. These are the five phases of the sales transaction.
1. Prepare The Home For Marketing, Advertising, And Selling
The first step is to prepare the home to be placed on the market. This could include deep cleaning the home, having a pre-listing inspection, and repairing anything which is broken. Or, you could place your home for sale exactly as it is today.
2. Marketing And Advertising The Home For Sale
The second step is marketing and advertising your home. Marketing includes the things which show-off your home. This can include marketing remarks, a description of the property, and photographs of the home.
Advertising the home is the action of communicating to the public the home is for sale. There are real estate websites where you can place your home for sale as a FSBO. Additionally, social media is a great platform to advertise your home online. Placing a sign in your yard is a good idea, too. As buyers learn your home is for sale you will receive questions about the home and requests from buyers to tour the home.
3. Understanding, Responding To, And Accepting An Offer
The next step is accepting, rejecting, or countering a buyer’s offer. At this step you may want an attorney to review the offer documents. However, this is not required. Remember, a deal is not a deal unless the buyer has also signed the Indiana residential seller disclosure form. You should make sure you understand the offer, the buyer’s obligations, and your obligations. Once you accept an offer contact a title company you want to use. Provide the title company a copy of the offer.
4. Fulfilling The Terms Of The Accepted Offer
Now, it is time to begin meeting your obligations according to the purchase agreement. For a seller this mainly includes three things. First, the seller is obligated to maintain the property and must immediately report any changes to the property to the buyer. Secondly, a seller must make the property available for any agreed upon inspections and an appraisal if one will occur. Lastly, the seller must vacate the property within the timeline and manner laid out in the purchase agreement.
5. Closing The Transaction
The final step is a closing. The closing will most likely be held at the title company. At this time all obligations of the purchase agreement must have been completed. The buyer’s loan will fund and the purchase price will be transferred to the seller. Deed work can be completed by the title company’s staff attorney.
In conclusion, the events of selling a home yourself are no different than the events which occur if you were selling the home with an Indiana real estate agent. The only difference is you are doing all of the work.
Home sellers and homebuyers need paperwork in order to memorialize the transaction and for legal purposes. There are several pieces of paperwork you will need. For sale by owners have the challenge of finding these forms themselves. These documents might be available online, can be created using online legal document services, or with a local attorney.
Here is a list of the FSBO paperwork documents you will likely need in order to sell a home in Indiana for sale by owner
- Purchase Agreement
- Indiana Residential Seller Disclosures – not required if the property is a multi-unit property with more than 4 units.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure – required for residential properties built in or before 1978
- Addendums to the Purchase Agreement
- Amendments to the Purchase Agreement
- Inspection Responses
- Counter Offers
- Final Walk-Through Form / Waiver
- Broker Compensation Form
Average time to sell a house in Indiana in 2021
I left this in here to better educate the public, but the truth is no entity is correctly and accurately tracking this statistic. Real estate associations across Indiana all count the days on the market differently. Whether it is the days it takes to go from first placing the home for sale to accepting an offer or from the day it went on the market to a closed transaction. Due to the fact consistent data is not available I will not provide comments on this.
5 Tips to Selling Your Home FSBO in Indiana
1. Accurately Price The Home
Incorrectly pricing your home will rob your FSBO of getting its deserved attention when it first goes on the market. This is the most common mistake made by FSBO sellers. Get a broker price opinion from a real estate agent or an appraisal from a licensed appraiser.
2. Hire A Professional To Photograph Your Home
Homebuyers are viewing homes online. It is a swipe left, swipe right world. Poor quality photos will negatively affect your home’s aesthetic sentiment and overall appeal. A professional photographer has the skills, experience, and professional grade equipment to make your home look its best.
3. Write Outstanding Marketing Remarks
Homebuyers read the marketing remarks, so write remarks which catch buyers’ attention. Either tell a story or start describing how a home solves buyers’ problems. The latter is easier. Here are some tips on certain features that solve buyers’ problems.
- Fenced yard >> Attractive to buyers with a dog
- Large yard, close to park, close to dog park >> Attractive to buyers with kids or pets
- Split-bedroom layout >> Attractive to buyers with kids
- More than one living room space >> Attractive to buyers with kids
- Location close to shopping >> Attractive to busy buyers
- High quality school district >> Attractive to buyers with kids
- Main floor living (main bedroom, bathroom, and laundry) >> Attractive to many buyers especially older buyers
- Neighborhood amenities or HOA services >> Attractive to buyers wanting low maintenance living
4. Post Your Home For Sale Everywhere
The greatest challenge for FSBO sellers is getting exposure. Post your home everywhere you can. This includes any real estate website which will accept a FSBO listing. Also, include your FSBO on your social media profiles. Encourage the people in your social circle to share it with their social circles, too. Remember, we are all just six degrees away from Kevin Bacon.
5. Work With Buyer Agents
Agents representing buyers can get the job done. They will likely ask if you are offering a commission. If the commission rate is reasonable you should seriously consider working with a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent will help make the deal run smoothly. Additionally, the buyer’s agent will manage his or her client so the buyer continues making progress in the deal.
Selling your home by owner is not complicated. But, neither is washing your clothes by hand. Selling your home by owner is time consuming, tiring, and it can be downright annoying. You are selling an item worth a lot of money to someone preparing to make one of the largest financial commitments he or she has ever made. And, on top of this there are rules and regulations you must follow. But, by following this guide you can get it done.
Or, call us.
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