The Ultimate Home Seller’s Step-By-Step Guide

When you prepare to place your home on the market for sale it becomes a product. Just like any product on the shelves at your local store it has features & benefits, pluses & minuses, and there are other products to compare yours to. To gain an edge in your marketplace you must be priced right and look better than the competition. Sometimes it is difficult to think of your home as a mere product, but it helps to think that way so that you can get top dollar for your property and sell in a reasonable amount of time. When you sell your home, you are going to have to move. When you move, you are going to have to pack. Most of the principles of staging just mean that you are going to pack up some of your things early. It is a little bit of work, but you are going to have to do it anywayso let’s do it now so that you can get top dollar for your property.

In 15 Seconds… YOUR HOME WILL MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION People make snap decisions in new situations. This is especially true during a showing of a home they are considering. In preparing your home for the market, we need to put this trait of human nature to work for us. Your home needs to make an impression such that the snap judgments of potential buyers are favorable. During the showing, the buyer will make judgments about your home as they view it through the “lens” formed in that first 15 seconds. Remember, people judge what they cannot see by what they can see. There is so much of what a home has to offer that you cannot see. So we need to make sure that what can be seen is presented perfectly. That’s the purpose behind this booklet.

Click Here For Your Free Sellers Home Prep Guide

Homes For Sale In North Port

3687 TONKIN DR NORTH PORT, FL 34287-3281, North Port, FL

$ Click for current price

4 BEDROOMS | 3 Baths(2 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 2404 SqFt

Don't miss out, this one won't last long!!!  This immaculate, professionally designed CUSTOM BUILT 2,400 Square Foot, two story home with a screened in patio invites comfort, exudes modern elegance.  With four bedrooms, two and a half baths, sleek kitchen with custom wood cabinets & granite counter tops, generous living space and stylish finishes, you'll enjoy a perfect setting for relaxing and entertaining. Beautifully tiled floors in main living areas and plenty of natural light flow throughout the home's open airy layout.  Other special highlights include a charming tray ceiling in the master suite, a spacious inside laundry room, a fabulous formal dining area, beautifully easily maintainable landscape, and tons of storage space. Call or Email Today For Your Own Private Showing!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Presented By:

Showing Agent:

The Larson Team

Realtor

Keller Williams Realty Gold

941-993-8222

Licensed In: FL

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Just Sold – 3954 S Chamberlain Blvd, North Port, FL

Just Sold – 3954 S Chamberlain Blvd, North Port, FL

$ Click for current price


3 BEDROOMS |

Just Sold In North Port,FL!!! This amazing 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage pool home is located in a desirable area of North Port with CITY WATER! This home features a split bedroom floor plan with wood flooring throughout with the exception of the tiled kitchen. The quaint kitchen features a granite counter tops, marble backsplash, and it includes appliances all at this great price! This home features a large master suite and both the second and third bedrooms have ceiling fans & bi-folding closets. The guest bathroom includes a tub/shower combo, vanity and toilet. The great room has vaulted ceilings and is very spacious and open – Great space for entertaining your family & friends. Sliding glass doors leads you out to your own private screened in retreat where you can enjoy your morning cup of coffee or cool off in your sparkling private pool! This home features a large fenced in backyard as well as a nicely stone paver entertaining area! This property is a MUST-SEE! Convenient to the new Coco Plum Shopping Plaza, Schools, Dining, churches and other amenities. This home won't last long – make an appointment to see it today!

 

 

 

Presented By:

The Larson Team, Keller Williams Realty Gold

Realtor


Keller Williams Realty Gold


941-993-9503


Licensed In: FL

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Another Home Under Contract In North Port, FL

3954 S Chamberlain Blvd, North Pt, FL

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS |

This amazing 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage pool home is located in a desirable area of North Port with CITY WATER! This home features a split bedroom floor plan with wood flooring throughout with the exception of the tiled kitchen. The quaint kitchen features a granite counter tops, marble backsplash, and it includes appliances all at this great price! This home features a large master suite and both the second and third bedrooms have ceiling fans & bi-folding closets. The guest bathroom includes a tub/shower combo, vanity and toilet. The great room has vaulted ceilings and is very spacious and open – Great space for entertaining your family & friends. Sliding glass doors leads you out to your own private screened in retreat where you can enjoy your morning cup of coffee or cool off in your sparkling private pool! This home features a large fenced in backyard as well as a nicely stone paver entertaining area! This property is a MUST-SEE! Convenient to the new Coco Plum Shopping Plaza, Schools, Dining, churches and other amenities. This home won’t last long – make an appointment to see it today!

Presented By:

The Larson Team, Keller Williams Realty Gold

Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Gold
941-993-9503
Licensed In: FL

  • Link on Facebook

 


Open House North Port, FL

5243 Blue Heron Cir, North Port, FL

OPEN HOUSE November 17, Saturday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

$ Click for current price

4 BEDROOMS | 3 Baths(2 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS |

BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED and EXCEPTIONALLY MAINTAINED HOME in the ever popular HERON CREEK GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB! The open and airy floor plan is so inviting and flows very nicely into the great room and formal dining room. As you open the sliders and bring the outside in, the wonderful view of the sparkling pool, paver stone surfaces and private wooded backyard entices one to just kick back and enjoy! This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath has stainless appliances, large breakfast bar plus a separate eat-in area connected to the kitchen. Ceramic tile throughout the main living and dining area. Large master bedroom with laminate wood flooring and attention drawing tray ceiling. 4th bedroom may be used as a den or office. As one of Southwest Florida's Superior Gated Communities, Heron Creek offers a ton of year round amenities which include an elegant 21,000 sq.ft. clubhouse with both casual and fine dining, 27 hole championship golf course, pro shop, game room, learning and fitness center, tennis courts and resort style pool and spa. This master planned community is also just minutes to restaurants, shopping, performing arts center and surrounding area beaches. Buyer is required to join the Country club with 3 different levels to choose from,plus a one-time Capital Contribution of $3,000. Application and fee to be submitted prior to closing. Capital Contribution is a one time fee that goes into your neighborhood fund and is equal to 1/4 of the Annual HOA fee.

 

Presented By:

The Larson Team, Keller Williams Realty Gold

Realtor

Keller Williams Realty Gold

941-993-9503

Licensed In: FL

  • Link on Facebook

 

 

 

 

4960 Gulf Of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL – For Sale by Owner

4960 Gulf Of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL

For Sale by Owner

Presented By:

The Larson Team, Keller Williams Realty Gold

Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Gold
941-993-9503
Licensed In: FL

  • Link on Facebook
 

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$ Click for current price
2 BEDROOMS |

Rarely Available, Top Floor, Corner Unit with Panoramic Bay Views! Deeded gulf beach access! From sunrise to sunset, this corner penthouse condo will delight. This spacious residence offers unparalleled Gulf to Bay Views. Short walk to gulf with deeded beach access! Begin the morning watching the sunrise over the bay from the large tiled lanai, complete with upgraded PGT windows. The sizeable master bedroom with en-suite, walk in closet, and extra storage easily accommodates a king-sized bed, and dressers. Guest bedroom features built in storage and ample closet space. Natural light and new PGT picture windows in the living-dining room combination allow for unobstructed view of the Bay. Storage abounds with multiple large utility closets, along with a convenient storage unit for your beach/boating/fishing gear and assigned under building parking. The 1,523 sq. foot residence has many recent updates: 2017-stainless steel refrigerator; 2016- new dishwasher, oven/range, microwave, Washer/Dryer; Water heater-2015; HVAC- 2014. This residence is located in the prime location of the 25 acre complex providing you easy access to the club house and larger of the two outdoor pools, tennis and pickle ball courts.Walking trails wind along the intercostal throughout the property. Appreciate keeping an eye on your boat from the marina or launching your kayak from right outside your backdoor. Windward Bay amenities include two marinas, kayak storage, walking and bike trails, two tennis courts, fitness center

 

4960 Gulf Of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL – Make an Offer

4960 Gulf Of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL

Make an Offer

Presented By:

The Larson Team, Keller Williams Realty Gold

Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Gold
941-993-9503
Licensed In: FL

  • Link on Facebook
 

Logo

$ Click for current price
2 BEDROOMS |

Rarely Available, Top Floor, Corner Unit with Panoramic Bay Views! Deeded gulf beach access! From sunrise to sunset, this corner penthouse condo will delight. This spacious residence offers unparalleled Gulf to Bay Views. Short walk to gulf with deeded beach access! Begin the morning watching the sunrise over the bay from the large tiled lanai, complete with upgraded PGT windows. The sizeable master bedroom with en-suite, walk in closet, and extra storage easily accommodates a king-sized bed, and dressers. Guest bedroom features built in storage and ample closet space. Natural light and new PGT picture windows in the living-dining room combination allow for unobstructed view of the Bay. Storage abounds with multiple large utility closets, along with a convenient storage unit for your beach/boating/fishing gear and assigned under building parking. The 1,523 sq. foot residence has many recent updates: 2017-stainless steel refrigerator; 2016- new dishwasher, oven/range, microwave, Washer/Dryer; Water heater-2015; HVAC- 2014. This residence is located in the prime location of the 25 acre complex providing you easy access to the club house and larger of the two outdoor pools, tennis and pickle ball courts.Walking trails wind along the intercostal throughout the property. Appreciate keeping an eye on your boat from the marina or launching your kayak from right outside your backdoor. Windward Bay amenities include two marinas, kayak storage, walking and bike trails, two tennis courts, fitness center

 

House For Sale In North Port

5243 Blue Heron Cir, North Port, FL

For Sale

Presented By:

The Larson Team, Keller Williams Realty Gold

Realtor

Keller Williams Realty Gold

941-993-9503

Licensed In: FL

  • Link on Facebook
 

Logo

 

$ Click for current price

4 BEDROOMS | 3 Baths
2 full, 1 half BATHROOMS |

 

BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED and EXCEPTIONALLY MAINTAINED HOME in the ever popular HERON CREEK GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB! The open and airy floor plan is so inviting and flows very nicely into the great room and formal dining room. As you open the sliders and bring the outside in, the wonderful view of the sparkling pool, paver stone surfaces and private wooded backyard entices one to just kick back and enjoy! This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath has stainless appliances, large breakfast bar plus a separate eat-in area connected to the kitchen. Ceramic tile throughout the main living and dining area. Large master bedroom with laminate wood flooring and attention drawing tray ceiling. 4th bedroom may be used as a den or office. As one of Southwest Florida's Superior Gated Communities, Heron Creek offers a ton of year round amenities which include an elegant 21,000 sq.ft. clubhouse with both casual and fine dining, 27 hole championship golf course, pro shop, game room, learning and fitness center, tennis courts and resort style pool and spa. This master planned community is also just minutes to restaurants, shopping, performing arts center and surrounding area beaches. Buyer is required to join the Country club with 3 different levels to choose from,plus a one-time Capital Contribution of $3,000. Application and fee to be submitted prior to closing. Capital Contribution is a one time fee that goes into your neighborhood fund and is equal to 1/4 of the Annual HOA fee.

 

 

 

 

 

25 Tips For Moving With Kids Or Pets

Image result for Pets & Kids Moving

25 Tips For Moving With Kids Or Pets

Moving is stressful all on its own, but when you add in the complications that kids or pets (or both) can bring to the mix, it can feel downright impossible. Depending on the age of your children and whether your fur baby is a cat or a dog, some moves can be easier than others, but any stress you're feeling can manifest exponentially in your dependents.

The good news is that with a little bit of foresight and a lot of planning, you can smooth the way for your kids, pets, or both to ensure the move is as low-stress for them as possible. And when your children (of any species) are happier, you'll also feel some relief. Win-win! Before your move your household to a new residence, read these tips, then make your plan.

Consider the timing

There really isn't an "easy" time to move your household, but there are definitely some life events that make moving more difficult for everybody. If there's been a death in the family or you're getting a divorce, then both the children and the pets are likely to already be feeling some anxiety. Adding a move on top of that is generally not the best plan if it's at all possible to avoid it.

Delaying a move by six months to a year to give all the dependents in the household time to adjust might be completely impossible, which is understandable — life happens out of our control all the time. But think about whether you can offer your babies a respite from change for at least a few months so that you aren't heaping change after change on kids or animals.

Research your new area

When you tell your kids about the move, they're going to have questions. Your pets may not have quite as many questions, but they'll still want the assurance of some consistency, like the ability to go on a walk or the availability of their food.

Do some research into schools, parks, walking trails, pet stores, veterinarians, pediatricians, local restaurants and attractions, libraries, and more. Find some gems that you know will excite your kids when they hear about them, or your pets when they discover them, and be able to answer questions honestly. Older kids might want to help with research, and you should encourage them to dig into whatever they want to know about their new home, but it really helps to have a solid understanding of where you're going before you break the news.

Talk to your kids about the move

There are plenty of age-appropriate conversations you can have with your children when you're getting ready to move in order to help them prepare emotionally for the change. (Unfortunately, this doesn't work nearly so well with pets, but if you think that your animals understand you, feel free to give them a rundown, too!)

Explain to your children why you have to move and talk to them about what it will mean. Depending on how old they are, their concerns will vary. Younger kids might have more questions about what will happen to their toys, while adolescents are likely to be more concerned about school and friends.

This is a good time to share some of what you've learned about your new area, such as whether the local grocery store carries their favorite snacks, or what their new school will be like. You don't want to overwhelm your kids, but help them get excited about the change by emphasizing some of the positive differences between here and there.

Emphasize similarity, too

People (and animals) dread change because they're afraid of the unknown. So while you're having any moving discussions, make a point to talk about what isn't going to change. If you've always hosted Thanksgiving, then tell your kids they'll still be celebrating by cooking with you in the kitchen. If you take a regular vacation every summer to visit grandparents, talk about when you'll do that. Tell your sports fans that they'll still be able to watch or play their favorites, or emphasize to your bookworm that the library is in the same district and access to all the same books is guaranteed.

Pets won't be as able to appreciate these discussions, but you can do them a favor by thinking about how you can work to emphasize similarity when they get to their new environment. Can you set up their favorite "room" exactly the way they know it right now? What can you do to acclimate them to some of the new sights and sounds and smells they'll encounter during the move?

Get your pets used to carriers, kennels, or cars

On that note, if your cat doesn't see the cat carrier except when you're getting ready to take him to the vet, and your dog isn't used to riding in your car, then it's time for you to help them get accustomed to some of those unfamiliar items and experiences. The more familiar they become, the easier time your pet will have on moving day.

Take any carriers out from whatever dusty closet you've stashed them and open the doors. Leave them out for as long as you can and give your cats the chance to walk in and out at will. Take your dogs on car rides to the pet store, the park, and other fun places where she can get excited, and help her learn to identify car rides as an adventure.

If you can, it probably also isn't a terrible idea to leave out some empty moving boxes and gradually fill them with your things. Your pets will become accustomed to the boxes as a matter of course.

Make a moving day plan

Moving day itself is going to be peak stressful for you, the pets, and the kids, so to remove some of that stress in advance, plan the heck out of the day itself. For kids, this may involve coming up with safe ways they can participate, or alternatively, planning to get them the heck out of the way while the move is actually taking place. If you have friends or grandparents who've offered to help watch the kids, take them up on it!

For pets, a moving day plan may involve dropping them off at a pet hotel or doggie day care, or keeping their favorite room as intact as possible and locking them inside while everything gets moved out of the house. Change is especially hard on animals, and leaving doors open while people move furniture and boxes outside gives them too much opportunity to escape, so there aren't really any great options, here. If you have the chance to acclimate them to the pet care facilities in advance, then this might be the least stressful for your fur babies.

Give your kids some choices

Maybe you can let the kids pick out their own bedrooms in the new house, or even help you search for possible homes online. Even if that's a stretch too far, there are plenty of ways you can give children agency in the move, including letting them pick the paint color in their new room, or decide how to arrange the furniture, or maybe select a new bedding set or framed poster for their space. The more freedom you give your kids to make decisions, the easier it will be to help them get excited about the move as a whole.

Consider hiring movers

Hiring movers can be like hiring someone to clean the house — perhaps you feel like packing and moving is something you should be able to do yourself. But also much like hiring someone to clean the house, the amount of stress that hiring a pro can alleviate is noteworthy and often well worth the expense.

Professional packers and movers have turned the chaos of moving into a science. Their efficiency and expertise can save you days of your own life, and they can also allow you to make alternate plans for moving day itself. Maybe you can take the kids to an amusement park or the dog to the dog park while your partner supervises the move?

Secure your animals while the move is happening

Two things you already know you don't want to be doing on moving day: chasing your leashless, collarless dog through the neighborhood or coaxing your cat out from underneath the porch. If sending them to day care or having a trusted friend watch them isn't an option, then make sure you're prepared to keep your pets confined and contained while the move erupts around them.

Secure them behind a door they can't open and leave water, litter boxes, toys, and whatever else they might need for a few hours out and available for them. Make sure you have a loud, obnoxious sign that you can fasten on the door warning anyone who might open it that there are freaked-out pets behind it and asking them to leave it shut.

Find an activity to keep everyone occupied during the move

If you can get your pets a new, complicated toy, or buy some puzzle books for your kids, you'll be able to distract them much more easily. Moving parents or pet-owners who hire movers might have a lot more flexibility here to manifest a distraction — take the kids to a movie or go on a long hike with your pup, or sprinkle some catnip on the scratching post for your kitten.

Pack (and remove items) while they're asleep …

Kids have the strangest habit of declaring that the baby toy they haven't touched for years is their new most favorite, most sentimentally valued of all their possessions. Decluttering your living area is a fantastic idea before you move, and sometimes this can be done most easily after the children are asleep.

This tactic really works best for the youngest kids, who are most inclined to forget that they ever owned a butterfly elephant stuffed animal. For older kids, try a different approach.

… Or let your kids help pack their own things

Older children will appreciate the chance to find security in the familiar by packing up their own rooms and possessions. Let them decide what to keep and what to toss, and help them get excited by talking about how they'll arrange their new room. Ask them what you can do to help make their new living space feel perfect for them.

Even younger kids can take advantage of the excitement of moving if you let them pack a small box, especially if you're letting them pack a few toys and treasured items to bring with them in the car or on the plane.

Take as much help as you can get

Friends, family, and neighbors often offer to help with a move, and many movers don't quite know how to take them up on the offer. If you trust them with your kids or pets, then having them entertain or watch your babies while you deal with the logistics can be a great way to leverage their help.

This doesn't have to happen only on the day of the move, either. Kids appreciate trips to the ice-cream parlor or movie theater at just about any time, and dogs like being walked, and cats enjoy playing with feather toys, too. If you can't think of anything else for your potential helpers to do, having them shower your dependents with attention is always a good option.

Give them time to say goodbye

Pets might not understand the meaning of leaving, but it's all too acute for kids. Talk to them about what and whom they think they'll miss the most, and give them time and opportunities to spend with those beloved spaces and people. For kids, throwing a "see you later" party or giving them a ritual tour through the empty house before you leave for good can help them adjust to the change more smoothly.

Help them make a plan for keeping in touch

Kids can also benefit by talking through a plan to keep in touch with their best friends and relatives they're leaving behind. This is easier than ever in the age of technology, so you can help them exchange email addresses with their friends or make sure that they're connected via phone, but it might also help to talk about plans to come back and visit if that's in the cards for you. Giving kids something to look forward to if they're having trouble adjusting in their new home can make a huge difference.

Pets aren't able to make their own plans to keep in touch with loved ones, but if it's feasible for you to do it for them, then you should do what you can to ensure that they still get to see favorite people or animals every now and again. Maybe your catsitter can agree to stop by when he's next visiting your new town, or your brother and fellow dog enthusiast could plan a weekend trip soon.

Get your documents in order

Before you leave, make sure you've made plans for transferring your kids' medical and school records from one entity to another, and do the same for your pets' veterinary records. Any other legal or medical documents that you might need should be considered and managed before you go — because when you really need those items in a hurry, it's almost never possible to acquire them, so tackle it on the front end.

Prepare 'overnight' kits

If you're going to be traveling for more than a day, whether on a plane or in the car, then you'll want to get some overnight bags ready for the kids and the pets. Kids can help with this on their own and often find some comfort in choosing the toys and books that will accompany them on the journey, and pets will feel similar comfort if you can surround them with smells and items that are familiar and dear to them.

Don't forget about medication for any of your dependents, and make sure you're packing plenty of food and water for your pets. It's also wise to stash an extra leash and collar or harness for your dog; you don't want to be tempted to let any animals out of your car before they're fully secured.

Pets should travel with you

If it's at all possible, the stress of the move will be less acute for your fur babies if you can bring them with you in the vehicle you're driving. If your pet is in a carrier or a kennel, draping a blanket or sheet on top of it can help with any distress caused by unfamiliar landscapes or even just being inside a rapidly moving car.

Dogs should also be secured. Consider getting a gate that will keep your dog in a specific area of your car but still allow the pup to move around if they like. Give them toys and talk to them during the drive, and don't open your car door until the dog is leashed.

Secure hotels (if needed) in advance

Long car trips sometimes mean stops at hotels in between, so if this is in the cards for you, do a little bit of research to see what's available and make sure your kids and pets will be comfortable there. Look for pet-friendly hotels if it's relevant, and maybe if you have an option between a hotel with a pool and one without, opt for the pool so you can hype it up to the kids.

Unpack 'their' rooms first

For kids, unpacking their bedroom first can help them start feeling at home more quickly than you'd expect. See if you can get their bed and bedding set up at the least, and try to prioritize their space. Kids will also be spending time in the kitchen and play areas (if you have one), so those might go next in your order of priorities.

When you're moving in, much like moving out, pets should be secured in a room until everyone is finished opening and closing doors. If you can, try to set up a scratching post or dog bed in the room — make it as close to the room that was most "theirs" in your old place. Give them water, feed them, show them where their toys are, and take some time to get settled before you let them out to explore.

Once you do open the door, give your dog (and your cat, if it's inclined) a tour of the new space. Show them where their food, water, and litter areas are at the least. Walk with your dog through all the new rooms and let them sniff. Don't be surprised if your cat disappears for a day or two once a favorite old hiding spot (perhaps under the bed) has been rediscovered; give them time to explore on their own timeline.

Keep as much furniture as possible, and arrange it like you had it

Remember, you can always get rid of that fugly couch when your kids and pets are feeling more at home, but if you keep it and arrange it like you had it in your old living room, everyone is going to have an easier time feeling comfortable in the new place. It's fine to start keeping tabs on what's getting replaced later, but if you can for now, keep all the furniture from your old house that you can stand, and try to arrange it as closely to what your kids and pets are used to as you possibly can.

Invest in some surprises

Nothing makes a big change more fun and exciting than a positive surprise, so try to plan some for both the kids and the pets. Maybe it's a trip to a nearby park for a game of fetch, or a pizza dinner out at the new local pizzeria. Perhaps your kid's going to get the skateboard they always wanted, or you bought a new scratching post for the cat. Big or small, a surprise can help convert any I'm-not-sure feelings to this-is-awesome! ones.

Maintain routine

Although you might feel like you need to wake up early to start unpacking, or you don't have time to walk the dog today, try to stick to your regular routine as much as possible during your first few days in the new house. Wake up and feed your pets at their usual time. Take them out and play with them like you normally would.

This can be more difficult for kids, but it's still worth making the effort. If they're used to heading to the pool or the gym at a certain time every day, try to make sure they get there to continue their own routine. If you all are used to sitting down to dinner together every night, then make the effort to have it ready to go, even if it's takeout.

Don't make other big changes right now

It's true, your toddler does need to be potty-trained eventually. And you have been meaning to hire a dog-walker to give your dog more exercise for some time now.

Change is hard! Don't overwhelm your poor pet or your child by demanding even more change from them. Pace any big shifts in what you're doing so they don't coincide with the move. Realistically speaking, you're not going to have much success potty training during a move, anyway, and your pet will be comforted if you're the one walking him, so try to minimize any additional change while you focus on maintaining routines.

Keep calm and move on

Your kids and your pets have an uncanny ability to tell when you're stressed out. And it stresses them out to know you're not happy! When you're moving, everything can feel like a disaster; do your best to take care of yourself and try to maintain a calm, happy presence even if you're not feeling very zen at all. If you can keep your composure and present a positive attitude to your dependents, they're more likely to relax and let you get on with the business of moving.

Top 15 Reasons For Sale By Owners Listings Fail

  In a seller's market, it's easy for a lot of sellers to reach the conclusion that they don't actually need a real estate agent to offload their homes. After all, there are buyers everywhere, and home prices are skyrocketing; how hard can it really be to just do it yourself and save some money on agent commission?

Unfortunately for many of these for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) aspirants, the answer to that question is almost always "much, much harder than you think." Research shows that FSBO listings take longer to sell, usually sell for less than market value, and require a lot more work from the seller than those sellers anticipate. Plus, seller's markets don't last forever — this one appears to be at a plateau, if not an outright downslope — so counting on the market to save you is naive at best and could potentially cost you a lot of money while you re-calibrate your expectations.

Why do FSBO listings fail so frequently? Here are 15 reasons they usually don't work as well as the seller hopes they will.

FSBO owners don't do the required work before listing a house

Most of us love the home where we've lived for years, and it's hard to understand why it's not equally appealing to every buyer who walks through the door. Here's the thing: Buyers are comparing your house to the pristine, staged listings they're seeing online and in-person, so if you don't do the bare minimum to make your house look excellent, it's going to look — how should we put this? — average, mediocre, less than fabulous. And that's going to mean lower offers than you could be getting.

When working with an agent, most sellers spend a lot of time decluttering their house, removing furniture and storing books, decorations, clothes, and anything else that's causing overflow on coffee tables, countertops, and inside closets. Interior walls get a fresh coat of paint (and sometimes the exterior of the house gets some paint-related attention, too), and floors get professionally cleaned, especially carpets. Long-neglected repairs that haven't seemed immediately necessary must be tackled. And most sellers spend a lot of time making sure that the outside of their house screams "curb appeal," including polishing up the deck, putting new cushions on porch furniture, weeding and mowing the lawn, painting or restaining the fence, resealing the driveway — you name it.

Smart sellers sometimes also spend the money upfront to get a full inspection on their home before it goes on the market. This is an extra step, to be sure, but it's smart to know what an inspector might find and tackle it before any buyers step inside; that way you won't encounter any nasty surprises during the closing process.

FSBO sellers simply don't know that all of these steps are highly recommended before you list the house, so it's not their fault for skipping them — but the fact that they do skip these steps results in fewer offers for less money, which is not usually the outcome an FSBO seller is seeking.

The pictures are terrible

What makes a good home listing photo? Because a picture is worth a thousand words, it might be worth your time to pull up your favorite listing portal and spend some time looking at the different listings in your neighborhood or city. If it's like most markets, you'll probably be able to spot a difference between the listings where an agent has facilitated clean-up and hired a professional photographer to capture the house … and the listings where owners just kind of cleaned up to the best of their ability and then used a smartphone to take the photos.

High-quality listings photos get buyers excited to see the house because they can already imagine themselves living there. If the pictures are full of your stuff and your pets (and a close-up of the toilet — why?) then it's difficult for buyers who are browsing online to picture their life unfolding inside the walls of your house because it is still very clearly yours. And because most buyers in 2018 start their home search online, you're going to put yourself at a disadvantage if your listing photos are out of focus, full of clutter, and generally don't make your house look as amazing as it is.

They aren't marketing the home very well

Pop quiz: What's the MLS and why do sellers need it? If you don't know the answer to that question, then you've got some research to do before you FSBO your own home — but marketing a house goes well above and beyond simply putting your house on the MLS. (To answer the question: The MLS is the multiple listing service; it's how real estate agents and brokers in your area let each other know that a home is for sale.)

There are some FSBO hopefuls who simply put their home up "for sale" on Zillow and then wonder why they're not generating any interest. Although Zillow is a lot of fun and it does get a lot of traffic, many serious buyers aren't using it to find their homes because it doesn't always show the most updated homes for sale or have immediate information available about whether a listed home is under contract, which can be frustrating for buyers who want to move sooner than later. For that reason, most serious buyers are using the local MLS for their home search. 

It costs money to list your home on the MLS (listing agents will take care of this for you, however), and you'll need to take the time to fill out a description of your house and make sure you're including some important information, such as the roofing material and how many parking spaces are available.

The MLS or Zillow (and other real estate portals) are far from the only places where potential buyers might find your house. Real estate agents also use Facebook and Instagram to target potential buyers; they might also create a house-specific website for Google to index; and there's also print advertising, local fliers and announcements, and the old reliable sign in the front yard announcing a home for sale. Most FSBO sellers pick just one or two of these marketing techniques and miss out on a ton of potential buyers as a result.

They don't screen buyers very well

Despite what television ads might have encouraged you to believe, getting a mortgage is truly not as simple as pulling up an app on your phone and answering a few questions. That may get you a pre-qualification, but a pre-qualification and a pre-approval are two very different things — one suggests that a lender might loan a buyer a certain amount of money for a home, while the other states that if the buyer can find a house that meets all the lenders' criteria within the range of money that the buyer has requested, then the lender will loan them the money they need to purchase the property.

If you've been through the mortgage loan process yourself in the past decade, then you know how tedious and time-consuming it is. Buyers who are looking at FSBO homes might not be represented by an agent, who can help the buyer get pre-approved for a mortgage, so it's entirely possible that the buyers who are walking through your house and demanding answers to questions may not be able to afford to buy it at all. One of the many things that a listing agent does for clients is make sure that any buyers who are walking through the house have been pre-approved to buy a house — and could potentially buy your house. If you aren't asking some tough questions of the buyers who express interest in your house, then it's possible you're wasting time on people who can't actually make an offer.

They aren't around to answer questions about the home or set up showing times

Buying a house is a big deal, and it's understandable that buyers will want time to walk through the home and see it for themselves, and that they may have plenty of questions about the house that aren't answered in the listing before they take the time to see it. Some FSBO sellers are under the mistaken impression that homes "just sell themselves" and therefore do not make themselves available to answer those questions or to set up a convenient time to look at the house.

If FSBO sellers don't make answering these questions and setting up showings a priority in their lives, then they're going to miss out on a big pool of qualified buyers and very likely end up settling for whatever offers they can get. That probably isn't the outcome they were dreaming of when they decided to FSBO, but it's the reality when buyers don't have someone available to help them make a decision about whether they want to see the property and then get themselves in the door.

They're too slow to respond

Of course, life happens, and it's also understandable that some FSBO sellers might make a true effort to get back to buyers when they have questions or want to set up a showing. But if it takes days or even weeks to respond to those buyers, it's very likely that the most qualified buyers will have moved on with their search by the time the FSBO seller gets around to replying to a message.

Buyers are almost always on some kind of timeline around when they need to be in their new house. They may not have a lot of flexibility with that timeline, and "if you snooze, you lose" is absolutely the case for many FSBO sellers who simply don't have the bandwidth to respond promptly to buyers.

They insist on attending any showings

Think about the last time you went to buy something specific, whether it was a pair of jeans, a piece of furniture, or a car. Did a salesperson follow you around while you were looking at the stock? And if so, did that make your buying experience more pleasant … or rather less pleasant than you'd hoped?

Humans are very much alike in that we don't appreciate the "hard sell," and that is especially true when it comes to buying a house. A lot of FSBO buyers want to make sure they're on hand to attend any showings, and they don't see what's wrong with this practice. Wanting to be present to answer questions is admirable, sure — but a buyer isn't going to enjoy the showing experience if the seller is breathing down their neck the whole time, pointing out attributes that don't really matter to the buyer and urging them to make a decision quickly.

They don't know how to negotiate

The art of negotiation can take years to master, and there's no shame in understanding that your skills aren't quite at the level they could be. But it can really hurt FSBO sellers who may not understand that an offer is just that — an offer — and that they can respond with a counter-offer that negotiates the price, contingencies, or other aspects of the sale that might matter to both sides.

On the flip side, FSBO sellers might over-negotiate, insisting on deal details that really don't matter much in the long run, simply to feel like they got in a "win" over someone else. This tactic is usually apparent to buyers, who will probably decide that they like the house well enough, but they'd rather not deal with someone who appears to be unreasonable or unrealistic.

They don't know how to work with buyer's agents

A lot of FSBO sellers get hung up on the agent commission. They feel like paying a percentage of their home sale to an agent is a waste of money, which is why they are interested in an FSBO sale in the first place. But that commission goes to pay two sides of the deal — it doesn't all belong to the listing agent; typically, half of it is used to pay the buyer's agent.

Buyers tend to work with a buyer's agent, especially in a hot market when finding a home can be tough. The buyer's agent will make sure that buyer is pre-qualified, help them locate a house that they love, and facilitate the negotiation, the offer, and all the steps that come in between "under contract" and "closed." That buyer's agent rightfully wants to be paid for this work, and when an FSBO seller issues a blanket declaration that they won't offer any commission at all, then either the buyers have to pay the agent out of their own pockets (when they're already spending thousands of dollars on a down payment, inspection, and appraisal costs, to name just a few), or opt out of the deal.

So when an FSBO seller won't work with a buyer's agent, that seller is also eliminating a whole range of qualified buyers who really want or need their agents' help to seal the deal. Reducing your pool of buyers might seem smart to avoid commission, but it virtually guarantees that you'll get fewer offers, and those offers will be lower than they would be. (After all, the buyer knows you're not paying any agent commission — so why would any buyer offer you "full price" for a home if you're just going to pocket the difference? They're smarter than that.)

They don't know what to do when the inspection finds flaws

Most mortgage loans require a thorough home inspection before the lender will sign off on the deal — which makes sense; the lender doesn't want to back a house that has a major foundation problem, for example, or a house that's uninsurable for some reason. But a lot of FSBO sellers aren't sure what to do or what their responsibility might be if the inspection uncovers a minor or major issue. 

One big question that FSBO sellers have about inspections after the fact is, "Who's going to pay for the repairs?" Well, if the FSBO seller wasn't a great negotiator (see above), then that seller could be on the hook for all of the repairs, or the buyer will be able to walk away with no repercussions and start their home search again. An FSBO seller might not think that's fair, but these are things that get hashed out at the contract stage, and if those sellers were intent on just getting the contract signed, there's a lot they might have missed.

They don't understand contingencies or legal issues

Every state has different rules and regulations around home sales. Many FSBO sellers have a job outside of real estate or real estate law, so they can be forgiven for not understanding different contingencies or legal issues that could arise. But that lack of understanding can become a huge pain later on if the buyer uncovers something that should have been addressed.

Maybe you made an addition or improvement to the house and forgot to secure a permit — or maybe the appraiser finds that the price you've asked for the house is above market value, to name just a couple of potential problems. A listing agent can handle those problems for sellers, but FSBO sellers are on their own and might have a failed deal on their hands as a result.

The price is wrong

Pricing a home might seem easy; after all, there are internet tools available now where you can look up your address and have an algorithm tell you how much the house is worth. Surely that's good enough?

Unfortunately, it's not. Those algorithms are relatively new, and they don't take the condition of your home into account — whether you've made significant upgrades or whether your house is actually not quite as fancy inside and out as the rest of the homes on your block. And even if your price is right on the nose for the market, most buyers are going to submit offers under asking price because they know you aren't paying an agent commission, so why shouldn't they get a cut of those savings, too?

They drop the ball after an offer is accepted

There are a lot of things that need to be done in between accepting an offer and handing over the keys to the buyers, including the appraisal and inspection, plus any required repairs, and not to mention packing up and moving all your stuff so the buyer can move in (assuming you already have a new place to live). The buyer will likely need a title review, too, and might have questions about any easements or the property lines, which the seller is going to have to answer promptly in order to stay on schedule — and because the transaction schedule is part and parcel of the contract itself, any deviations or delays might enable the seller to walk away entirely.

Most sellers don't have the bandwidth to handle all the details on their own, and it's easy to start feeling overwhelmed by the closing process even if the sale itself seemed to happen relatively easily. But neglecting any of the many small (and large) requirements can mean that the house goes back on the market and that the seller just lost the biggest, best offer they were going to get.

Investors know FSBO is an opportunity to get a house on the cheap side

All-cash investor buyers are active in every market, and many of them know that FSBO sellers aren't as experienced as a listing agent … so they see an FSBO sale as a great opportunity to negotiate a sale to their benefit. And FSBO sellers might not even realize that they're getting a lowball offer, especially if the home has been lingering on the market for a while and they haven't had any professional help with pricing — all-cash usually means that the buyer can forgo an inspection and appraisal, which the seller might see as a big advantage.

The longer it's on the market, the worse deal the seller will get

These factors taken as a whole tend to add up to FSBO homes lingering on the market for longer than average. The pool of potential qualified buyers is smaller; deals may have already fallen through; and the lack of marketing means that FSBO homes aren't getting the same attention in early days of listing as homes presented by a listing agent. The truth is that the longer a home is on the market, the more likely that the seller will have to reduce the price and make concessions before it finally sells — and the longer it's on the market, the more buyers will ask themselves "I wonder what's wrong with this place?" and insist on more inspection and appraisal contingencies than they might otherwise, simply because the home's longevity on the market makes them nervous.

Selling a home FSBO is every seller's prerogative, of course — but many of them don't realize just how much a listing agent (and a buyer's agent) does in order to earn that commission. And by the time they figure out that a percentage of the total sale is well worth what they get in return (and will probably even net them a higher sales price), it's too late to hire an agent to help them get the very best value for their home.