For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

A For Sale By Owner, or FSBO (pronounced fizz-bow), is a home that is being sold directly by the seller, without a listing agent. The benefit to the seller is that he is not paying a commission on the sale of his home, saving him between 3 and 6 percent of the final agreed-upon selling price. However, this means that the seller is responsible for all of the detailed work involved in the sale of his home.

FSBO sellers must select the proper contracts and be aware of their state’s laws regarding the disclosure of their property’s condition. If a seller does not handle disclosures of property defects in the right way, he opens himself up to the possibility of a lawsuit if the buyer feels there has been any fraud. In addition, a poorly worded contract or changes to the contract can give the buyer an easy way out of the contract, which costs the seller time and money. Hire a real estate attorney to draft up the proper contracts for you.

A seller who can stage, price and market a home may want advice on contracts and the legal aspects of the sale. Some agents will consult with FSBO sellers for a flat fee or sellers can consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate law. Some agents are willing to work as transaction agents, meaning they do not represent the buyer or seller, but simply facilitate the sales transaction to ensure it is conducted properly and in accordance with the law. The best way to find a transaction agent is to ask at real estate offices to see if anyone among their staff is a willing and experienced transaction agent. FSBO sellers can often negotiate a commission percentage or a flat fee for the service.