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Friday, March 9, 2007


For homeowners who choose the FSBO route, Sambrotto offers a simple recipe for success: "There are three things you need to do to sell a home successfully," he said. "First is pricing the home correctly, second is marketing the home, and the third step is the transfer of title."

Sambrotto said that while most people are worried about the third step, that's where you count on a real estate attorney to step in.

As for pricing your home, he recommends surveying Web Sites, including, and other homes for sale in your area to determine what comparable houses are selling for; using electronic appraisers such as; and, if you like, hiring an appraiser for $200 to $300 to get a baseline figure and to have a report that backs up your asking price for prospective sellers.

The second step, marketing the home, includes everything from staging the house for sale -- clearing it of clutter and depersonalizing the space, cleaning it until it's spotless, and taking care of basic repairs -- to using a range of advertising strategies from Internet and newspaper advertising, to for-sale signs, bulletin boards, open houses and word of mouth.

"For us it's just important that people know that there's an effective alternative nowadays and it's in their best interest to look at it before trying to sell that house," Sambrotto said.

But Johnson, the Columbus attorney, said some alternatives prove more risky for home sellers than others.

"They need the advice of an honest qualified realtor in order to sell the property," he said. "If something goes wrong -- and this is important in life -- it's not your fault. Someone is taking care of you."

So as you ponder how to sell your home, consider how much time and responsibility you're willing to take in your own hands -- and research all your options thoroughly.

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