8 Reasons why For Sale By Owner is a Bad Idea

14325968663981. Scams are real.

FSBO scams affect both buyers and sellers. They usually have no recourse other than hiring an attorney to recapture a part of their financial loss. Ask them then how much money they saved by not enlisting the professional help of a Realtor.

Frequent scams include fraudulent papers (loan documents and appraisals) foreign buyer deposits, third party purchases, and asking for certain personal information.

2. Sellers take on all liability.

Making mistakes is human. A seller or buyer that does not obtain the guidance of a licensed real estate agent (or better yet a Realtor) pays for those mistakes. Lawyers can bring a real estate transaction to a close, but they usually do not carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

So if a homeowner lists “hardwood floors” as a feature, and the buyer subsequently uncovers that it is a wood veneer, then the homeowner is going to pay for that mistake most likely.

A Realtor should have caught that mistake before it could have any negative consequence, or it would have been covered with E&O insurance. As our culture increasingly becomes litigious, this additional exposure paints an even larger target on you.

3. Intimidating paperwork.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers stated that understanding paperwork was one of the most challenging tasks for FSBO’s.

In Florida, there are a number of legal forms that are required along the way to a successful closing.  These include a sales contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements, and lead paint records.

Of course in this internet age, generic contracts can be purchased easily enough.  However, an untrained seller probably won’t understand what all of the language means to them in their specific situation.

4. Sellers can get bogged down in a bad deal. 

FSBO’s who commit to a deal only to subsequently realize a mistake are stuck.  They are obligated to pay the buyer (if the buyer is willing) to get out of the contract, or they will have to stick with the bad deal.

5. FSBO’s sell for less.

According to a NAR study, in 2015 the median FSBO sold for approximately 16% less than the median home listed with a Realtor.

The fact is that homeowners trying to sell by themselves simply do not have the proper time to devote to the sales process, nor do they have the valuation data and marketing strategy.

6. FSBO’s get stagnant.

FSBO’s have the privilege of spending more time on the market than homes listed with a Realtor.  In general that leads to a lower eventual selling price.  On average, 18% of FSBO’s were unable to sell within their chosen time frame in 2015.

7. Limited marketing.

By definition, FSBO’s have limited resources to market their home.  The 2015 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers states that 42% relied on a yard sign, 32% relied on friends and family, and 15% used social mediaHidden costs pile up.

Saving money is the motivation for most FSBO’s.  It may take some time for them to realize it, but chances are that these sellers are being nickel and dimed along the way to a sizeable amount of money.

If they want to be proactive, they are going to be paying for signage, flyers, photography, listing on the local MLS, lawyers, optional home warranties, home inspections, credit reports on potential buyers possibly, contracts, etc.

8. Time is money. 

If they are lucky, the biggest cost to the FSBO is their own time.




First Time Homebuyers – Understanding the Process

 1. Get Pre approved

  • Discuss loan options and budgeting with the lender.
  • The lender will check on their credit and alert the would-be buyers to any problems.
  • The buyers learn the maximum they can borrow and therefore have an idea of their price range. However, all buyers should be careful to estimate their own comfort level with a housing payment rather than immediately aiming for the top of their spending ability
  • Home sellers expect all buyers to have a pre-approval letter and are more willing to negotiate with people who have proof that they can obtain financing.

2. Find a home

Talk with your agent to find out which neighborhood and communities are the best fit for you and get out there and look at them in person.

3. Make an offerReal Estate agents provides market statistics and data to see how much similar homes have sold in the area. Discuss financial situation/how much to offer and negotiate any closing costs for the buyer if needed. Present offer to the seller’s agent and either accepts or issues a counter offer. Deposit escrow/good faith deposit

4. Schedule Home Inspection– There is no substitution for having a licensed and trained professional inspection the property for safety, overall condition and quality. If anything comes up on the inspection you’ll be able to back out and get your escrow deposit back. Or we can also negotiate to have the sellers discount the price or negotiate repairs. If everything looks good, then an Appraisal is ordered and title search is conducted to make sure we have a clean title.

5. Closing– You made it! A few hours or the day before closing, we conduct the final walk through. Wire any remaining balance and go to the title company to sign all of the paperwork. Finally, you get your keys/owners manuals and you move in!

Your first home is something that you will never forget!

Tips for the Final Walk Through

You’ve found your dream home, made an offer, and the seller has accepted. You’ve gotten your inspections done, your loan is finalized and the closing date is set.

What now?

Your next step is a final walk-through, arranged through your real estate agent, at least a day prior to the closing date. The goal is to insure the property’s condition hasn’t changed since your last visit, that any agreed-upon repairs have been made and that the terms of your contract will be met..

Here’s what you need to know for your final walk-through:

  1. Take your contract with you. You might need to refer to it while on site.
  2. In many markets, the buyers and sellers never actually meet in person. But if everyone is agreeable to the idea, perform the final walk-through in the seller’s presence. He or she knows the home better than anyone else and should be able to answer your questions and provide some color on the history of the home.
  3. If the home is vacant, it’s even more important to do a final walk-through. Since your last visit, for instance, someone might have left a faucet dripping, inadvertently causing water damage.
  4. Take along a checklist of things to do during the final walk-through, including:
  • Check the exterior of the home, especially if there have been strong wind or rain storms since your last visit.
  • Turn all light fixtures on and off.
  • Make sure the seller hasn’t removed any fixtures, such as chandeliers, that he or she agreed to leave behind.
  • Check all major appliances.
  • Turn heat and/or air conditioning on and off.
  • Turn on water faucets; check for leaks under sinks.
  • Test the garage door openers.
  • Flush all toilets.
  • Open and close all windows and doors.
  • Do a visual spot-check of ceilings, walls and floors.
  • Turn on the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
  • Check the status of any agreed-upon repairs.
  • Check screens and storm windows. If they’ve been stored, make sure you know where they are and that they’re in good shape.
  • Look in storage areas to make sure no trash or unwanted items remain. Old paint cans or hazardous materials are often left behind by the seller.
  • Do a quick check of the grounds. Some sellers have dug up and taken plants (even small trees or bushes) with them.

Taking an hour for one last inspection is a good investment in your time. After all, you don’t want to spend the first weeks in your new home cleaning up or making unexpected repairs.

5 Steps to getting the most money for your home

1. Market Analysis and Consultationoriginal

Utilize strategies such as the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to ensure accurate market pricing, analyzing overall inventory, availability of financing and interest rates, and a wide range of analysis on comparable markets.

DSC_23722. Set Yourself Apart

Standing out from the competition helps differentiate your home from the competition. We do that by only working with other proven professionals that meet our level of expectation and service. Professional photographers and expert stagers who are the best in the field.

3. Massive Exposure

Exposing your home to a massive international audience who represent qualified buyers in your market area. Your home will be shown on over 1014 websites such as Zillow, realtor.com, Trualia, Yahoo! Real Estate, homes.com, Hotpads, etc.

More then 90% of buyers start looking for a home on the internet. Tap into the top real estate websites to get the most amount of visitors to find your home.

icon-set-social-media-icons-colours-mouse-over-and4. Social Media and Networking Strategies

The importance of social media in our marketplace to ehlp increase exposure for your home. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogger, Pinterest, Craigslist, YouTube, Instagram and the MLS are just a few of places that should be targeted to increase the exposure for your home.

We also know that 70% of homes are sold with the help of co-op agents. For this reason we have developed a strategy to target buyers who are looking for homes similar to yours now.

5. Leveraging the Team and Resources

The team you chose should consists of fully trained full time professionals. They should consist of a whole team of transaction managers, photographers, inspectors, stagers, “ShowingTime” who are specialist in their field. This means instant responses to any questions or inquiries buyers or clients may have. Ever process has been optimize to bring you the highest price for your home in the shortest amount of time.

Nature, Community – Starkey Ranch

On more than 2,400 acres just north of Tampa, a new kind of community is growing quickly. Adjacent to the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve, Starkey Ranch keeps residents surrounded by nature, but close to good restaurants, grocery stores, medical providers and schools.

Neighborhoods are centered on parks and connected by trails where neighbors meet and have fun together. Five miles of trails, two dog parks, a playground, picnic pavilions, and a big open lawn are ready now.

Purchasing a Home in a Seller’s Market

DSC_2354With lower interest rates and rising rent prices, more people are taking the leap into home ownership. With the current Seller’s Market many are facing fierce competition, limited choices and the pressure to act quickly. The biggest challenge is that there are not enough homes on the market. In some areas homes are being put under contract in a matter of days.

So what should home buyers do when the market favors the Seller. Here are a few tips on increasing their chances of landing the winning bid without paying more than they should.

pre-approval-imageFirst Thing – Get a Pre-Approval Letter

You might know that you’ll be approved based on your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, but the seller doesn’t. The pre-approval letter from a lender shows the seller that you have been financially vetted and how much you can afford to pay.  Presenting the pre-approval letter to the seller lets them know you mean business, and in a competitive market it will allow you to act quickly when you see a home you are interested in.

Work With an Experienced Agent

real-estate-dual-agency-buyers-and-sellersIn a competitive seller’s market, buyers need all the help they can get. Having an experienced buyers agent on your side will increase your chances of landing the home you want. Working with a buyer’s agent saves tons of time and stress, they know the process and can provide insight into the negotiation process.

Make Your Best Offer

We are all motivated to buy what we want for as little money as possible. Making an offer lower than the list price is a normal strategy, especially if the house is overpriced in comparison to the other comps in the area or if it’s a buyer’s market. However, trying to get a deal in a Seller’s Market might not be the best strategy. When there is a shortage of inventory and a lot of competition a better strategy would be to go in with a strong opening offer.

Estancia at Wiregrass


The Estancia Club

Estancia is one of New Tampa’s newest master-planned communities, located in the heart of Wesley Chapel just north of the Shops at Wiregrass. Estancia offers easy access to dining, shopping and entertainment. Located in close proximity to I-75, Entancia is short drive to Tampa and the award winning beaches of St. Petersburg/Clearwater, museums, sports venues and Tampa International Airport.


The Estancia Club

Homeowners in Estancia will enjoy incredible amenities, including the exclusive Estancia Club, walking trails, neighborhood parks and more. Impressive home designs, features and community design make Estancia a community like no other in Tampa Bay. Some of the community features include an impressive gated entry, natural gas, reclaimed water service, providing water conservation and lower utility expenses. The Estancia Club is a 7,000 sq. ft. clubhouse with an elegant club room and a meeting room. The Aquatics center with shaded loggia and cabanas overlooking sparkling pools and an attraction-quality tower slide is sure to impress the discretionary home buyer. The club also features a state of the art fitness center, sports courts, and wide open park spaces.

image_240_135There are 9 unique neighborhoods to explore. CalAtlantic the builder for Estancia offers 24 home designs ranging from approximately 1,620 to 5,660 sq. ft. The homesites include waterfront, cultural-de-sac and conservation options. The new homes range in price from the mid $200s to the mid $500s. Currently there are 3 model centers open, one in Treviso (Treviso, Matera, Ravello and Tavira), one in Marbella (Marbella, Cortona, Savona, and Vicenza) and one located in Santeri Villas.

The Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch




The Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch, is a new GL Homes luxury community in Wesley Chapel. From the moment you drive through the impressive front entrance complete with lush landscaping and a waterfall you get the sense of what the community has to offer.

The Ridge offers innovative home designs, world-class amenities, and the ultimate resort lifestyle to this exciting area. The community boasts 22 single family residences to choose from spanning from 1,900 sq. ft. to more than 5,200 sq. ft. The large variety of floorplans range anywhere from 2bed/2bath/2car to 5bed/5bath/3car. Many of the standard features that are available to the home buyer are seen as “upgrades” in a lot of the other new developments in the area, like gourmet kitchens with granite counter tops and stainless appliances. Homes prices at The Ridge start at $295,900 up to $614,900.

Once complete The Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch includes 477 home sites along with resort style amenities right in the center of the community. The impressive 11,000+ sq. ft. clubhouse and recreation center is sure to impress the most discretionary buyer. Inside the clubhouse residents will enjoy a social hall, catering kitchen, theater/media room, game room, a multi-purpose room for fitness classes and a fully equipped fitness center along with an indoor sports complex for air conditioned basketball and more. The 5-acre recreation center includes a spacious covered patio overlooking the resort style pool with beach entry and water slide, pool area fire pit, wet play activity center, lap pool, four lighted clay tennis court, one full court basketball, one beach volleyball court, shaded tot lot, open play field and party pavilion.



Luxury Clubhouse

The Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch offers easy access to shopping and dining. Three A-rated schools and a state college are all within walking distance of The Ridge. This new community tucked away in Wesley Chapel provides quiet Florida living yet with its proximity to major highways it is just a short drive to enjoy all the amenities that the Tampa Bay area has to offer including; museums, sports venues, and a major international airport.

Click here if you would like more information about The Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch or if you would like to schedule a time to tour the community.


Arbor Woods – New Community in Wesley Chapel


Arbor Woods Model Center – Windover III Model

Arbor Woods  is a private sanctuary nestled away in the ever growing Wesley Chapel area. Arbor Woods is in close proximity to top rated schools, 1 mile for I-75 and the Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, upscale shopping and dining, and popular county parks.

Arbor Woods is a beautiful gated neighborhood that is situated on 423 acres, 338 of which are set aside for nature conservation. The community includes 202 single-family homes with parks and walking trails throughout.


Windover III – Master Bedroom

The low quarterly HOA fee of $323 covers the gated entrance, common area maintenance, community pool, cabana, BBQ, kids splash zone, kids playground, future multi-purpose trail and passive community park. Arbor Woods is one of the few new developments that does NOT have a CDD fee. They also offer $10,000 towards closing when you use Taylor Morrison Home Finance.

Arbor Woods has 10 floor plans available priced from the high $200s. The floor plans range in size from 2,044 to 4,830 sq. ft. with 3 to 7 bedrooms. There are both one and two story options and two to three car garages.


Windover III – Family Room


Hemingway III – 6/3.5, 4180 sq. ft., 3 Car Garage


Hemingway III- Open Floor Concept


Daphene III – 4/3.5, 2,598 Sq. Ft., 2 Car Garage


Daphene III- Family Room/Kitchen