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Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling a Home “For Sale By Owner” – The Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show

In the latest episode of the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show, Stephen and Sharon Salisbury discuss most common mistakes people make when selling “For Sale By Owner”.

Here are just a few pitfalls:

  • Pricing it correctly.
  • The last person a buyer wants to meet is the seller.
  • The buyer is not qualified for a loan.
  • Removing the emotion out of your sale.
  • Are you ready to field all the calls at your home?

Also, we offer a For Sale By Owner Program where you can be for-sale-by-owner and be listed with us at the same time. It’s a very unique formula and if you are interested in that give Sharon a call at 803-207-7001.



Prefer to read? Here are the transcripts of the video:
(Please excuse spelling and grammar errors)

STEPHEN: Hello. I’m Stephen Cooley and welcome to the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show. I’m very excited to have Sharon Salisbury back on the show.

SHARON: Thank you, Stephen.

STEPHEN: Welcome Sharon, as everyone knows Sharon’s one of the top agents here at the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group.

SHARON: Thank you.

STEPHEN: And glad to have you on the show. Glad for you to get expert advice to our buyers and sellers so today I’ve asked Sharon to come on the show and talk to sellers about selling their home. Some people in this market because it is a seller’s market in some pockets of our area are going it alone. And we call that in our industry For Sale By Owner.

SHARON: That’s right.

STEPHEN: And so there’s some options out there for sale by owner, and I just wanted you to kind of hit the pitfalls of that I’m not trying to talk people out of trying it on their own. I’m always if you’re going to do it It’s going to work and probably the first 14 days the first two weeks But there’s a lot of things that affect you when you’re selling off the home. And I’ve just asked Sharon to come on and just share some of those if you’re going to go for sale by owners and things to look out for.

SHARON: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you don’t want to fall into some of these pitfalls and one of them and the most important to me is pricing it correctly. If you price it too high you’re going to lose the buyers and if you price it too low you’re going to lose the money.

STEPHEN: You need to know what the appraiser is going to say it’s worth when the bank comes out for the buyer and appraises the home. If you miss that mark the deal falls through it.

SHARON: And with that a lot of times is you know are you a marketing expert? Finding that right price a lot of times is knowing if your neighbor’s house sold for more money. Did it have a pool whether something about it was it completely updated and knowing that market.

STEPHEN: And we know the market because and you do especially share them because there’s homes on one side of the road in a neighborhood that will sell a lot faster than the other side of the road. It could just be the fact that there’s a you know a ravine on the other side of the road and they don’t have backyard so just because your neighbor’s home sold quickly doesn’t mean your home will sell quickly. You really have to look at all the amenities. We just had one sell in one day for a lot more, but it had a brand-new $75,000 kitchen you know you wouldn’t know that unless you’d been in the home.

SHARON: That’s right. And when you’re selling your home yourself, do you have time to show it? You know unfortunately most buyers want to see the home the times that you’re away at work. They want to see it immediately a lot of times there are time constraints, and it’s hard to fit those needs of when a buyer want to see your house.

STEPHEN: Yeah, well buying a home is one of the most expensive investments in the world people take off work to house hunt so you think you’re going to show your home on nights and weekends but buyers want to see it at 10:00 a.m. and then if they like it, they want to come back at 1:00 and stay two hours. You know the last person a buyer wants to meet is the seller. You’re looking at their personal home. They won’t buy your home unless they look in cabinets, in closets and they’ll never do that if the seller is home. Sellers should not be home. If you go for-sale-by-owner find a friend to show your house for you. That would be my recommendation.

SHARON: Absolutely, another thing you want to ask yourself is are you up-to-date on the latest trends? They’ve changed often, there’s lots of TV shows that even focus on all these changes that are coming about and staging your home to make sure that furniture is placed in a certain way or things are depersonalized. You might love your family wall but it might make it hard for the buyer to feel like it’s their own home.

STEPHEN: Absolutely. I try to go out and with under $1,000 recommend things that the seller can do that cost less than a $1,000 the last time you and I did this together it made the seller about 15,000 more and just recommended that by the way if your wall colors is this color it’s the wrong color.

SHARON: There is nothing worse, Stephen on this next pitfall than when you think you have that buyer and you find out that they are not qualified for a loan and cannot purchase your home.Because you’ve already probably even told your friends or packed up the boxes and ready to go.

STEPHEN: You could be moved out of the home and find out the loan’s denied. Unknown banks will deny the loan the day of closing and that is an awful trend in our industry. So what we do is we make sure that the buyer has gone to a known lender that we know to a loan officer at that lending institution that we know and then we call that lender and interview that lender. It says in our contracts that we have access to the buyer’s lender’s private information. As a seller you will not have that data and you can get pre-qualified online now with whatever income you state and whatever you say your FICO score is. They will print out on a pre-approval letter. That is not the lender you want for your buyer.

SHARON: That’s right. The next pitfall  I want to talk about is – can you remove the emotion out of your sale? Most people feel like they’re ready to sell and they can do this but when that buyer comes in and says they hate those granite countertops has been all months picking out and adored. That can ruin your sale because at that point you don’t know if you want to sell your house without buyers.

STEPHEN: I cannot remove the emotional attachment, I cannot do it. One final thing.

SHARON: Are you ready to field all the calls at your home because they will come – that’s for sure.

STEPHEN: Counting the internet and calls we get somewhere between 50 and 100 phone calls per property that we put on the market and usually there’s one or two qualified buyers in there, I blame HGTV and some other all these real estate shows including mine I’ve got people obsessed with real estate and people really want a house hunt even when they can’t afford a home. We had some people coming at open house this past weekend. They just closed on their home two weeks ago, they’re not in the market to buy a house but they’re going to open houses. People are obsessed with real estate. So can you weed out through those 50 hundred phone calls? Can you weed out the people that are truly going to buy the home.

SHARON: That’s right.

STEPHEN: Let me just say on all these things Sharon’s an expert and you do an amazing job with that the other thing is if you’re considering for-sale-by-owner the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group through Sharon. We offer a For Sale By Owner Program to where you can be for-sale-by-owner and be listed with us at the same time. It’s a very unique formula I designed so it’s very unique and if you are interested in that give Sharon a call. Sharon people need to know how to find you.

SHARON: Yes, they can reach me through my cell phone 803-207-7001 or my email

STEPHEN: And on today’s show, if you’re interesting go to our website you can go to You’ll be in Sharon’s website instead of mine. You definitely do that. Sharon great information very valuable information if you’re considering selling your home and going for-sale-by-owner or listen to this show a couple of times. Please stay tuned we’ve got beautiful homes for sale in your area, and we’ll be right back.

I hope you’ve enjoyed watching the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Show. If you’re interested in advertising your business on the program, please give us a call at 803-326-2777. Join us next week for more discussions on real estate topics and help in finding your perfect home. Thanks for watching.

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Crystal – Terri and I enjoyed meeting you today. Your attention to the sale of our condo was fantastic. We wouldn’t think of doing business with anyone but the Cooley Group in the future. Thanks for all your help! Mike & Terri
Mike & Terri

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