5 Tips to Make Your for Sale by Owner (FSBO) Closing Go Smoothly

5 Tips to Make Your for Sale by Owner (FSBO) Closing Go Smoothly

Selling your home as ‘For Sale by Owner’ (FSBO) is a great way to maximize profits, by avoiding the high costs of real estate brokers and agents – it could save you thousands of dollars! But with it comes the pressure of extra responsibility; it’s on you to ensure the process goes smoothly and avoid getting sued.

As Pinellas County real estate lawyers we regularly work with homeowners looking to make FSBO sales go smoothly and recommend the following tips:

Tips To Make Your FSBO Sale Go Smoothly:

Use a Lawyer for the FSBO Contract

For Sale By Owner contracts are legally binding and outline the terms and conditions that both the buyer and seller must complete to transfer the property.

Importantly, it also details your legal rights and contingencies. These details determine what will happen if the deal hits a problem if the buyer doesn’t meet their end of the deal, or if you find yourself in difficulty and want to avoid litigation.

If your FSBO contract isn’t properly drafted with the correct language then you open yourself up to the deal collapsing or to real estate litigation.

By working with a Pinellas County real estate lawyer you can rest assured that the wording isn’t open to interpretation and that you are protected if things go wrong, or you have a reason to back out of the deal.

We often see people come to us trying to fix a mistake made by drafting the contract alone – don’t be one of them.

Use a Lawyer for FSBO Negotiations

As a seller, you need to be prepared for negotiations with the buyer. They’ll always try and get a lower price, while you’ll want a higher one. You will likely be up against a real estate broker or real estate attorney with expert negotiation skills. If you’ve never been in this position before, they’ll eat you for breakfast.

We advise that you work with a Pinellas County real estate FSBO lawyer who can handle the negotiations on your behalf, so you get a good deal at a fair market value.

In For Sale by Owner deals, you can sometimes get tense negotiations because the buyer wants a lower price in return for the repairs they’ll need to make. That’s where you’ll need someone who has been there before on your side.

On the other hand, there are other factors to consider. For example, it may be wiser to take a lower cash offer than accept a higher bid contingent on financing.

Read Related: How to Buy an FSBO Property in Florida

Know Your ‘For Sale By Owner’ Costs

As a For Sale By Owner seller you are still faced with some closing costs. By accounting for these in advance, you can avoid a situation where the deal comes to a halt because you can’t afford the fees or feel cheated.

These include:

  • Attorney fees
  • Closing fees or escrow fees
  • Courier fees (for the quick delivery of important documents)
  • Inspection fees

Prepare for Closing Date

The closing date is the day everything is finalized; the contracts are signed, and the keys are exchanged. The deal is done.

This date should be agreed in advance. To avoid issues at the last minute, ensure you haven’t got a vacation planned around this time. You don’t want to cause an issue where you’re not in town when the buyer is. Or, if they do suddenly have to rearrange (such as due to illness), then you’ll also want to be flexible enough to rearrange.

You should also ensure you don’t forget anything on this day. You will need the following documents present:

  • The Deed (the document that records the ownership of the property)
  • Closing disclosure (required by law to detail the sale)
  • Bill of Sale (the document listing all items that are sold with the property)
  • Property Taxes Agreements (your real estate attorney will advise you on this)
  • Power of Attorney Documents (if someone is representing your on closing day)
  • Title Documents (that display who owns the property and if there are any known liens)

During closing, you can expect multiple parties to be present including yourself, the buyer, a bank representative and the relevant attorneys. Closing typically takes place at the seller’s attorney’s office.

Read Related: What Happens at a Real Estate Closing?

Prepare to Work With Your Buyer’s Inspector and Appraiser

The buyer has the right to inspect and appraise the property, so they don’t pay for something with an unknown or revealed issue (such as mold, pests or other defects).

To ensure your closing goes smoothly, you should be prepared to work with these individuals. You’ll need to allow them access to the property on the agreed date and to not interfere with their work. There’s no point hiding anything or causing stress, as you could find yourself in a litigation battle for preventing a fair inspection.

You should also be prepared for the buyer to request a final walk-through after their bid has been accepted.

Where Is The Good Faith Deposit Held in an FSBO Sale?

The ‘earnest money’ deposit is held by the seller’s attorney in escrow (typically), which is a third-party independent way of safely holding the money. It is included in the purchase contract once it has been signed by the buyer. You should be prepared for the escrow fees.

Contact a Residential Real Estate Closing Lawyer in Pinellas County, FL

If you’re selling a property in Florida as ‘For Sale by Owner’, our Pinellas real estate closing lawyers can help.

Our experienced and award-winning lawyers can guide you through the process, ensuring your rights are protected while also minimizing the impact of closing costs. We’ll also coordinate, prepare and complete documents related to the title, deed, transfer, and loan acquisition.

Free Consultations

If you’re selling property or land in St Petersburg or Riverview, Florida, contact us today.

Our St Petersburg & Riverview real estate attorneys have extensive experience that can help you through these tricky moments, reviewing your contract, advising you on the next steps to secure your transaction, and successfully finalizing the sale of your home or commercial property.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

By |2023-09-12T14:40:23-04:00September 12th, 2023|Real Estate Closings|0 Comments