There are two very important documents that you, as a For Sale by Owner, should be familiar with and know how to complete; the Property Disclosure and the Purchase Agreement.

  • The Property Disclosure is a document that states and discloses all information regarding the property. This document should be completed in its entirety before you show your home to prospective buyers. Having this document completed ahead of time helps to keep you safe from non-disclosure errors.
  • The Purchase Agreement isn’t required until you have a buyer for your property. This  document is a binding contract between you and the buyer that simply states the terms of the purchase including, but not limited to: the closing date and location, and any items staying after purchase (i.e. refrigerator or chandelier).
    • It is important you understand this document since you are representing yourself. By foregoing a real estate agent it is imperative you fully understand the terms to which you are signing.

If either of these documents seem intimidating and you are not sure where to begin, please contact us to schedule a FREE consultation. 

Open Houses

Open houses play a crucial role in the selling process; perhaps the second most exciting part for buyers. It’s a chance for them to see their potential new home. If they aren’t impressed at the open house there isn’t much more that can be done. However, with a few quick tricks your open house can do exactly what it was designed to.

  • Most importantly, you want to remain safe. While it’s uncomfortable to think about, you are letting strangers into your home. To stay safe, don’t host the open house alone. Make sure family members or friends know you’re hosting an open house. It’s also a good idea to have everyone sign in.
  • Buyers want to see what your home could be for them, not what it is for you. You want the home to feel like a blank canvas – furnished enough so it doesn’t feel empty, but bare enough that it invites new ideas and options for the buyers.
  • Features, features, features… there are so many features in a home that go unnoticed. Spend extra time staging these areas to increase home value and impress your potential buyers!
    • A fireplace is a great example, especially in the south since they aren’t used as often. If it’s cool out, light the fireplace. If it’s warm, light a few candles around the fireplace.
    • A nook under the stairs can be displayed as a pet’s area or converted into a hidden coat closet. Don’t let it be just a nook under the stairs.

If you have any questions about adding extra value to your home, give us a call! We would love to chat about how to make your open house a complete success.


Similar to this entire process, you need to use caution when entertaining offers.

  • An interesting aspect to negotiating as a For Sale by Owner is you do not have a middle man. You can directly negotiate with the buyer (and their agent if they have one).
  • Earnest money: if you are unfamiliar with the term, earnest money is a payment from the buyer that shows the buyer is serious – think of it as a deposit for their intentions.

We know dealing with these offers can be somewhat stressful. There is a lot of money on the line and legalities to contend with. If you would like someone to help walk you through that process give us a call or email us! 

Agent Commission

As a For Sale by Owner, your intention was to not involve an agent… However, you cannot control if your buyer has an agent or not. This section is designed to teach you how to navigate the process if your buyer does have an agent.

  • If your buyer has an agent, don’t panic. Because the agent is representing the buyer in the transaction, the buyer has the option to pay for this representation.
    • Best case scenario for you, the buyers will pay the agents full commission. If they do not want to pay all of it, chances are they’ll ask to split it with you. You can either agree to split the commission or tell them you are not going to pay any agent fees. From this point the ball is in the buyer’s court. They will either decide to pay all of their agent’s fees or walk away.

If you have any concerns about how to have this conversation with your buyer or what your options are, give us a call! We know it’s a sticky situation. The most important thing is that you aren’t taken advantage of and you know your position.