What You Should Know Before You FSBO

by Zoryana Rawlins 01/14/2022

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

If you’re considering selling your home by yourself, you will need to keep track of every detail of the process. Some details like price, time management and logistics are at the forefront of decision making, while other elements of the process are harder to remember. There are some important and often-overlooked things to consider when doing a FSBO sale.


Marketing is a broad concept and includes many aspects of selling your home. After all, you can sell the most amazing house for the lowest price but still not get a buyer if nobody knows it’s for sale. Some common marketing tasks involved in selling a home include hosting open houses and sharing your home on social media. You will need to reach a wide but relevant audience and with internet marketing this can come with additional cost. However, the nuance of marketing your home goes beyond getting the listing out to potential buyers. Every detail from the staging of the home, photos or the interior and exterior and property descriptions make a difference. In short: marketing your home is a big undertaking and you might find yourself overwhelmed or frustrated unless you hire a professional to help you.

Qualifying Your Buyer

Learning what makes a buyer “qualified” in the first place is crucial to finding the right one for your home. The biggest factor is money: can a buyer actually afford to buy your home? The way to qualify is to get a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. This is an official document stating that a lender has done a full investigation of the buyer’s financial situation and approved to loan them the money to buy. Mortgage “pre-qualification,” however, is not a substitute for pre-approval and has no guarantee that the buyer can follow through with the deal financially. Unfortunately, this can cause confusion for some FSBO sellers and cause delays or other issues.

Besides the financial situation, you will want to determine how motivated the buyer is. This type of qualification requires your personal judgement and observation about the potential buyer’s sense of urgency and interest. If you’re considering FSBO it’s important to remember that real estate agents have training and experience in telling the motivated and unmotivated buyers apart. That kind of professional savvy can save you time, frustration and money in the long run.

Make Sure You’re Following the Rules

Selling a home requires a lot of paperwork. Most of that paperwork comprises tax and legal jargon that can be difficult to understand. The important thing for FSBOs is doing your research to make sure everything about the transaction is legal. What does the state and local government require from you as the seller? What steps do you need to take to comply with all the tax requirements? If you don’t follow every rule to the letter, you can leave yourself open to risk of a lawsuit.

FSBOs have definite advantages, but for many sellers the additional work and hassle outweigh the benefit. Consider these aspects of the process carefully to determine whether it’s the best way to go about selling your home.

About the Author

Zoryana Rawlins

Zoryana Rawlins is a highly motivated and self-driven REALTOR® who combines a love of the industry with a passion for constant learning and self-improvement. Before getting into the real estate business, Zoryana previously taught at ICA Language School and Foreign Service Institute of U.S. Department of State. She was a very responsible instructor and very attentive to the needs of her students. Her hard work and listening skills helped her students achieve high-level positions. As your real estate agent, Zoryana utilizes up-to-date technology tools to market your property, hosts your Open Houses, uses her negotiation skills to secure the best deal for you as well as smooth and flawless transactions that will ultimately achieve your satisfaction. Zoryana is active with Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®. A lover of all things Virginia, Zoryana lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with her husband Michael, their son Roman and two adorable dogs Tuzik and Michiko.