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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yes, You Can Sell Your Own Home FSBO!

I am closing on my sale in a week!

We've met all the major milestones for me to be able to say with confidence that my FSBO has been a complete success. Here is what I did to get the best price for my home. You can do it too.

1. The Marketing. I am a renov8or, so I know how to stage an apartment. And it really helped that my neighbor David at Blue Barn Photography took such amazing photos of my apartment. It helped also that I work in the digital space. I used and Zillow Postlets to market my home to the young web-savvy hipsters who I know are coveting this Carroll Gardens neighborhood.

2.  The appraisal. The appraisal came in lower than the offer price - as I knew it would. I follow these things. But I believe that the packet of comps that I prepared for the appraiser helped. We came in at $488k just $62k below asking. And I had prepared for this by choosing the offer that waived the appraisal contingency. That's right - we had multiple bids after the very first showing, and one buyer who wanted to set himself apart from the others and compete with the cash buyers agreed to waive the appraisal contingency up to $100k less than the asking price. So, I chose his offer. This didn't mean that I was home free. I still had to collect comps that had similar outdoor space to mine and to prove to the appraiser that my property was worth the asking price. So I subscribed to StreetEasy Insider, and gathered all my screenshots and made the appraiser's job a bit easier by leaving him with an 18 page information packet, including a side by side comparison of several different floor plans in my own co-op, showing why some sell for more. I was a tad concerned that the appraiser would be annoyed by this, but he was cordial. He even gave me his email address so that I could follow up with more detail on the co-op's financials.

3. Commitment. Once the buyer had his mortgage commitment, I felt pretty confident this was happening.

4. Board interview. I had seen my buyer's financials and I had met him and his family several times. I had also served on my co-op board for many years, and I knew what they looked for. I was confident the Board would like my buyer - and they did!

5. In Summary: I have absolutely nothing against brokers. They provide a valuable service, and in a tight market I would certainly avail myself. Or if time was of the essence - say I had to sell in order to take an out of state job or what have you - I would avail myself. But in my circumstances: a hot market + low inventory + flexible timeline = good FSBO opportunity to save myself $25k.

And that $25k will provide one helluva good budget to refresh the new place. Just wait and see what I have planned for my fixer upper in Jackson Heights!