For Sale by Owner: How to Buy and Sell Properties Privately

When you are buying or selling property, the FSBO (For Sale by Owner) option is certainly one that you should consider.  Instead of calling an agent and selling with massive commissions, it may be an idea to go at it alone and try to sell it yourself first and then if you’re not successful, enlist an agent to give you a hand.

Instead of having to pay unnecessary fees to real estate agents, you can take on the entire process by yourself and still be able to find the buyers you are looking for and fetch a good price for your property.  If you have been looking to buy or sell off your property but have been wondering how to approach the whole issue of for sale by owner arrangements, here are some tips that may help shed some light on the issue.

Tips for Buyers

Do a Search Online for FSBO Properties With Your Target Suburbs

The internet is as an ideal resource for finding any kind of information, especially to find properties.  If you are looking to buy property, you can simply do a search in Google for available FSBO listings on For Sale by Owner sites.  The good thing with most of these sites is that they allow you to narrow down your search to the nearest suburbs meaning, that you are able to find a good house in your locality that are being listed by the owner and will allow you to deal directly with the owner instead of an agent.

Buy and Sell Home Property

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“Home sold, yeah”Tony Home Hallway Built 1855 Dutch Brooklyn 1977 70s by Whiskeygonebad, on Flickr.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Contact the Seller Directly

Once you have found the property that fits your needs, the next thing to do will be to contact the seller directly.  In most cases, you would find that the seller has posted their contact details on the page.  All you need to do is call them or email them directly and arrange a time for inspection to view the property.

Negotiate a Deal With the Seller

Of course, the main aim of contacting the seller would be to make a deal with them.  Most for sale by owner listing websites provide you with a platform for communicating with the seller via a messaging system or alike.  It is not advised to negotiate deals using these platforms and you should meet face to face when taking part in the negotiation process.

Tips for Sellers

List Your Property Using FSBO Websites that Help You List on Real Estate Portals

Listing your property online using a For Sale by Owner site will also allow you to get exposure on the major real estate websites and portals in your country.  These sites typically offer a free listing on their site but offer an upgrade to get onto the major websites that get the most traffic and exposure and that are normally reserved for real estate agent properties.

how to buy and sell property privately

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Wait for the Enquiries to Roll In

After you have listed your property, the next thing for you to do is wait for the potential buyers to contact you or request to come and view the property.  When they come out, you will get a good idea if they’re keen on the property or not and if they are, you can move onto the next part of the process.

Negotiate a Deal Yourself With the Potential Buyers

The last thing to do in this FSBO arrangement is to strike a deal with the buyer.  Make sure that the buyer offers you an amount that you are comfortable with and visa versa.  If you both agree on a fair price, its then time to speak to a conveyancer or lawyer to draw up your contracts.


Arnel Ariate is the webmaster of Money Soldiers.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Shobir | Find Some Money - December 12, 2013

Excellent idea! I have three properties in East London and they cost me an arm and a leg to buy and sell, this is a great way for sellers and buyers to avoid those nasty fees. I suppose it’s like Peer to Peer estate agents. Great post, thanks for sharing.

    Arnel Ariate - December 21, 2013

    Hi, Shobir. Yes, those fees can be nasty. It’s good that you have other choices on how to buy and sell properties.

Jonathan Smith - March 21, 2014

Great tips indeed! It can be beneficial to contact directly with buyer and seller, but it is my personal opinion that we have to get services of home inspection and property inspection services because they are able to research about a property and useful to prevent certain risks that can be associated with owning a property without having a survey of the property. The first risk is that paper work of ownership of a property may fake or we can say that if you have title rights from a seller, but still there is no guarantee of land ownership. Another risk is that what you have got in the written about a property, but it is sometimes not the same physical piece of land existing on the ground. There are many benefits of survey companies, some of them are listed here at

Prestige International - May 27, 2014

Nice post! yes i agree with Jonathan, It can be beneficial to contact directly with buyer and seller.Thanks for posting this.


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