For Sale By Owner In Ventura County, California [The Definitive Guide]
If you are a thinking about a For Sale By Owner of your Ventura County home, this page should contain the pertinent information that you are looking for. If you have any questions about a For Sale By Owner, feel free to reach out to us at anytime. Also, our company buys Ventura County homes directly from homeowners, so we would love to discuss a direct sale of your home. We can be reached by filling out one of the forms on this page, by emailing us at Info@DreamHomePS.com, or by calling us 805-250-8335.
For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is the process of selling your Ventura County home without using the representation of a real estate agent. With more and more websites and other marketing companies catering to homeowners looking to sell their home on their own, FSBO has seen an increase in popularity over the last few years. Many people who are interested in For Sale By Owner do so to avoid having to pay commission to a real estate agent. While this savings may be substantial in Ventura County, homeowners should be fully aware of what trying to sell their home FSBO will mean. In this guide, we will discuss the pros and cons of a FSBO and then provide some tips to help you sell your home For Sale by Owner.
Pros of For Sale By Owner
As mentioned above, the number one reason most homeowners have for selling their home FSBO is for the commission savings. Depending on the neighborhood you live in and the condition of your home, saving on realtor commissions can be a nice hunk of change back in your pocket. If Ventura County is in the middle of a sellers’ market, attempting a FSBO may be very easy, as the demand for homes will be larger than the supply. Websites such as Zillow and Redfin let homeowners view certain market data that can be used in determining how to price their home. Also, with the advent of websites such as forsalebyowner.com and Craigslist, homeowners are able to give their Ventura County homes exposure (without the help of a realtor) that may not have been possible 10 or 15 years ago. Finally, some say that homeowners know their homes better than anyone else and the pride that they have in their own home helps to reach buyers on a more personal level.
Cons of For Sale By Owner
Although a For Sale By Owner is a way to potentially save yourself tens of thousands of dollars, there are definitely advantages of choosing to sell with a Ventura County real estate agent. Homeowners may be able to find market data online, but they may not have the detailed insight into the different neighborhoods and why certain homes may have sold for the price that they did. Realtors have marketing experience and contact with other realtors that most times reach beyond the marketing exposure that homeowners can generate on their own, even with the help of FSBO websites. They also can look at your home objectively and can suggest minor repairs, upgrades, or staging ideas that can help increase the sale price of your home. Finally, realtors can do all of the “busy work” that it takes to sell a home, such as open houses, buyer viewings, contract negotiations, and counter-offers. All of these things can mean the difference between your Ventura County house sitting on the market forever or not selling at all, and being sold quickly and for the highest possible value.
Tips to Sell Your Ventura County Home For Sale By Owner
If you’re trying a FSBO, you could lose tens of thousands of dollars and an enormous amount of time if you go about it the wrong way. Every day, Ventura County home sellers lose money and waste precious time because they make critical mistakes they didn’t have to make. Some of these mistakes include the following:
- Not using accurate or up-to-date information when pricing your home
- Not understanding local market conditions when you begin the sale of your home
- Adding recent upgrade or repair costs on top of the sales price
- Not presenting or staging your home so that it shows in the best way possible
- Not using high quality photos in your online and offline marketing material
- Putting yourself at risk of a crime happening at your house by not tracking visitors that come to view the home
- Signing a listing agreement with a real estate agent who promises they can sell your house well above the comps
- Not having bridge financing or other contingencies if you are on a time deadline.
- Hiring anyone who isn’t willing to educate you on a systemized approach to selling your home…AND can back up their analysis with FACTS, not opinions!
- Not understanding the full scope of what it takes to successfully sell a house by FSBO
There are a lot of “old school” California real estate companies who still believe all you need to do is put your home in the MLS, pop up a sign, and the sellers will flock to your door. Or who say things like “we give you the highest level of quality, trust, integrity and service.” (Isn’t that the LEAST you should expect from your Realtor?)
Or those agents who inflate your home’s value to “trick” you into listing with them. Or the ones who tell you, “I’ve got a buyer right now who would love your Ventura County home, and if you list with me right now…”
You Need To Watch Out For These Individuals, Because As Well-Intended As They May Be, They’re About To Cost You Thousands And Waste Your Time!
Selling a home in Ventura County, California today requires a total integrated approach many real estate agents are simply not aware of.
You should expect detailed FACTS…not simple promises, opinions, and fancy pictures. And you should expect straight answers, not “sales pitches” or other hype that seduces you to hire a company who boasts they’re “the biggest” or “the best.”
In fact, there are several important marketing steps in the home selling process YOU need to know about. We’re going to delve into each one right here, so you’ll know what you’re doing, and can receive top dollar proceeds for your home – whether you use a real estate agent or not.
Step #1: Set The RIGHT Price For Your Ventura County Home From The Start
Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible when selling their Ventura County home. The natural inclination is to price your home high, thinking you can always come down in the future.
But a listing price that is too high can be a disaster, and frequently nets the seller LESS money than they ever anticipated!
Why is this?
Because buyers will reject your home in favor of other homes in a reasonable price range. And if that doesn’t frustrate you, think about this: Buyers will use YOUR home to compare and justify the purchase of a similar, but correctly priced home.
But the problem gets worse…
It’s a fact that 96% of all homes are sold by Realtors. So whether you sell your Ventura County home yourself, or through a professional, you MUST be able to attract the Realtor community to your home.
Problem is, agents who otherwise would readily bring buyers through your home will automatically cross it off their showing schedule because it’s priced too high. They don’t make money showing homes…they make money SELLING them.
They know market values in your area. And if your home is priced too high, they’re not even going to waste their time showing it.
And word spreads with the agent community. If your home gets “branded” as overpriced, not only will agents NOT show it, BUT you’ll have to lower the price further than you ever expected…just to get them back!
Agents Simply Will NOT Show Overpriced Homes
Because They Work By Commission.
Showing Overpriced Homes That Will Never Sell
Means They’re Working For FREE.
But we’re not out of the woods yet…
You see, your Ventura County home is MOST valuable when it’s new on the market. And if you delude yourself into thinking you can price it high and come down later, you’re in for a big surprise.
Here’s what’ll happen: After months on the market without even a nibble, you or your agent will decide to reduce the price. Even with your price reduction, there’s still little activity because your home’s been “branded” as overpriced.
So after a while longer you decide to lower the price a little more. Now you’re pushing the limits on what you wanted to receive in the first place.
Finally, you start to get a nibble or two.
Problem is, your home’s been on the market for months now. And when you finally receive an offer, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s going to be discounted further.
Because buyers usually want to know how long a home has been on the market before they decide how much to offer. And the longer your listing has been sitting unsold, the more desperate your home looks.
Like sharks smelling blood, buyers will see your home as prey.
And their offers are going to knock you over. But you’ll have little choice but to negotiate. You have no other options.
How could this all have been avoided?
By simply pricing your Ventura County home correctly in the first place.
Homes That Sell Fast Also Sell For The Most Money!
It’s a known fact: the very same reasons that make a home sell fast will make a home sell for the most money. Homes are best positioned to sell when they’re new on the market.
Here’s a little help for pricing your home…
The first thing you need is VALID local market information. Take a look at homes that have sold in your area. Compare the price sold as a percentage of list price. This will help you get a feel for the average discount in the area.
Generally, your list price will be within 2.5 to 5 percent of what you expect the final selling price will be. But be careful!
The amount of discount should be dictated by real world FACTS from Ventura County, not your guess on what you expect offers to come in at. If the selling market is hot in our area, there will be little or no discounting. There may even be bidding wars, and homes selling for more than list price.
On the other hand, if homes are not selling well, you will need to be flexible.
Next, DO YOUR HOMEWORK to determine what your home is worth. You don’t just use a CMA. Do a total market analysis.
When you narrow down your area, you need to correct values for distressed sales, divorces, remodeled homes, and other events that affect the value of other homes that have sold.
Each factor (distressed sale, condition, location, etc.) will add to or detract from the value of your home. And in most cases, the only person who can really give you this information is a GOOD agent – someone who has extensive experience valuing homes.
Notwithstanding all your hard work, in the end…
The MARKET Is the Only Determinant Of The VALUE Of Your Home
There’s an old saying in real estate: “Sellers are NOT the deciders of what their home is worth, but they ARE the deciders of how quickly their home will sell.”
The REAL value of your Ventura County home is what a willing buyer will pay for it, and what you will accept. Nothing more. Nothing Less.
OK, so let’s say you’ve determined that the average discount on homes in your area is 2.5 percent of expected selling price. And sales information shows that your home is worth $500,000. To determine a list price that is within 2.5 percent, divide $500,000 by .975 (1.00 less .025 = .975). This gives you a list price of $513,000.
But remember this: Markets and the economy change. If interest rates rise by a point, people who could otherwise afford your home may not be able to any longer.
And this will ultimately affect the value of your home. So you may need to adjust your price over time. Stay on top of market events, in Ventura County, the state of California, and nationally.
If the market’s declining, it’s best to discount your price up front. If the market’s rising, be prepared for full price offers, or even bidding wars.
Step #2: Calculate The NET Proceeds From The Sale Of Your Home.
Here’s a fact you need to understand up front: Never attempt to price your home based on what you “want or need” to net out of the proceeds.
If you spent $40,000 on a remodeling job that will only increase your homes value $30,000, you will lose $10,000. If you paid too much when you bought your home, and need to sell it within a year or two of buying it, chances are (unless the market is red hot) you will lose money on your net proceeds.
I’ve seen these sad situations too many times, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Overprice your house and you miss the target!
Never Confuse The Difference Between Cost And Value.
That said, however, you DO need to understand what your net proceeds will be from a sale of your home. And to calculate them, you need to consider 5 factors.
- Take the gross listing price of your home.
- Subtract the amount buyers will discount to arrive at sales price (Step #1 above)
- Subtract your estimated real estate commission (if applicable).
- Subtract contingency costs and repairs/personal property stipulated in a contract.
- Subtract closing costs: appraisals, real estate taxes that are due, attorney’s fees, escrow and title fees, etc.
In many cases, the net proceeds can be as much as 10% or more off your listing price. And interestingly, this amount does NOT change even when sellers attempt to sell their homes WITHOUT a Realtor.
Guess what one of the first things any buyer is going to do with a “For Sale By Owner?” They’re going to knock off the equivalent of the real estate commission you would normally pay anyhow. They hate the fact that you’re trying to pocket that money…and they’re going to fight over it.
Then they’re going to keep discounting based on other home and market criteria.
Before you know it, you’re back at the same place as if you used a professional. Only now, you’ve lost the resources a Realtor could have brought to the transaction…negotiation power, important home value information, market power, marketing resources…and much more!
So be careful. There’s a reason why 78% of all For Sale By Owners end up using a professional to market their Ventura County home…it pays off in the net proceeds!
Step #3: Advertise And Market Your For Sale By Owner Home For Maximum Exposure
I want to reveal 4 marketing secrets that can help you make thousands more profit from your home. And the first one is this…
Purchase Decisions Are Emotional, Not Logical
Think about that. People never buy homes because of logical reasons. If they did, one 4 bedroom, 2 bath home would sell just like any other. But they don’t.
They don’t because people discriminate by nature. One home will always appeal to them over another based on their DESIRES.
They buy homes because of the FEELINGS the home gives them. Nearly everyone buys a home thinking of the LIFESTYLE BENEFITS they’ll get by living there.
Lifestyle benefits are the memories of watching your children play in a safe area, while getting a good education at local schools. Where your home is decorated as an extension of your individual personality. Where you enjoy Sunday dinner with the family. And Thanksgiving reunions.
It’s the place where you relax in your favorite hammock on Saturday afternoon. The place where you can hold summer barbecues under the shade of a beautiful tree.
The place where you finally send your children off to college…and eventually off to live a life of their own.
Your house is NOT going to be evaluated as a “house.” It will be evaluated for it’s potential to become a HOME.
So it’s important to recognize and appeal to buyers EMOTIONS when marketing your home.
Now, the second marketing secret you need to know about marketing your home is this…
Buyers Are Looking For A Bargain
And looking for a bargain is again, subjective. What one person sees as a bargain, another may see as overpriced.
Notwithstanding, you need to “position” your Ventura County home as “priced right” in the market…another reason to do your homework when pricing your home.
If you price your For Sale By Owner home right, you can promote it as such. Buyers clearly respond to promotions that state “priced to sell,” “a unique bargain at this price,” “act now, won’t last long at this price.”
And getting as many buyers to respond is your goal, right?
The third marketing secret you need to know about is this…
Buyers Are Attracted To Affordability
Affordability appears the same as a “bargain,” but it’s not.
Affordability relates to how inexpensively someone can live in your home…more to do with FINANCING than anything else.
What have you done to make your home affordable? If you’re selling your home For Sale By Owner, without a real estate agent, are you willing to carry back financing on your purchase price? How EASY will you make it for a buyer to buy your home?
And if you use a Realtor, they should put together several financing “packages” with a local mortgage lender. This will make the home appear special, and affordable to buyers.
The fourth and final marketing secret you need to know is this…
The Best Way To Motivate A Sale Is To Create URGENCY
Have you ever noticed the dynamics of a bidding war?
Buyers are scrambling like lunatics to put in the highest offer in order to get the home they desire. But what’s really happening is the bidding war takes on a momentum of its own.
In other words, the mere shortage of the home makes people frantic to WANT it. People naturally value what’s in short supply…what they cannot readily have. And what more could a seller want than a bidding war on their home!
But did you know that you can create the very same dynamic with YOUR Ventura County home?
Anytime you want to increase the value of your home, or the overall demand, CREATE A SHORTAGE.
A shortage can be limited time, limited supply, or limited financing. Anytime you create a limit, you motivate people to act.
Very few California real estate agents know about this, yet it’s one of the most important elements of successful marketing.
I can’t stress safety enough. Real estate agents are given special training on safety. They are given updates and alerts about known threats and incidents. You do not have this benefit.
◊ A FSBO sign in a yard is an invitation to anyone to see your home.
◊ There have been instances where thieves posed as prospective buyers to learn what might be of value in the home…or worse, how to gain access into the home by learning how many people live in the home and/or getting information from you regarding when your home is vacant.
Some reports state that dozens of realtors are attacked every year because they didn’t heed important warnings and basic safety measures. Although most people are truly intending to look at your home to see if it is a good match for them, SAFETY IS A SERIOUS MATTER! You are potentially putting you and your family’s safety at risk.
By following the safety tips below when attempting a For Sale By Owner…you will reduce your risk.
One of the most important safety tips – Pre-qualify your buyers!
Attempt to have potential buyers pre-qualified by a quality lender – it’s the easiest way to make sure someone is who they say they are. It also shows their motivation level. If they are serious about buying a home they will be willing to talk to a lender or will already have a pre-qualification letter.
- Obtain as much contact information about the buyer as possible prior to the showing.
- When at all possible have at least two people present when you are showing your FSBO house. If you are alone, invite a friend over to be present during the showing.
- Choose a designated friend (not someone in your home) to notify of the showing and check in with after the showing. Make sure you give them the buyer’s information in case there’s a problem and they have to notify authorities.
- Remove or put away valuables. This should include jewelry, cash, credit cards and any of your collectibles.
Safety Tips – cont.
- Hide all house keys. It only takes a second for a thief to pick up that set of keys that you left lying on the kitchen table. You will think that you have simply misplaced them; however, a thief now has full access to your house. If you cannot locate a set of keys, change the locks immediately.
- Secure all prescription medications.
- Never leave a minor child alone with a potential buyer during a showing.
- Prepare a plan of escape in the event that something goes wrong. Know exactly how you and your family will leave the house if you encounter any threats.
- Do not allow yourself to become “trapped” in a room. Always stand between the prospect and an exit.
- Do not tell a person inquiring about your FSBO property that “no one will be home to show the property at that time.” Simply tell them that the time is not convenient and then arrange another time that works for both parties.
- Do not explain too much about how the alarm system works or your family’s work and life habits.
- Watch groups of people. Thieves often travel in groups and once inside your home they’ll split up and attempt to rob you. You must take control of the showing appointment and guide the group from room to room.
Do your research and price the house right! A house that is priced correctly from the beginning will achieve its highest total net income in the shortest amount of time. Also, make sure to consider the safety of you and your family when allowing potential buyers into your home.
If you want more information about selling your Ventura County home, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. (805) 250-8335 or Info@DreamHomePS.com