Question of the week:

Looking to do a FSBO for my house and wondering how much time does one book for a showing?

How long do showings take on average? Also, what is the best pricing strategy these days?

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Nick's Response

Timing for showings will depend upon the norms of your local market, but typically in ours the maximum window for a single showing ranges from 30-60 minutes for a showing and three hours for a home inspection. My personal preference is 30 minute showing windows, as you can get a good feel for all but the largest homes in that time. Unless your neighbourhood (and asking price) are highly competitive, I’d recommend making showings non-overlapping (only one agent with their clients at a time) aside from open houses. This lets the agent and their clients speak freely and get more comfortable with the idea of seeing themselves moving into the home.

 

On a related note, unless you are showing the home to an unrepresented buyer, provide access to the house via a lockbox and make yourself scarce during showings (you can leave a feature sheet with your contact number on the counter or dining room table if you’d like to be able to be reached easily for questions). Some For Sale By Owner Sellers think that their presence is an asset during showings; after all, they can point out all of the great things about the house and really sell it. In fact, the opposite is true; Buyers tend to feel awkward and pressured when the homeowner is at the property.

 

Pricing strategy is highly market dependent. During Covid, the most effective strategy here in Ottawa was event pricing, delayed offer. This meant that the price was set to recent comparables or below, and offers were delayed to build interest and create multiple-offer scenarios. This worked because of scarcity and rising sea-level of prices. Currently, this strategy might still work for certain homes or neighbourhoods, but will burn the Seller on others. I’m finding that now a market pricing, no delayed offer strategy works the best for the Seller, who gets an comparable-supported price for their home and a qualified homebuyer who gets conditions of inspection and financing in most cases for a win-win result. Either way, you as a homeowner are going to benefit from preparation of your home, strong marketing and accurate information about the true value of your home. If your FSBO company doesn’t provide them, pay out of pocket for a staging consultation, professional cleaning, professional photography with 3D tour and floor plans, and even video. As a homeowner you can also leverage your local Facebook and Kijiji buy/sell groups in a way that’s tougher for Realtors to do. Preparation is going to pay you back above and beyond what you sink into it.

 

Good luck on the sale and the move!

3 Mistakes that FSBO Sellers Make

1

Sticking Around During Showings – The Homeowner thinks it’s helpful. The Homebuyer thinks it’s awkward and weird. Don’t be that Seller! Let the Buyers walk around with their agent and speak freely. You can provide access via a lockbox.

2

Pricing Too High – Statistically, FSBO homes that do sell take 19 days longer, on average, than homes listed by Realtors. The Reason? FSBO owners often overvalue their homes, and the extra time on market is spent coming to grips with the true market value. In fact, only 11% of FSBO homes sell, with the other 89% eventually working with a Realtor.

3

Skimping on Preparation – FSBO Sellers list their homes themselves in order to save commission. Unfortunately many also skimp on the preparation and marketing that a professional Realtor provides. Don’t do this! With the money you’re saving on commission, spend some on professional photography, staging and a pre-list home inspection to make your home show its best and avoid surprises down the line.

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