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Here is an interesting statistic for home owners considering selling the house without an agent:
In 2011 sellers who used an agent sold their homes for 40% more than non-assisted sellers.
Over 35% sited commission savings as the largest reason to go it alone.
*According to the National Associations of Realtors 2011 profile on Home Buyers and Sellers.

How that translates in the real world:
Say the average sale price of house on Cape Cod is 350,000?
Lets say the homeowner agrees to a 6% commission = $21,000
The homeowner represented by an agent would have made $119,000 more than the homeowner selling on their own.

We also know that some homeowners just want to try it, so below are some tips we have put together for those who wich to be a For-Sale-By-Owner.

For-Sale-By-Owner Assistance

The average Cape Cod property owner sells once every five to seven years, whether through a realtor or on their own. Here’s what you need to know if you are a For Sale by Owner!
Marketing a house as a For Sale by Owner takes quite a large commitment of time and money to be successful. Similar to how a real estate Broker commits time and resources to the marketing and exposure of their listings.

The first two steps are:

  • Pricing your property correctly.
  • Exposing your property to as many buyers as possible.

We provide an excellent tool on our website,, to help with the pricing, our unique Map Search. Use the map to narrow the search to your neighborhood and find comparable homes for sale. This is only a partial picture though. As a seller, you really need to find out what has SOLD in your area. Doing a little research on the internet or at your local Town Hall can go a long way in coming up with a price to sell your home.

There are many ways to expose your property to buyers. Besides putting a sign out in the yard, the internet is proportionately the least expensive and one of the most productive ways. For instance, our listings get exposure on over 50 websites. Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia and countless other websites allow you to post your home for sale. Take good pictures and write an interesting description to make a good first impression. When we put together a listing we take over 100 pictures and choose only the best; buyers will decide right then and there if the home appeals to them. Newspaper ads are expensive and not as effective as they once were. However, when you do an Open House we highly recommend you advertise your home in the local paper. On Cape Cod it should be in the real estate section of the Cape Cod Times. Obviously, a sign in the yard is a must as well. Check your local by-laws to see where you are allowed to put signs and how many.

This is just the beginning. Without a Realtor the entire process is up to you! Be prepared! Below is our FSBO Steps-To-Success. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send us an email, use our contact form or 508-258-9010 for a “no hassle” FSBO consultation.

Price Your Home Correctly
Prepare Your Home for Showing (Send me an email for a list of suggestions)
Take Great Pictures!
Place a Sign in Your Yard
Have the Correct Paperwork Prepared for Potential Buyers (Lead Paint Property Transfer Notification Certification for homes before 1978, etc)
Expose Your Home to Buyers (Don’t keep it a secret, Let your neighbors know!)
• Local Papers (Cap Cod Times, The Chronicle, The Cape Codder, The Register, etc)
• Internet (Trulia, Zillow, Craigslist, etc)
• Brochures
Have Your Septic System Inspected (or research what your property requires in terms of certification). We would be happy to suggest inspectors if need be.
Disclose Material Defects!! (leaky roof, wet basement, etc)
Accommodate potential buyers schedule as much as possible when showing!
Negotiate the Offer
• Execute the Offer to Purchase (request/require a deposit at this time)
• Place Deposit in Escrow Account (usually your Attorneys) after offer is Accepted
• Present the Buyer with any necessary paperwork (Lead Paint Transfer, Property Condition Disclosure, etc)
Prepare for the Buyer Inspections
• Home Inspection
• Lead Paint
• Radon
• Pest Inspection
Negotiate based on Issues Found at the Buyers Inspections
Sign a Purchase and Sales Agreement / Request (require) an additional deposit at this time
Keep Track of all Contingencies contained in the Purchase and Sales Agreement
• Mortgage, Inspection, Home Sale Contingencies
Schedule, the Appraisal with the buyers Mortgage Institution
Confirm Buyer Receives their Mortgage Commitment (usually obtained a couple weeks prior to closing)
Schedule the Smoke/CO2 Inspection with the local Fire Department. Many require at least two weeks notice and there are certain regulations dictating where and what kind of smoke detector and CO2 detectors are used. (Contact local Fire Department for regulations and have installations done prior to inspection)
• Some towns on Cape Cod require a double walled oil tank to be installed
Call Utility Companies with a Transfer date
• Electric
• Gas
• Water – A final water reading will need to be scheduled with the town prior to closing. Give them at least two weeks notice.
Plan your Move
• Hire a Moving Company
• House must be left in “Broom Swept” condition for buyer
Prepare for the Closing
• Bring all Keys to the closing table
• Leave everything that was negotiated in the offer (draperies, appliances, any included furnishings, etc)
Anything that is a fixture of the property must be left unless otherwise negotiated (including trees, shrubs and plants).

There are other tasks associated with the selling process. This is a list highlighting some of the more important aspects.

If you have questions concerning the For Sale By Owner Steps-to-Success please feel free to contact Team OnCapeRealEstate at 508-258-9010, send us an email or click here to fill out our contact form. We are here to help!