What A “For Sale By Owner” Buyer Is Looking For In A Home

In today’s article, we’re going to consider a topic related to “for sale by owner” houses. We all know what we want in a house. However, how do you know what the buyer is looking for? Specifically a “for sale by owner” buyer? We’ll consider what buyers will be looking for in a home and next, how to gear your house sale towards the aforementioned buyer.

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What do your buyers want?

When it comes to house buyers, some folks are particular about buying a “for sale by owner”. However, not everyone knows exactly why, or how a “for sale by owner” buyer is different from a regular buyer. The biggest difference is that there is no seller agent. This subsequently means there is no agent representing the seller or the seller’s house. 

Therefore, you are the manager of everything related to your house. You take care of showings and everything else. But before we get too sidetracked, let’s talk about what your buyers want.

Honesty is the best policy 

Ordinarily, unless your buyer is interested in a fixer-upper, they want to know that your house is in good condition. However, this doesn’t just mean aesthetically. Buyers generally want to know if the foundation is strong, and what the house’s structural integrity is like.

“For sale by owner” buyers want to know that you’re not trying to hide something big by not selling with an agent. No one likes being ripped off, so it’s important that you’re honest about the house. Having information at the ready is extremely helpful. Things such as: when it was built, any additions that were built on to it, damage that happened, etc. 

An extra set of hands can be helpful

Buying a house is a big step in life. For the most part, buyers want to know that they’re getting the cream of the crop, and not having to settle for less than the best. Another aspect buyers may look for is for you to work along with their agent. Sometimes, a buyer may ask if you will pay their realtor to handle the entire transaction. It’s entirely up to you, but sometimes having a realtor can be helpful.

Men shaking hands as partners

Something for the seller to think about is being willing to go the extra mile, which normally makes you seem more trustworthy. Hence, being willing to have a buyer’s agent in on things shows the buyer that you can be trusted. 

But what is a buyer’s agent? HGTV tells us, “a buyer’s agent protects the buyer’s interests during the crucial negotiating and closing process. The agent bargains with the seller on the selling price, facilitates the home inspection, negotiates contingencies and assists the buyer through the closing paperwork. Shopping without a buyer’s agent is a little like grilling tenderloin without a meat thermometer; you might not know there’s a problem until you’re sitting at the table.” 

How to “sell” your home to FSBO buyers

When selling a house, you need to know how to begin going about the process, but more importantly, you need to know how to make the whole deal attractive to buyers. 


First, let’s talk about contingencies. What exactly is a contingency? Movoto sums it up by saying, “A home contract contingency is a condition that must be met before the house can actually sell. Contingencies allow the buyer to make an offer on a home but allow themselves a way out of the contract if certain conditions are not met.” 

For example, when you’re selling your house, you want to get it sold as quickly as possible. This means you want to do whatever you can to make your buyer “comfortable”, so to speak. As a rule, the buyer doesn’t want to feel like they’re being forced into something they can’t back out of. 

Understanding the buyer

Putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes is extremely helpful. Think about how you would go over a house with a fine tooth comb if you were the buyer. Consider also the steps you would take as far as getting an attorney for closing, etc. This will make the buyer’s decisions seem more reasonable to you and thus will help you, the seller, and the buyer understand one another better.

Discussion between a man and a woman

Be open about everything

As we mentioned earlier, the buyer wants to know you’re honest. Therefore, it’s important to be open about everything that comes up. Be clear about everything in the contract. Be clear about who pays what closing costs. Be clear about when the buyer will take possession. In essence, try to be clear and open about everything related to your house, and also the sale.

Attracting a “for sale by owner” buyer

Now that we know some of what “for sale by owner” buyers are looking for, it’s time to get your house sold. If you don’t use a realtor to sell your house, you’ll hopefully have a little extra money staying in your pocket. We would suggest using this money to market and advertise your house. This way, you can put it in local newspapers, advertise online, and do anything else that you think would get the word out there. And don’t forget to put extra effort into staging your home – first impressions matter!

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