FSBO Home Selling Checklist

Deciding to Sell your “Rebate Available By Owner” (FSBO)

Homeowners across Hawaii choose to sell their homes without the services of a real estate agent or broker – as much as 20% of home sales nationally annually are accomplished on a “Rebate Available By Owner” basis (also known as FSBO, or “fizz-bo”).

Selling a house is large undertaking. The first thing you will need to decide is whether you want to be a for sale by owner (FSBO) or hire a Real Estate Agent at 6% or us at 3%-3.35%.  If you decide to go the FSBO route, you might save money on the commission, but are you willing t do the work required?. You should decide ahead of time if you will cooperate (buyer’s agent commission of 3%-3.5%) with a buyer’s broker should they bring a qualified buyer to you.

If you list your house with a traditional agent, you will have to enter into a listing agreement and pay a typical 6% commission. The good part is you won’t have to do any of the work.  Your time is worth money too so if you are very busy, then it might be better to hire a professional. Or let us sell your property for the same price as a FSBO.

Here are some useful tips to help make your home selling process a little less stressful and successful whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a real estate professional:

Is FSBO the method for you?
If you’ve never done it before, it can be challenging, but if you are willing to do the work necessary to market your house and work with potential buyers, there can be advantages.

Typically, a traditional agent who lists and sells your home gets paid with a commission of between 5% to 6% of the selling price. That means that if your house sells for $500,000, you would end up paying him or her between $25,000 and $30,000. The commission makes up by far the biggest chunk of the expenses associated with selling your house. If you sell it without the help of an agent, or with us you save that money.

Here are a few things to consider if you are interested in selling “FSBO”

  • How much can you really save on commission fees
  • Are you not motivated to sell more quickly than a broker
  • Is control of the selling process that important to you
    (including when you show your home and pricing)
  • Do you want to list your home, or sell it?
    Once you’ve decided what the asking price for your house should be, subtract the amount you would pay an agent – usually 3%, and reduce your asking price by that amount, passing on your savings to the buyer.
    • Your house will be priced lower than comparable ones in your area.
    • Buyers are likely to respond quickly and enthusiastically!
    • You still save half of the standard 6% commission
  • List your house on the MLS
    And get it sold

In short, selling by yourself is not simple. But, neither is selling through a traditional real estate agent. Our FSBO option can be worth your work, or let us do the work for the same amount. if you are committed to saving money, equity and quite possibly time. You will never know unless you try!

Educate Yourself!
Use the resources offered here and you’ll be on your way to the successful sale of your home.

Pricing Your Home

Do you want to LIST it, or SELL it?
Pricing your home correctly is the most important decision.
This checklist will help you consider all the factors.

  • Read the expert articles here and online on home pricing
  • Search online for similar homes that have sold in the last 3-6 months in your area
  • Check prices of comparable homes currently for sale in your neighborhood
  • Visit open houses to see what homes buyers will be comparing
  • Request a free Comparative Market Analysis from us
  • Consider what repairs or changes can impact your home’s value and what items are a waste of money t o change
    • Kitchen or Bath minor remodel
    • Painting exterior
    • Declutter
    • New roof
    • Landscaping
  • Make a list of things that make your home stand out from comparable homes
  • Estimate a minimum value for your house and a maximum value
  • Calculate your actual net proceeds from the sale will be at the top and bottom of this range, we can assist you with that.

Estimate Costs

Traditional 6% Agent FSBO US
 List Price $500,000 $500,000 $500,000
Commission 6% 3% 3%
Cost $30,000 $15,000 $15,000
Advantages You don’t have to do the work You control the process You don’t have to do the work
Disadvantages Most expensive option You do most of the work None

Preparing Your Home Rebate Available

Below is a quick checklist that will help you prepare your home for sale. Focus on the curb appeal first because if that doesn’t attract buyers, they won’t even walk in the front door. Do the less expensive fixes first. You can always negotiate with the buyer on the more expensive repairs at the time of sale. The three most important things to remember are, Clean, Clean, Clean!


  • Remove clutter
  • Mow and water lawn
  • Weed yard and garden
  • Prune trees & bushes so they don’t touch the house
  • Plant colorful flowers
  • Clean front entrance
  • Clean entryway
  • Repaint or replace front door
  • Fix broken windows, shutters, screens
  • Polish door handles, address numbers, fixtures
  • Replace worn or broken items
  • Replace burnt out bulbs
  • Replace welcome mat
  • Wash all windows and floors
  • Clean Back Yard
  • Remove gardening equipment
  • Clean outdoor grill, barbeque and lawn furniture
  • Repair missing deck slats, screens, concrete patio cracks
  • Store items that make yard look cluttered
  • Make sure sprinklers and faucets are working
  • Clean and repair pumps and filters for swimming pool, hot tubs and outdoor showers
  • Clean ponds and fountains


  • Remove excess furniture
  • Remove excess collectibles
  • Remove excess artwork and photographs
  • Clean out closets and cabinets
  • Clean out garage and basement
  • Clear counter and tabletops
  • Clean appliances
  • Scrub bathroom
  • Remove carpet stains
  • Shampoo carpets
  • Remove cobwebs from ceiling corners
  • Clean fireplace
  • Clean or replace drapes
  • Clean or move litter box
  • Remove mildew
  • Add fresh scent like potpourri or brownies
  • Consider having your home staged
  • Search for qualified local contractors and repairmen


  • Remove excess furniture
  • Make necessary repairs
  • Remove debris from roof and gutters
  • Repair/replace worn shingles
  • Wash or paint exterior if needed
  • Clean, paint and align gutters and downspouts
  • Clean grease and old spills from driveway
  • Check foundation for cracks and repair
  • Caulk windows, tubs, showers and sinks
  • Make sure toilets and faucets work well
  • Install new carpeting if needed
  • Touch up or repaint walls neutral color
  • Replace switches and outlets that don’t work
  • Replace burnt out bulbs

Marketing Your Home to Buyers

If you want to sell something, you have to come up with a marketing plan.

Selling real estate is marketing, professionals in the field know this well. Every good agent has a marketing plan. It typically includes listing the property on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) so that other brokers can help sell it, generating interest in the property, placing advertising in the newspaper and planting a bold sign in front.

Marketing Plan

  • Online Advertising
    • List on on the MLS
    • Get your home listed on the MLS
    • List on Craigslist.org
    • Websites
    • Syndication
  • Offline Advertising
    • Newspapers classifieds
  • Local Promotion
    • Yard Sign with the URL of your online ad
    • Flyers to post at work and in your neighborhood
  • Online Networking
    • Notify friends and co-workers of your online listing
  • Plan for an Open House
  • Agent incentives
    • Decide what you will offer an agent if they represent a buyer
      (generally 2% – 3%)
    • Consider a Home Warranty to increase value to buyers

Online Advertising

  • Take Photos of the Exterior, Entry, Inside and back yard
  • Write a short ad describing your home
  • Write a longer description that emphasizes your homes’ unique features
    • List your home on the MLS to attract buyers
  • List your home for free on Craigslist.org

Offline Advertising

  • Yard sign
  • Flyers
  • Order a Brochure holder to place flyers next to your Rebate Available sign
  • Place your short copy ad in your local newspaper’s classified section

Holding an Open House

Open houses are a traditional way of showing a house to prospective buyers. Put up a sign and/or run an advertisement and invite people into your house to look around. They are usually held in the afternoon on Saturday or Sunday.

Many of the steps you will take before for an open house are the same as those you’ll need to do before showing your home to a possible buyer or buyer’s agent. Here are some tips and rules of thumb.

Before Your Open House

Advertise in the weekend real estate section of your local paper. If there are several homes for sale in your neighborhood, put up directional signs to your house and expect to pick up some traffic from other open houses in the area.

  • Always put the house in prime showing condition
  • Put soft music on and highlight the best features
  • Turn on lights
  • Make sure the house smells nice
  • Place fresh flowers in different rooms
  • Put away all valuables
  • Have a sign-in sheet for buyers to put their names, addresses and phone numbers. Ask everyone to sign it.
  • Have house information flyers ready
  • Have offer forms ready just in case
  • We can provide all the forms and contracts you need

Showing Your Home

  • When buyers come through; let them look around without you. Introduce yourself at the door, shake hands and tell them you’re available to answer questions. Then, let them look.
  • Before they leave, ask if you can answer any questions.
  • Ask if you can tell them anything about the neighborhood or schools.
  • Mention any special features such as a Home Warranty or rebates.

Follow Up

  • Follow up after the open house with everyone who came through.
  • Ask if there is any further information you can provide about the house and whether they had interest in the house.

 Questions? Call us at 808-2Hawaii

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