Selling a home for sale by owner (FSBO) in Florida can help you save a lot of money. However, it also has its own set of challenges. But thankfully, there are many for sale by owner websites that can help you ease the process for you. Listing your home via flat-fee MLS Florida is also a viable option.
This guide breaks down the fastest process of how to sell a house in Florida by owner.
Selling a house by owner in Florida
Staging and preparing the home for sale:
Having a presentable home is always a USP. Cleaning and de-cluttering can go a long way in making your house look good. If there are some repairs that have to be made before selling, do not neglect them. Repairing a leaky faucet may not cost you much but it can definitely turn off potential buyers.
In Florida, water damage is an issue and most buyers tend to look out for places that don’t have these problems.
But, if the house demands major repairs that can cost you both time and money, an alternative is to sell it “as-is”.
Pricing the property
Correct pricing is the key to attracting the right kind of buyers. It is always advisable to do some research prior to pricing your home. The price at which similar properties in your area are listed or sold is easy to check online. Based on this, determine what your house is worth.
But be wary of some for sale by owner websites that are may dupe you.
Market the property
There are many for sale by owner websites like Craig’s List & Trulia where you can list your property for free. The benefit of such websites is added exposure as compared to working with a single home buyer.
However, you will have to manage several showings and evaluate the credibility of the buyers depending on complicated mortgage financing. Negotiation can also be a hassle if you come across a seasoned realtor.
Another option is using the service of flat fee MLS Florida. Under this, a company charges a flat fee and not a percentage-based commission to list your house on the MLS (multiple listing service). The fee usually starts at some hundred dollars but it is great for sellers who have some real-estate experience and time to manage showings.
Examples of companies offering flat-fee MLS Florida include Houzeo, Doug Addeo, and List With Freedom.
If your pricing is correct and your house has received the needed exposure, an interested party will contact you with an offer. Now comes the trickiest part – negotiation.
You will have to think through the buyer’s proposed terms and then accept/reject/negotiate accordingly. Remember price is not the only area open for negotiation. It could include anything from repairs to the closing date. The process is a bit easier when you have a seller’s agent in the mix. FSBO sellers, on the other hand, have to manage these things on their own.
Taking care of the documentation
Sadly, just 50% of FSBO sales in Florida end up closing. This is starkly less compared to 95% of successful deals that involve a real estate agent. FSBO contracts in Florida can prove to be a hassle for inexperienced sellers. You have to avoid entering into improper contracts & hence vague titles.
Make sure that any contract you sign has the following information clearly stated:
- Closing date
- Title and survey
- Financial contingency
You can also use “As Is” residential contracts when selling FSBO. These forms are created by industry experts to make sure that there are minimum possible chances of legal issues and are hence a great choice of real-estate firms in Florida.
It is noteworthy that Florida has a “duty to disclose” mandate, which means that any defects in the house will need to be disclosed upfront.
Signing the contract
Once you are happy with the written contract, get ready to sign it. From this stage, there is no turning back. You will be legally bound to go ahead with the sale unless there is a contingency clause in the contract.
For example, you can make a contingent that the sale will go through once you have found a new home.
If you have arrived on the closing day without any hiccups, pat yourself on the back as your house sale has been successful. But some key things should be complete for the closing to go smoothly.
These include approval of buyer’s financing, the buyer is ready to pay closing costs, contingencies in the contract are met, no paperwork is missing.
If all of this goes smoothly, you will have successfully closed on your home. This means the ownership is transferred to the buyer and the money is in your account.