We Performed an Informal Poll to Understand Some of the Typical For Sale By Owner Mistakes’
What does For Sale By Owner (FSBO) mean?
The phrase “for sale by owner” is often used to note the type of home sale. With a home, the sale typically comes through an agent, retailer or broker. So, the FSBO designation is important in housing. This is unlike many other consumer products such as autos, appliances, and electronics that quite often are sold by owners.
We Help Homeowners Sell and Buy Manufactured Housing
MHVillage offers its customers many services. But at the core of all we do is the assistance we provide people in the sale of homes. We do this for all classes of professionals, and for individual homeowners as well.
For this blog post, we use customer feedback to provide readers with a list of the 8 Most Common FSBO Mistakes. Below we list solutions for avoiding those typical FSBO mistakes.
8 Most Common For Sale By Owner Mistakes
FSBO Mistake #1: Locate the Title for your Home Prior to Listing
Eventually, a buyer is going to ask for the title on the home. They want to ensure the title is available for transfer. The buyer wants to be the new owner without hassle. In addition to wanting to know the availability of the title when the time comes to transfer, the buyer also wants to know that the person they’re negotiating the sale with is the person listed. Only the person on the title can sell the home.
FSBO Mistake #2: Know the Make, Model and VIN Code of Your Home
This seems simple, right? For instance, most people immediately can communicate the make and model of their car. But homes, less so. Most stick-built homes have no make and model, in this sense. But manufactured and modular homes do. If you don’t already know who made your home, and the name or number of the particular model, do some investigating. The make and model will be listed on the title, if you’ve located it. If you’re still working on that, take a walk around the home. Most often, a manufacturer’s plate will be on the short, tow-hitch side of a manufactured home. That plate will provide a VIN number that helps you track back info on the home, by calling the state of manufacture. Also, there may be a branded manufacturer’s plate that offers the name in insignia, if not the model as well.
The added caveat here is that manufactured home buyers get more savvy all the time. Many of the people looking at a FSBO home do have a brand preference, and the seller can gain credit and trust for immediately being able to say, “This is a 1997 Fleetwood”. For instance.
For the VIN, understand each section of the home will have its own VIN. So, you’ll want to be on the lookout for a VIN associated with each section if you live in a multi-section home. They two will be similar, but not the same.
FSBO Mistake #3: Have The Home Dimensions Handy
A lot of times, someone looking through a house will ask for a floor plan or the square footage. It’s very helpful to have a sheet that shows the floor plan. Square footage would be on that sheet, or discernible from doing some simple math. However, the first question a manufactured home buyer will ask is “what are the dimensions of this home”. That’s a request for width and length. You may not already know the answer. Perhaps it’s directly noted on the printed floor plan, or in other literature you have with the home. If not, get your tape measure and run it along one long side, and one short side. Maybe do this anyhow, just to check the record on your home dimensions. The tape measure won’t lie (if you measure at least twice).
And now you know you live in a 15 x 72-foot home!
FSBO Mistake #4: Talk to the Community Owner or Manager
OK, it is your home and you’re the seller. But if you live in a community, there undoubtedly are park rules at play for aspects of sale and new residency. The buyer, assuming they’re staying in the community, will want to understand the park rules. Obviously, you cannot sell a home to a person younger than 55 years old if you’re in a retirement community. There likely will be rules about pets. How many people can live in the home. These really are all standard order kind of stuff. The good news is that you, as the seller, may be missing some perks! Perhaps you get paid a fee for finding the buyer? Or maybe the new resident gets a price break for the first year, free lawn maintenance or unanticipated benefits at the clubhouse. Now wouldn’t these be good selling points?
FSBO Mistake #5: How much is the lot rent?
Someone comes to look at your house and hasn’t stopped in to the community office or looked at the website. And why would they if they’re still making decisions about the actual home? So, you know what you pay for lot rent. Be ready to tell them. The anticipated monthly cost of the home should be on the table.
FSBO Mistake #6: Fix the Small Stuff
If you were being coached by a professional home seller, they might say to avoid large expenditures. In other words, don’t rip up and replace carpet, or bring in new kitchen cabinets. Whatever you spend might meet your desires, but the buyer may have ideas of her own and not find the value you perceive. However, patch holes in the wall. Touch up with paint. Secure the dangling doorknob and put the the closet door back on track. These are all simple repairs that can be done for less than $100. And no interested buyer wants to see these small repairs unaddressed because that will lead them to believe the bigger stuff they cannot see also is in disrepair. Provide some confidence to the potential buyer by fixing the small stuff.
FSBO Mistake #7: Get an Appraisal for the Home
Now, most people know that a home appraisal is part of the home sale. It often is ordered by the bank to ensure a loan amount is in line with the market value of the home. However, if you order a reliable market-based appraisal yourself, you can have that appraisal report out on the counter when potential buyers come through. This will be another measure that provides confidence for the buyer. Not only did you think to order the appraisal ahead of time, but the value it states will provide a well-documented education on the current market value of manufactured homes. The potential buyer may need this education if they’re new to the market, moving from apartment rentals or have lived in or owned a site-built home.
FSBO Mistake #8: Fill Out a Seller Disclosure Statement
This is something that buyers most often request, but it can be a good pre-emptive measure for sellers, too. Typically, a seller disclosure statement is a one- to four-page checklist of home and home system items that can be verified as in proper working order. And they point out a few items where there is a problem. Hopefully, the problems are minor and will not stall or kill the sale. Regardless, pointing out that sometimes “a heavy rain from the west might cause leaking above one window” again will inspire the buyer’s confidence in you as a seller, and in your home.
If you want more information on selling your own home, our experts at MHVillage have put together a handy Home Sellers Kit for download. It provides a lot of information on how to list your home with MHVillage, including how to write a great sales caption and the best use of photos for selling your home.