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For Sale By Owner Assistance Page

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Paul C. Olson, Broker

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SEE THE BUYER ADVISORY HERE -
GREAT Information That EVERY BUYER SHOULD HAVE BEFORE THEY BUY!!
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Welcome!   That's Right...Welcome!

A lot of real Estate Companys out there, regard the Seller who is trying to sell their own home as the "enemy" or as "Competition".....NOT SO AT VANTAGE POINT REALTY.

The way we figure it, if we can help you to sell your own home, you might consider letting us help you buy the next home.  Also, you might get tired of all the hassles that you face when selling a house, and if so, you will probably go to the Realtor who helped you out when you tried to do it yourself!

At Vantage Point Realty, we respect your right to sell your own property and we are willing to help!

FOR FREE.....If you call us, we will visit homes in your Tucson, AZ neighborhood.  We'll give you information on what has sold in the neighborhood recently, offer advice on the best ways for you to try to sell and more!

All we ask is that you consider using us to help you sell if you tire of the process later!

TIPS FOR HOME SELLERS:

These aren't in any particular order so be sure to read them all.

A lot of Homeowners feel that they can do as good a job in selling as a Realtor can...   Perhaps that might be true in some cases.....however, Please remember that if you are the normal homeowner, you sell 1-5 Houses in your entire lifetime.....I do that in a month!  AND...I've been doing this for 25 years now!
 

1.  PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR BUYERS MIND!:   Remember when you were buying the home......WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE HOME THAT CAUSED YOU TO MAKE THE DECISION TO BUY?   Whatever the reason, be sure to include it on your flyers and tell your prospective buyers!

OR a Realtor can do this for you!

2.  BE AVAILABLE:  If you work full time and nobody is home, you will have a harder time selling, if you are able to sell at all!  Be at home for showings and phone calls.  REMEMBER, the Buyers time is just as valuable as yours is!  If you're not able to show him your house, he will just go to the next house on his list!  (Perhaps he'll buy it too!)

Or a Realtor can do this for you!

3.  BE PHONE FRIENDLY:  Turn on the answering machine, or Voice Mail when you're not home and CHANGE THE MESSAGE on the machine or the Voice Mail.  Try to use a FEMALE VOICE, as statistics from marketing professionals prove that people hang up less when the  machine voice is female.  In your message, put in the Time and Dates of the OPEN HOUSES you will hold....Put in the best times to call back or to see the house.

I don't advise that you advertise when you will not be home along with your address as this can lead to security problems.   REMEMBER...Most buyers, when they call on your add, are really calling to scratch your add OFF their list, so they won't have to go see as many houses......BE PHONE FRIENDLY and DO NOT mention negative issues about the house over the phone.

OR...a Realtor can do this for you!

4.  PRE-QUALIFY YOUR BUYERS:  Call some local lenders that offer FHA, VA, and CONVENTIONAL FINANCING, and see if they will prequalify buyers for you over the phone and in person.

Everyone hates the "Lookie Loos", those folks who have nothing better to do on weekends than to go through other peoples houses with absolutely no intention or ABILITY to buy!  But Lookie Loos aren't the real problem you face....

You need to KNOW, beyond a reasonable and foreseeable doubt that the buyer that you go to escrow with can actually afford to buy the home.  Showing your home to non-qualified persons is dangerous, and a real time waster, not to mention VERY COSTLY.

Imagine that you go on contract with "Mr. Green", who has not been pre-qualified.  Mr. Green will go find a lender and it may take the lender several weeks to check the credit, the employment and everything else, just to find that Mr. Green has a bunch of unpaid student loans, lost a previous home or whatever, AND THAT HE CAN NOT CLOSE on your deal.

MEANWHILE, you have been out shopping for a new house, perhaps you have moved out a lot of your belongings, made moving plans, Etc, etc....ONLY TO FIND THAT YOU HAVE TO START THE SELLING PROCESS ALL OVER.  Not only that, but you will have made mortgage payments while you were waiting for Mr. Green to get qualified, and now you will make more payments because you get to start all over.

PREQUALIFY YOUR BUYERS!  A PRE-APPROVED BUYER is like money in the bank!  The difference between Pre-Qualify and Pre-Approved is important.

Pre-qualified people have made a phone call at least, to a lender, who has talked to them and has some idea of how qualified they are.  They may have lied, and if so, you can still lose your deal.

Pre-Approved means that this buyer has been to the lender, given him the tax's, the employment info, the credit report has been checked, there won't be any financing surprises a month down the road.....ALSO, pre-approved buyers can CLOSE FASTER because the letter of approval is already in the lenders file....all you normally need are buyers inspections and a good appraisal to close the loan.

Realtors often advertise "Shown to Qualified Buyers", as a method of gleaning out the dead beats.  If a Buyer will not pre-qualify with a simple phone call to a lender, he probably won't buy your house.  Serious buyers know this and go through the process before they even start looking for a home!

OR...a Realtor can do this for you!

5.  SIGNAGE:A good FOR SALE sign is a MUST!  It doesn't have to say "For Sale By Owner"....in fact, that terminology will TURN OFF a lot of first time buyers who are afraid of being taken advantage of.   DO NOT have "By Appointment Only" on your sign.....This will ensure that buyers who are actively looking will continue to drive by your home in order to go see another house where they will feel welcome.

OR...a Realtor can do this for you!

6.  FLYERS: You are reading this online, you have a computer...GREAT...NOW, make a good descriptive flyer about your home.  You don't need pictures, or even color.  You just need to be enthusiastic about the home and you should list it's benefits.  List bedrooms, Baths, Square Footage, Special Features, Financing options, Price (sometimes I leave this off in order to get more calls)...List Pools, Fireplaces, floor plans, appraised values if handy, and the BEST TIMES TO CALL OR SEE THE HOME.

List if shopping or schools are closeby...bus lines? Get creative but NEVER LIE.....Puffing real estate can get you into trouble!  Is the roof new?  Are appliances included..if so, which ones and how old are they?  A good Flyer can really help you sell the house.  Remember that any advertising you do should qualify under the Federal Fair Housing Guidelines too.  Don't Discriminate!

OR...a Realtor can do this for you!

7.  MARKETING THE NEIGHBORHOOD:  Go door to door with the flyer when you first put it on the market.....This lets your neighbors "CHOOSE THEIR OWN NEW NEIGHBORS" and I have found this technique invaluable when listing homes.  Also, canvas the area again whenever you plan an OPEN HOUSE.  Don't hide that your house is for sale!

OR...a Realtor can do this for you!

8.  OPEN HOUSE:  You'll hear a lot of Real Estate people say "Open Houses don't work".....Don't believe it!

I hold Open House on my listings or on Government homes, every single weekend, unless I'm sick, exhausted, or out of town.

Have the house CLEAN, SMELLING GOOD (put a few drops of almond or vanilla extract on the oven burner to give the home that fresh cookies in the oven scent)....Do OPEN HOUSE on SATURDAY and/or SUNDAY....Open the house EARLY...a lot of traffic goes by between 8AM and 1PM......Most of the Realtors don't start till 1PM so you will have less competition for traffic.   Get the PETS off the property until OPEN HOUSE is over.  Hide the valuables and the prescription drugs anytime people will be coming through the house.

Advertise the OPEN HOUSE in the paper if you wish (I never found this to be cost effective though)  Have flyers ready for all your visitors and have a guest book handy so you can check back with the serious potential buyers.  Don't expect miracles.....10-20 people a day is a good turnout for a FSBO Open House.

If a Government home is in your neighborhood (VA Homes), be certain to hold Open House THAT DAY, if you see a Realtor holding one of these open!......VA Open Houses can attract literally HUNDREDS of visitors per day depending on the area (Everyone wants a deal).

OR...a Realtor can do this for you!

9. PETS: If you are showing the house or having an open house, get the pets OFF THE PROPERTY!  As many as 30% of buyers will not look or consider a home where there are pets.  Clean the yard before you show the home.  Put away the feeding dishes too.

You will need to do this yourself!  (OR Hire the Brokers wife who owns a Pet-Sitting Service at http://DesertDogs.biz

10.  CLEANING THE HOUSE:  Before you show the house, TURN ON ALL THE LIGHTS...OPEN ALL THE SHADES and Blinds.....clean up any clutter.  Hide the lawnmower, the tools, etc.  Hide anything that looks like work....Enhance anything that looks like FUN or play.   Do the dishes, clear up that laundry pile.  It might be surprising to you that I tell 40% of the Sellers that I represent to RENT A STOREROOM PRIOR TO TRYING TO SELL A HOUSE, and to put up to 50% of their belongings into storage before you show the home.  Vacant space looks ROOMEY.....Cluttered space looks DIRTY.  Clean it up, open it up and clear it up, and brighten it up!

OR...Let your Realtor advise you!

11.  LEGAL STUFF:  In Arizona, Homeowners, Real Estate Brokers, and Attorneys have the right to sell homes.  You'll need a contract so that people can make offers on your property.  You can find these at office supply stores, but it's best to have your Attorney review the contract before you use it to take an offer.  Some Realtors (MYSELF INCLUDED) will gladly review your contract and give you some ideas if necessary.  You'll need to disclose all the negative facts about the house to the buyer before he buys the house or you can be sued later.  Get a good disclosure form and use it.  If the house is built before 1978, you must disclose the possibility of lead based paint being in the home.  If you have a swimming pool, you'll need to disclose to the buyer that rules and laws exist regarding proper enclosure of a pool area and the dangers of drowning! (In AZ at least)...You'll want to have a termite inspection (especially in Arizona)...You might wish to hire an appraiser to determine the value of your home prior to selling it.

Homes that are overpriced DO NOT SELL.....but the buyers will use them as an example of value if they are buying another house in the neighborhood!.....

Or...a Realtor can do this for you!

12.  PRICING: Find out the sale prices of all the homes within a 1/2 mile or in your subdivision over the last 6 months.  Older sales aren't used by appraisers.  Compare your home to these sales.  You'll find a few interesting facts....for instance, if you just spent $22,000 on a swimming pool, an appraiser may well only value the pool at $8,000 dollars or so......REMEMBER that buyers know you are selling the house yourself....THUS you are NOT PAYING A REALTOR....so buyers will very often make offers that are 5%-10% LOWER than your asking price because they know you are not paying a commission!  If you price the home correctly, you will have moderate interest in the home unless it is in a very special neighborhood.  This is fine.   If you do not get any calls, your property is probably either Over Priced or Under Marketed.

You probably won't be successful with buyers from out of town either, if you over price!  Surveys now show that between 60 to 80% of Buyers will search the internet for homes before they visit the city they plan to buy in....ALSO, it is now possible for buyers to do their own property searches on the Tucson MLS, even without a Realtor.  Thus the averge buyer today is well educated in what homes are worth in a given area BEFORE THEY DECIDE TO MAKE AN OFFER!

OR...Let your Realtor advise you!

13.  FINANCING - APPRAISAL - CLOSING:  Once you have a buyer on contract you might need to help them find a lender.  Call a few up front and see what the charges for new home financing are today.  You'll need this information when you prepare an offer for a buyer.  You also need to speak with your buyers lender BEFORE you sign on the dotted line to insure that the buyers loan plan does cost you excessive closing costs!  Call a few appraisers and see how fast they can appraise the home.  The lender can usually help you with this part.  Find a good Escrow Company and a Title Company.  In Tucson, these functions are probably done under the same roof.  Closing will normally be at the Escrow Company.

OR...Let your Realtor advise you!

14.  INTERNET:  Last time I checked, surveys showed that as many as 80% of all American Home Buyers were checking the Internet for listings, financing, etc...BEFORE they started actually looking at homes.  Don't miss out on a good buyer just because you're not on the web.  There are sites out here that will list your house on the Web for you, even if you are a "For Sale By Owner", some do it FOR FREE .....and some others charge a  fee to list your property on their website.   Try it, it might pay you big time!  Just a word of CAUTION though....Be wary of VIRTUAL TOURS, where every item of furniture and value is put on video for anyone to see on the web, along with your address.....Be cautious and senceable in your advertising.

If you later need to use a Realtor, be sure that they are Internet Saavy!....Sites like Realtor.com, Homes.com, Tucson.com offer the Realtor NATIONAL exposure for their listings and you will want to be listed on each of these if possible.  The really good Real Estate Companies these days, offer a site like this one to their agents, for use in marketing properties.  TAKE ADVANTAGE!

In fact, the Tucson Multiple Listing Service switched all of its listing database to an INTERNET MLS system  that launched in October of  2001.   If your Real Estate Agent doesn't know the Internet, he either will learn, or he will not be able to access the MLS information after that date!

The times are definately changing folks!

Or...a Realtor can do this for you!   In fact, I KNOW A GREAT ONE:

SEE THE BUYER ADVISORY HERE -
GREAT Information That EVERY BUYER SHOULD HAVE BEFORE THEY BUY!!
 You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file.

15.  ADVERTISING: Try the local newspapers, the Shopper or the Weekly throw-away paper that you probably get.  Your area may have a For Sale By Owner magazine.....ASK others before you spend a ton on advertising.....it is expensive and not always the best way to get the word out.  A good way to see if the adds will work for you is to call up the other "For Sale By Owners" that are advertising in that paper.....Their phone number is usually in the Add!

Or...a Realtor can create a unique advertising plan tailored to your property  for you!

16.  IF IT'S NOT WORKING -- HIRE A REALTOR:  If you try and don't succeed, it may well not be the houses fault.  Most For Sale By Owners who fail to sell their house in the first month or so will get tired of the constant work in trying to sell, or time will have passed and they realize that they need a better plan .....They decide to interview and hire a good Realtor to finnish the job!

VANTAGE POINT REALTY can help you with your TUCSON properties.  We can do this in a friendly and professional manner and get the job done quickly!

We have flexible commission rates from 1% to 7%, we also have a "Fee For Service" plan which can save you thousands on commissions.  Feel Free to call us at any time for advice or if you wish to have us take a look at the house for listing.

Have Patience, Have Fun, Price Fairly.
Our best wishes go out to you in your selling efforts!

Let us know if we can help!
Thanks For Reading

Sincerely,

Broker
Vantage Point Realty

Vantage Point Realty
    Tucson Main Office: 9096 E. Bellevue St. Tucson, AZ 85715
    Phone (520) 791-2965   FAX (520) 844-8231  Toll Free (877) 791-2965
 
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