5 Mistakes to Avoid when Selling A Home “For Sale By Owner”

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The number one reason people decide to sell their home for sale by owner is to save on commission fees. Many ‘For Sale by Owner’ sellers think their home will be easy to sell and that its not necessary to use a real estate agent to make it happen.

In very hot seller markets, where for sale by owner activity is high, this may work. However in the Lake Norman/Charlotte region, most of the time, ‘For Sale By Owner’ homes fall flat and fall hard.

Here are 5 major mistakes to avoid when attempting to sell your home yourself (FSBO):

#1 FSBO Mistake –  Expecting that a sign and a few Facebook posts is enough to start getting offers.

A recent study in 2016 by the National Associations of Realtors® says that over 95% buyers start their home search online. The next question should be where online do they look.

By doing a quick google search you can easily discover the top 5 website people where people are searching for homes. If the FSBO home you’re trying to sell isn’t found on all of those websites you are not being seen by 95% of buyers!  The old adage “Location, Location, Location” is certainly true when marketing a home for sale. If information about your home isn’t located in the top spots, your missing out on opportunities every single day.

#2 FSBO Mistake- Taking photos that don’t do justice for the home.

If you are a professional photographer, this wouldn’t be an issue. But the vast majority of people selling their home “FSBO” don’t have the professional cameras and lighting to capture photos that buyers are drawn to. Instead they often look amateur, and are usually too dark, cluttered, angled wrong, tilted off-axis and too zoomed-in.

With the rise of cheaper cameras, and a competitive photography market, photos of homes are looking better now than ever before. Home buyers are used to seeing bright and colorful professional photos when they are browsing homes for sale, and when there is a comparable home with better photography, you can bet that will the be the home they show more interest in. Bad photos equal missed opportunities.

How to Sell Home For Sale By Owner in North Carolina - Photography Comparison

#3 FSBO Mistake – Staging the home only consists of making the bed and sweeping.

Did you know there are professional stagers whose sole job is to make a home more inviting and appealing to buyers. Most home owners simply have too much stuff in their homes. We all do this: as years of holidays and birthdays and shopping trip go by, more and more stuff fills up our home. Since we see it everyday, we are completely blind to it.

A cluttered home makes rooms look smaller, and it also gives reasons for a home buyer to move on to the next home. Home buyers are picky. Many times they just can’t get passed a dated piece of furniture, or a slightly messy room. Even a smell can set them off. Don’t make the mistake of inadequate staging.

Professional Real Estate Staging - Lake Norman

#4 FSBO Mistake –  Not working with buyer’s agents.

A buyers agents job is to help their client or clients find a home to buy. They get paid based on a commission from the home being sold.  If a FSBO seller decides to stick it to the man and deny a commission to a buyer’s agent, what incentive is there for that agent to show a client the home? None at all.

Win-win deals with buyer’s agents will encourage them to show the property, increasing the chance to find a buyer.

#5 FSBO Mistake – Pricing the home based on something other than solid market research.

Here’s a secret: a home listed “For Sale By Owner” may actually be worth MORE than what it is listing it for. Its true! Many home owners make the mistake of just picking a number out of thin air when deciding the asking price.

This can be a very costly mistake.

The best way to price a home is by doing the homework and research necessary by studying comparable home sales in the area.  From there, you can make adjustments based on the location, features and other factors which bring the value either up or down.  Pricing a home isn’t always easy, and often only comes from lots and lots of experience in the local market. The difficulty of pricing a home is why Realtors® truly have an upper hand in this department, because they do it so often they’re much better at gauging value (providing they have the experience of course).


So there you have it, the 5 worst mistakes ‘For Sale By Owner’ sellers make when attempting to sell their home.

Now that you know what NOT to do. You’re probably interested in the knowing the best steps to successfully sell your home ‘For Sale by Owner’.  You are in luck! We’ve written that very thing, you can read it here:

GO HERE NEXT: Step-by-Step Instructions to sell a FSBO home in 2016 (In North Carolina)




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[one_third]Top 4 Reasons Why Your Home Hasn't Sold[/one_third]


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Owner / Broker / REALTOR® Mike Toste “Lake Norman Mike” brings more than 24 years of marketing, sales and negotiating experience to the sale of your home or to the purchase of your new home…READ MORE.
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19901 W Catawba Ave #104
Cornelius, NC 28031

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Lake Norman Mike :: Lake Norman Real Estate Agent is located on 19901 W Catawba Ave #104 Cornelius.

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