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For Sale By Owner - Negotiating a Contract

for sale by owner

FSBO - For Sale By Owner

7 Steps to Successfully Selling Your Own Home By Owner - FSBO

Step 4. FSBO Negotiations



As a For Sale By Owner FSBO, once a buyer wants to make an offer on your home, preparing yourself for the negotiation phase of the real estate transaction process includes being aware of what you’re willing to give up and knowing what you absolutely must have in order to make the sale. Reevaluate your goals and motivation before responding to an offer. You’ll want to be precisely clear on

  1. what price you will accept
  2. what terms you will agree to and
  3. any items that you need to be aware of that may be included in conditions of the purchase agreement.

Knowing what you want and must have in advance will preclude the buyers or buyer’s agents from using any negotiating “tactics” to induce you to accept a less than optimal offer. Think about which items of personal property you are willing to let convey with the property (i.e. refrigerator, washer, dryer, chandeleir, ceiling fans, etc). Sometimes giving up on small items can give you leverage on the larger issues such as price and financing terms thereby allowing you obtain your goals while letting the purchasers know that you are approaching the transaction in a spirit of a cooperative with a "win-win" mindset. Always keep the "big picture" in mind and don't lose a sale over unimportant details.

Don’t allow buyers or their agents to make verbal offers to test the waters with regards to price or terms you might accept. Only consider written offers. If a "buyer's agent calls with a contract, they will probably present the contract directly to you without the buyers being present. Remember that the buyer's agent will be working for the buyer’s best interests and that anything you tell them must, by law, be conveyed to the buyer. Don’t tell the buyer's agent anything about your motivation or that you would consider a lower selling price unless you want the buyer to know.

Always ask for and obtain a copy of the buyer’s pre-qualification or pre-approval letter along with the purchase offer before accepting an offer to purchase your home. A contract without a pre-approval letter isn't worth the paper it's written on. Almost all contracts have contingencies which provide for the purchaser to walk away from the contract should they be unable to obtain financing. A pre-approval letter lets you know that the financing contingency is at least partially already being met thereby giving you a far greater chance of reaching a successful real estate settlement.

Step 5