Save Money by Selling Your Home FSBO

Are you ready to sell your house, but don’t want to pay commissions, fees and all of the other costs associated with using a real estate agent? Instead of listing your home perhaps you should consider For Sale By Owner or FSBO. Don’t get me wrong, I work with real estate agents all of the time, but sometimes you need to sell you house fast for various reasons – expensive repairs, inherited property, relocation, divorce, tax liens, code violations – reasons that make selling with a real estate agent challenging.

Below I’ve listed several advantages for going the FSBO route because sometimes selling your Maryland house directly is simply the best option that puts the most cash in your pocket.

we buy houses in as is condition

No Repairs & No Renovations Needed
To list your home with a realtor and get top dollar for your house, you often need to spend major dollars on repairs – kitchen renovations, new flooring, HVAC upgrades, new roof, new windows, even new electrical and plumbing. This adds up to big homeowner cost just to get your house to the level often required by a realtor. Plus, you will spend additional money on inspections and appraisals – thousands of dollars. And let’s face it, in 2021 a kitchen that hasn’t been upgraded since 1979 isn’t going to attract many traditional home buyers. Neither is shag carpeting in the living room.

No Cleaning Required
Cluttered homes and hoarder homes require extensive cleaning to sell for the best possible price. Why not sell direct to a cash buyer, pack what you need and forget the expensive de-cluttering. A real estate agent will want all surfaces and furniture free from debris to show your property whereas a cash buyer won’t care.  And let’s not forget about the costs associated with cleaning and/or packing stuff you don’t want to keep anyway.

cluttered kitchen with trash and debris all over the room

No Closing Costs or Realtor Fees
It is easy to save money when you sell your house directly to a cash buyer in Maryland. Taking this approach will eliminate most of the fees associated with traditional closings. Most cash buyers will cover your closing costs at settlement, plus eliminating the real estate agent from the equation will also mean no realtor fees, sometimes as high of 6% of purchase price. Plus, there will be no appraisal or inspection fees that you need to be responsible for paying. If you want to see the process for selling direct to a legitimate cash home buyer, just check CLICK HERE

Save on Marketing
The bottom line is that you can’t sell your home without marketing it to potential buyers. But selling the traditional way will require time, money, and effort. You will need perfect pictures, you need to keep it clean at all times as strangers walk through and you will likely need to hire a real estate agent. Selling FSBO eliminates the need for expensive and time consuming marketing.  

Monthly Costs Eliminated
There are myriad monthly costs associated with owning a home and they get compounded if you are already moved out and handling things from a distance. These costs can run into the thousands of dollars. What are these expenses? Well, taxes, mortgage, insurance, utilities, and maintenance are the big ones. Plus it’s possible you are in a tax line situation or already behind on mortgage payments. If you are in any of these situations, an aging house is sucking your finances, dry. The easy solution is to cut those expenses ASAP and sell directly to a cash buyer, who will offer you fair as-is value for your home.

If you are having trouble selling your house in Maryland for any reason and are looking to save on big on any of the expenses listed above, I highly recommend selling FSBO to a legitimate cash home buyer. In fact, give me a call at (240) 424-0423 or visit if you want me to give you an accurate, fair no obligation offer on your house. If I can’t make a reasonable offer, I will find a solution for you.


Zillow Isn’t the Gospel

So…you are ready to sell your home now, huh? If you are like millions of homeowners, you are going to Zillow immediately to see what your house is worth.

Even though Zillow claims its “Zestimate” is usually within 10 percent of the selling price of the home, don’t believe everything you see on the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, Zillow is an excellent resource. I use it all the time. But it isn’t the gospel. Why? Because even though Zillow gets a substantial amount of public data, it also allows for user submitted data. And let’s face it, if you are adding information about your home, you are always looking for the best angle. If a homeowner decides to update or change the square footage, number of bedrooms or features, it will change the value. Likewise, public data isn’t always perfect either.

In short, Zillow gives you a range based on its best data.

What’s the best way to get the most accurate value for your home? Well, that’s easy. Obviously, an appraisal is the best way. But that will cost you money, usually around $500 for a thorough appraisal. The other way is to know the “comps”, or comparable prices, of similar homes sold within a certain time period. I generally look at similar homes sold in the past 6-12 months within a mile of the subject property.

The key word here is “similar”. Not every property in the neighborhood is a good comp. At least not for buyers or real estate agents.

You need to take into consideration several factors to determine if a house is actually comparable to your property, such as:

  • Square footage (actual living space – plus it needs to be within 300-400 square feet)
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Year built (a house built in 1910 is not a comp for one built in 2010)
  • Style of house (rancher, colonial, split level, etc.)


You need to know the condition of the property being compared.

  • Is it newly renovated?
  • Does it need major repairs?
  • Is there a lead paint issue?
  • Is the foundation sound?
  • Is there mold or termites?

All comps are not created equal. It’s that simple.

So, what’s the best advice if you are using Zillow to determine what your house in worth? Use Zillow, Trulia, Redfin or as a baseline, but ultimately seek out a professional opinion. If you have a Maryland house to sell for any reason, I have a simple form that you can fill out right HERE to get a no obligation offer. And if you want to see my methodology for how I assess home values and make offer, please click HERE

Keep it simple, Stupid!

As I mentioned in the previous post (which I am cleverly mentioning in vague terms so you will read it again), I felt like the well-intentioned celebrity foreclosure awareness campaign that kicked off in January of 2009 was a total train wreck.

The basic problem with the project was that there were way too many cooks in the kitchen. It was my understanding that the Fannie Mae Foundation was going to give HOPE NOW the $1.5 million and let the organization manage the project as we saw fit.

It didn’t happen that way.

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Celebrity Disaster, Part I

In late 2008, HOPE NOW received a sizable grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation to embark on a celebrity campaign designed to bring awareness to foreclosure prevention solutions and mortgage scams.

On paper it seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. The housing crisis was out of control and harnessing the power of celebrities, with ties to cities with major foreclosure issues, would go a long way in educating at-risk homeowners on the myriad mortgage solutions available to them.

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A New Player Emerges

As the mortgage crisis was transforming from a bad dream into a full blown nightmare in 2007, it was clear that a collaborative approach was the only way to deal with the unprecedented number of homeowners facing foreclosure nationwide.

The mortgage industry needed to not only band together, but it needed to bring the non-profits, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, mortgage insurers and other stakeholders to the table as well.

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Pointing Fingers and Placing Blame – The American Dream Becomes a Nightmare

One of the most interesting facets of the early days of the housing crisis was the blame game being played out on a daily basis in Congress, in the media and on the internet.

The consumer groups blamed the banks. The media blamed the banks. The government blamed the banks. And vice versa. Plus, the banks blamed the investors. Everyone blamed Wall Street. It was vicious cycle with everyone looking for easy answers as the economy sank into recession.

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Cram Down? Say what?

My time at the Mortgage Bankers Association was critical to my career, but honestly I wasn’t passionate about the work. It was interesting and I worked with amazingly talented people, but I never felt a real calling there.

This “journey” I am chronicling is definitely going to focus more on my work after MBA, but I am going to write about a few select moments from my MBA experience that will put my later role in the housing crisis into perspective. Translation – this entry will be longer than normal.

It was at MBA where I really learned about the major players and the issues behind the recession, and their effect on the mortgage industry, the housing market and the nation’s homeowners.

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Trial by fire…and snow

My consulting career didn’t exactly start off so perfectly in December of 2007. It would be easy for me to blame my tardiness that day on the snow storm that rolled through the DC area, causing major traffic in my neighborhood.

But the truth was that I overslept. The snow, and its inevitable ability to turn bad Maryland drivers into absolute commuting nightmares on wheels, just made it worse.

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