What to Expect When Putting Your House on the Market as For Sale by Owner

You will do more work than you expect to.

Selling a house is a lot of work, and due to the competition of supply in Los Angeles County and Orange County, the little things count. Putting your house on the market means regularly opening up your home to complete strangers. It also means keeping the house in pristine condition. Once a house is listed, it becomes a sales object and must be treated accordingly. Listed houses must be clean, uncluttered, and staged in a welcoming matter. This often means minimalistic settings in each room. If your house doesn’t sell quickly, then you should expect to live in a constant state of flux. After all, you must keep your house in this condition for months, along with maintaining a flexible schedule. Prospective buyers may want to tour the house at any time, and you must be around to let them in and show them around. Buyers expect things to happen on their schedules, and you must be willing to work around that. 

You will give up your free time to host open houses.

It is nearly impossible for owners to sell their house as FSBO without hosting at least one open house. This means sacrificing your time and opening your home up to countless prospective buyers. Prior to the open house, you must market the date and time via signs you post around town, as well as with postings on the internet. The day will be a wash if you cannot get prospective buyers to the house. It is a good idea to check online to see if there are any other open houses in your neighborhood for the date you select. Many prospective buyers will take a single day to do several open houses. If you can sync yours up with other ones in your area—and post effective signage throughout the neighborhood—you will have more luck attracting large numbers of people. Don’t get discouraged if you go through all of this work and do not end the day with any offers. It often takes several open houses before houses sell.

The First Two Weeks are Key

The majority of traffic to your house will come within the first two-to-three weeks of your home being on the market. This is when your property will come in searches as a “new listing” and will be moved to the top of the list for prospective buyers looking for similar homes. Do not worry if the amount of interest you are getting dies down after this period. After all, new buyers come to the market all the time.

Six Weeks is a Magic Number

Six weeks is typically around the point when most home-sellers begin to grow weary and frustrated. If you’ve had some decent offers by this point, chances are that you’re on the right track and you should stick with it. That said, if you have had zero bites within a month and a half, it might be a good idea to reevaluate your tactics. Is your house priced too high? Perhaps it is worthwhile to reevaluate your pricing. Sometimes, sellers have grown tired of the need to keep their house looking like a model home. If that’s the case, perhaps the time has come to explore alternative options for selling you home on your own.