For Sale By Owner.  I’m going to sell it myself.

I understand that you are considering, or in the process of, selling your home by yourself.  Good luck with that.  I commend you for your ambition.  I have attached some information that hopefully will help you with the process.

The following page is an excerpt from my marketing plan, which I use when I represent sellers as their Realtor.  Hopefully you can get some ideas from this about marketing your own property.

The paragraphs following that are some things that you will need to consider as you move forward in the process.  These steps represent some of the items that I take care of for my clients in the normal course of business.  But, since you are doing it yourself, you should probably do some research on them now.

But first, a little story:

CUSTOMER: “How much will it cost to do this job?”
CONTRACTOR: “$2,800 Dollars.”

CUSTOMER: “That’s WAY too expensive for this job!!”
CONTRACTOR: “How much do YOU think it would cost?”
CUSTOMER: “No more than $800 Dollars – MAX!! It’s a simple job!”
CONTRACTOR: “I can’t prioritize my time for so little.”
CUSTOMER: “People in your line of work are so greedy.”
CONTRACTOR: “Sorry you feel that way. Why not do it yourself?”
CUSTOMER: “But… but… I don’t know how to do any of this.”
CONTRACTOR: “For $900 Dollars, I’ll teach you EXACTLY how to get this job done. Then you can spend $800 to do the job and you’ll still be saving $1,100 Dollars – PLUS… you’ll get the knowledge and experience for the next time you want to do a job yourself.”
CUSTOMER: “Deal!! Let’s do it.”
CONTRACTOR: To get started you’ll need tools. So you’ll have to buy a welder, a grinder, a chop saw, a drill press, a welding hood, gloves and a few other things.”
CUSTOMER: “But I don’t have all this equipment and I can’t buy all of these for one job.”
CONTRACTOR: “Well then for another $300 more I’ll let you rent my tools… and you’ll still be saving $800 Dollars.”
CUSTOMER: “That’s cutting into my savings. But I’ll rent your tools.”
CONTRACTOR: “Okay! I’ll be back on Saturday and we can start.”
CUSTOMER: “Wait. I can’t on Saturday. I only have time today.”
CONTRACTOR: “Sorry, I only give lessons on Saturday, because I have to prioritize my time and my tools have to be at other jobs with other customers all week long.
CUSTOMER: “Okay!! I’ll sacrifice my family plans on Saturday.”
CONTRACTOR: “Yeah… me too. Oh… and I forgot… to do your job yourself, you also have to pay for the materials. Everything is in high demand right now, so your best bet is to get your truck and load up at 6AM before everyone else gets there.”
CUSTOMER: “SIX AM??? On a Saturday??? That’s way to early for me. And also… I don’t have a truck.”
“CONTRACTOR: “I guess you’ll have to rent one. Do you have a couple of strong men to help you load and unload everything?”
CUSTOMER: “Ummm… ya know… I’ve been thinking. It’s probably best if YOU get this job done. I’d rather pay someone to get it done correctly than go through all the hassle.
CONTRACTOR: “Smart move, sign this and please get out of the way so I can work.”
When you pay for a job, especially handcrafted, you pay not only for the material used, but you are also paying for:
– Knowledge
– Experience
– Tools
– Services
– Time
– Punctuality
– Accountability
– Professionalism
– Accuracy
– Labor
– Sacrifices
– Safety and Security
– Payment of tax obligations
No one should denigrate a professional’s work by judging prices – ESPECIALLY when they don’t know all the elements or costs necessary for the production of such work.
This was just a remix of an old story I once heard and I am sharing this in support of craftsmen, specialists and entrepreneurs everywhere!
You can’t haggle over a service that you don’t actually have the skills or knowledge to do yourself. You can’t get a high quality gourmet dinner party for the same price as a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. And you can’t be mad when skilled people actually KNOW their own worth.

Be smart. Trust a reputable professional. And never forget… that you ALWAYS get what you pay for.

Lockboxes and Your Security

Expensive in comparison to others ($175).  This is undoubtedly the most secure. Every Realtor showing the property will be provided a unique 8 digit code that cannot be re-used. It is bluetooth enabled and uploads a log of who has accessed the property.  Access can be disabled remotely.

This is the only type of lockbox that our team uses. We value the security of our clients.



Unsecure and cheap ($20). 4 digit code remains constant, allowing anyone with the code to access the home at any time, day or night.

Unsecure, Also cheap ($25).  4 digit code remains constant, allowing anyone with the code to access the home at any time, day or night.

Access code can be read by anyone who observes an agent showing the property. It’s clearly visible.  Most Realtors in our area are still using these. Why? Don’t they value their clients privacy and security?



You may be going to the hardware store to get a lockbox so that prospective buyers will have easier access.  Please read my lockbox security page here so that you are prepared.

I am providing this information for you so that you can see what needs to get done, and, in the event that you decide to eventually hire a Realtor, you will give me the opportunity to represent you when and if that happens.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss any of the material that I sent, call me.  I would be happy to help.



OK, you have an offer.  Excited?  You bet, but be careful.  The State of Colorado Contract To Buy And Sell Real Estate is 18 pages of “legalese”, and, if prepared by an agent representing the buyer, will probably be heavily weighted in favor of the buyer, and will probably only give you a very brief acceptance period in hopes that you will rush into a “Yes, I accept” answer.

Also, if the offer was made by an investor it will probably be a low-ball offer, since investors love to prey on unrepresented sellers.  They consider you easy prey, or easy to take advantage of.

So now it’s decision time.  Do you accept the offer as written?  Do you reject the offer? Or do you make a counter-offer?  And what terms of the offer can you change?  And do you know exactly how to make a valid counter-offer, without accidentally accepting the first offer.

Notice that I haven’t said anything about price.  How did you establish your sales price?  Zillow?  If so, read the fine print on their Zestimates.  They can be off by as much as 25%.



Earnest Money.  You did get earnest money didn’t you?  And what do you do with it?  Bank it? No, it’s still not yours to keep.  Escrow it? Yes.


Lead-based paint.  Penalties for failure to comply with Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Laws include treble (3 times) damages, attorney fees, costs, and a base penalty up to $11,000 (plus adjustment for inflation). The current penalty is up to $16,000 for each violation.

Sellers Property Disclosure.  Colorado requires full disclosure of all known issues, whether latent or visible.

Source of Water Addendum

Square Footage Disclosure

Mold Disclosure.  Not required, but a good idea.

Common Interest Community (HOA) Documents

  1. You will need to engage a Title Company to prepare for the Closing.  They will do research to make certain that you can convey a clear Title.  Title also contacts the appropriate agencies, coordinates activity with the buyer’s lender, and makes certain that all documents are appropriately recorded with the county.


Property Inspection

  1. The buyer will want to do an inspection, and has the right to do so.

Inspection Objection.  The buyer can ask you to correct any deficiencies found in the inspection.  This could be a make or break moment in the transaction.  This is where some negotiating skill will come in handy.

Inspection Resolution.  The resolution of the inspection objections will need to be disclosed to the buyer’s lender so as to avoid the appearance of loan fraud.

  1. The buyer’s lender will order an appraisal of the property.

Appraisal Objection.  It is very possible that the appraisal could come in lower than the proposed purchase price.  You may be asked at this point to revise the purchase price downward.



This is where you finally get paid.  Not much to worry about here, unless you or the buyer is not a legal resident of the United States, or you are moving out of Colorado.  Then there are some other things to comply with.




I hope this has been of value to you.  Selling a home can be a very tricky proposition if not handled properly.  If you would like some professional assistance with your home sale, please call me.

Or start with getting an estimate of market value.

Curious about what your home might be worth to a buyer?

The housing market is changing rapidly. Home values have been going up due to increased demand by homebuyers. But the increases have been tempered by the rise in interest rates, so the valuations have become a moving target.  Our affiliation with Homebot can provide you with a monthly update on your home’s approximate valuation as well as other pertinent information updates relating to your home.  It’s free, there is no obligation, and we won’t call you unless you contact us first.It’s always interesting to know what the current market value of your home is, even if you have no intent to sell.

So, is it time to get the answer?

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Jerry Downer, Broker Associate
Your Castle Real Estate

[email protected]





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