Searching for FSBO Properties

One of the smartest actions a homeowner can take when they find themselves in a financial hole they can't dig themselves out of is to sell their home and move into more affordable accommodations. To save money, they may try the FSBO (for sale by owner) route, so they don't have to pay the standard 6-8 percent real estate commission. This approach, however, often backfires, because selling a home without the assistance of a real estate agent isn't all that easy. The homeowners may find that they have few interested house hunters or they don't have the money to fix the house up to make it marketable, and the house lingers on the market while their financial hole deepens.

Of course, FSBO sellers aren't always experiencing financial hardship, but you never know until you knock on the door, take a look around, and talk with the homeowners.

You can locate FSBOs by driving around the neighborhood and looking for "For Sale" or "For Sale By Owner" signs. These are usually the cheaper looking For Sale signs that you can pick up at your local hardware store, pen in your phone number with a permanent market, and poke into your front lawn.

Another way to locate FSBOs is to check any of the many for-sale-by-owner sites on the Web. One of the more popular sites is cleverly called ForSaleByOwner. com at www.forsalebyowner.com. You can find additional sites by pulling up your favorite Internet search tool and searching for "for sale by owner." Look for keywords in the listing, such as "fixer-upper," "needs work," "foreclosure," or "must sell." I mention FSBO sites only because they may lead you to opportunities. I advise against subscribing to any sites that specifically sell foreclosure listings. I've subscribed to "exclusive" listings in the past that have included homes I had already purchased at a sale. In other words, the listings are often useless.

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