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ForSaleByOwner Trend Watch Summary

Greater access to digital tools, more resources, and information are contributing to consumers’ increased confidence in their abilities to market and sell a home online – and they are doing so faster than agent-assisted sales. For this reason we have compiled the ForSaleByOwner Trend Watch: The Pulse on Changing Consumer Behavior in Real Estate.

Through diligent and comprehensive research we have identified five insights that will allow buyers and sellers to enter the market feeling educated, informed and empowered. Some of the highlights of this report include the following:

  • Millennials are embracing a new real estate model, with this generation accounting for 21 percent of customers on ForSaleByOwner and more than half of millennials willing to consider selling by owner.
  • Consumers today are more empowered and independent than ever before with nearly half using their own research to price their home instead of seeking the insight of an agent.
  • In June 2015, when national median time on market for homes hit record lows, independent sellers actually sold 4 days faster than agent sales.
  • Only 30 percent of consumers believe that the service provided by a real estate agent is worth the fee, contributing to the increased consideration of the by-owner method and new listings on ForSaleByOwner.
  • In the first half of 2015, a home sold on ForSaleByOwner every 52 minutes, with sellers saving an average of $14,000

We hope this report will serve as a beacon for consumers as they take control of one of the most important transactions of their lives.

You can view the entire ForSaleByOwner Trend Watch here.

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A Home Was Sold Every 52 Minutes on ForSaleByOwner.com in the First Half of 2015

The Nation’s Leading DIY Real-Estate Site Reveals Top Markets for “By Owner” Listings

CHICAGO, Jul 01, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — With the July 4th holiday – the midpoint of the home-buying season – around the corner, more homeowners than ever before have declared their independence and sold their most-valuable asset themselves via ForSaleByOwner.com, the nation’s leading provider of self-directed real-estate sales.

ForSaleByOwner.com today revealed that the total number of new listings on the site increased 5 percent in the first six months of 2015 versus the comparable period in 2014, with a home sold an average of every 52 minutes.1 During the same timeframe, the average value of homes sold through ForSaleByOwner.com increased 3.1 percent over the same period last year, from $250,699 to $258,567.2

“We saw more homeowners than ever before choosing to sell their homes themselves, empowered by the easy-to-use tools that ForSaleByOwner.com provides,” said Lisa Edwards, director of marketing for ForSaleByOwner.com. “Homeowners who use a service like ForSaleByOwner.com reap the benefit of lowering or eliminating significant fees associated with the cost of using an agent. For instance, a homeowner who sells their home for $300,000 can save on average $18,000 in real estate agent fees – significant savings that can be applied toward education, retirement or purchasing their next home.”

With the 2015 home-selling season at the mid-point, ForSaleByOwner.com today also revealed its list of the top 10 defined metropolitan areas (DMAs) with the most “by owner” listings. According to data from ForSaleByOwner.com, the top 10 DMAs accounted for nearly 26 percent of all ForSaleByOwner.com home listings and include:3

1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Dallas-Ft. Worth
4. Detroit
5. Atlanta
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Philadelphia
8. Lafayette, LA
9. Cleveland
10. Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL

About ForSaleByOwner.com

Backed by Tribune Publishing TPUB, ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s leading “by owner” real-estate site, providing consumers with all resources needed to sell and buy properties on their own. By offering a wide variety of listing packages, advertising services, tools and resources to fit any budget, ForSaleByOwner.com empowers consumers to make smarter, more-informed decisions. ForSaleByOwner.com launched in 1999 as one of the first players in the DIY real-estate market. Today, the company is the largest entity in the category, with five times the number of monthly unique visitors of its closest competitor.

1 Based on ForSaleByOwner.com H1 2015 customer exit survey data.
2 Based on ForSaleByOwner.com H1 2015 customer exit survey data.
3 Based on ForSaleByOwner.com H1 2015 purchase data.

(TPUB-C)

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2015 Home-selling Season Kicks Off Today with Signs More Homeowners Than Ever Want to Sell Their Most-Valuable Asset Themselves

ForSaleByOwner.com, the Nation’s Leading DIY Real-Estate Site, Sees Surge In Pre-Season Seller Traffic

CHICAGO – April 1, 2015 — The home-selling season kicks off in earnest today with newly released data from ForSaleByOwner.com, the nation’s leading provider of self-directed real-estate sales, indicating 2015 could be the biggest year yet for the category.

In the first three months of 2015, seller traffic to ForSaleByOwner.com was up more than 200 percent over the comparable period in 2014, reflecting increased interest among homeowners who seek to sell their most-valuable asset themselves1. Additionally, ForSaleByOwner.com noted that the average value of homes sold in the first quarter of 2015 was up 2.2 percent over the same period last year, from $254,750 to $260,385, which is 11 percent more than the national average for agent-assisted home sales2. In all, homeowners who used ForSaleByOwner.com to sell their home collectively saved $28.2 million in real-estate commissions in the first quarter of 20153.

“As the leading for-sale-by-owner site, ForSaleByOwner.com has direct insight into all aspects of how consumers sell and buy homes nationwide, and we are seeing more homeowners than ever before considering selling their houses on their own,” said Eddie Tyner, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ForSaleByOwner.com, a Tribune Publishing site. “We are in an era of empowered consumers who have more information at their fingertips, allowing them to make informed decisions about how to market and price their homes for maximum return.”

In advance of the kickoff of the 2015 home-selling season, ForSaleByOwner.com also revealed the top 20 states where homeowners successfully sold their homes on their own using the site. According to data from ForSaleByOwner.com, 11 of the top 20 states are in the South, with six of the top 20 in the Midwest, and three in the East, reflecting strong return of the housing markets in those regions.

The top 20 states which accounted for nearly 80 percent of all ForSaleByOwner home sales in 2014 were:

1. Texas
2. Louisiana
3. Florida
4. Illinois
5. Michigan
6. New York
7. Ohio
8. New Jersey
9. Alabama
10. Georgia
11. Indiana
12. Tennessee
13. North Carolina
14. Pennsylvania
15. Kentucky
16. Wisconsin
17. South Carolina
18. Virginia
19. Missouri
20. Arkansas

In the coming months, ForSaleByOwner.com will introduce additional resources to help potential buyers find their perfect homes. The new features will let prospective buyers search not just by home value or number of bedrooms but factors such as school rankings and other community amenities.

Additional industry trends and information are available in ForSaleByOwner.com’s Real Estate Outlook report, available here.

About ForSaleByOwner.com
Backed by Tribune Publishing, ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s leading “by owner” real-estate site, providing consumers with all resources needed to sell and buy properties on their own. By offering a wide variety of listing packages, advertising services, tools and resources to fit any budget, ForSaleByOwner.com empowers consumers to make smarter, more-informed decisions. ForSaleByOwner.com launched in 1999 as one of the first players in the DIY real-estate market. Today, the company is the largest entity in the category, with five times the number of monthly unique visitors of its closest competitor.

About Tribune Publishing
Tribune Publishing Company (NYSE: TPUB) is a diversified media and marketing solutions company that delivers innovative experiences for audiences and advertisers across all platforms. The Company’s diverse portfolio of iconic news and information brands includes 10 award-winning major daily titles, more than 60 digital properties and more than 180 verticals in markets, including Los Angeles; Chicago; South Florida; Orlando; Baltimore; Carroll County and Annapolis, Md.; Hartford, Conn.; Allentown, Pa., and Newport News, Va. Tribune Publishing also offers an array of customized marketing solutions, and operates a number of niche products, including Hoy and El Sentinel, making Tribune Publishing the country’s largest Spanish-language publisher. Tribune Publishing is headquartered in Chicago. For more information, please visit www.tribpub.com.

1Based on ForSaleByOwner.com internal traffic statistics from Jan. 1 – March 26, 2015.
2Based on ForSaleByOwner.com Q1 2015 customer exit survey data and National Association of Realtors 2014 profile of home buyers and home sellers.
3Based on ForSaleByOwner.com Q1 2015 customer exit survey data using a typical 6 percent agency commission.

(TPUB-C)

Contacts:
Matthew Hutchison
SVP/Communications
Tribune Publishing
312-222-3305
matt.hutchison@tribpub.com

Dana Meyer
Manager/Communications
Tribune Publishing
312-222-3308
dmeyer@tribpub.com

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“By Owner” Sellers Win Big This Home-Buying Season With ForSaleByOwner.Com

Tribune Company real estate website launches sweepstakes to give sellers the chance to win up to $25,000 every month all summer long.

Chicago, Ill. (May 20, 2014) – According to a national survey conducted by Tribune Company-owned ForSaleByOwner.com, more than half of Americans would consider selling their home without the help of a real estate agent.1 This home-buying season, ForSaleByOwner.com is giving those on the fence a reason to go for it – rewarding people who have sold their homes by themselves the chance to cash in twice.

The Home Seller Sweepstakes will award three winners the equivalent of the six percent commission that they would have paid to sell with an agent, up to $25,000.2 Anyone who has sold their home without the aid of an agent from January – May 14, 2014 is eligible for entry. Entries can be submitted through July 30, 2014 on the ForSaleByOwner website. One winner will be randomly selected the first week of June, July and August, respectively.

“As one of the nation’s leading sources of information and support for people who are looking to sell their homes, we’re thrilled to be giving sellers the chance to cash in twice,” said Eddie Tyner, General Manager at ForSaleByOwner.com. “With the re-launch of our website now complete, it’s the perfect time to kick off the Home Seller Sweepstakes to celebrate with those who have already sold by owner and inspire those who are looking to sell throughout the summer months – a peak time for home sales.”

Since the site launch in 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has grown into a trusted resource for “by owner” home sellers and buyers. The recently redesigned website is home to a more modern and intuitive online experience that makes the process of selling by owner easier and more accessible through new tools, content and design.

The site contains easy-to-use marketing tools that advertise listings across a network of top real estate websites and on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), along with how-to guides and live customer support. This makes it especially simple for the 80-percent of Americans who would consider buying a home being sold by owner to find their dream property.3

Backed by the Tribune Company, ForSaleByOwner.com has empowered its users to the tune of more than $2.3 billion in home sales in 2013 alone, all thanks to the information, tools and services that put the power to sell and buy a home directly in the hands of homeowners.4

For more information about by owner home selling or buying, visit ForSaleByOwner.com.

About ForSaleByOwner.com
ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s leading “by owner” real estate website, connecting home sellers with home buyers since 1999. The company offers a wide range of listing packages at varying prices that provide advertising, information, tools and resources to empower people to sell their homes themselves.

In 2013 alone, ForSaleByOwner.com facilitated the sale of $2.3 billion of residential real estate, accounting for upwards of $70 million in commission fees on home sales.

By selling a home without a real estate agent, sellers can save thousands of dollars by eliminating the commissions and fees a full service agent would command. A homeowner selling a $300,000 house through a full service real estate agent would forfeit up to $18,000 of their hard-earned home equity, based on the traditional six percent commission rate that has become the industry norm. ForSaleByOwner.com was acquired in 2006 by Tribune Digital, a division of Tribune Company, based in Chicago, IL.

Media Contacts:
Zeno Group
Leah Rosenfeld
Leah.Rosenfeld@zenogroup.com
O: 312-396-9766

ForSaleByOwner.com
Mercedes Carlton
mecarlton@tribune.com
O: 312-527-8526

    1, 3 – According to the 2014 Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers, a national survey conducted on behalf of ForSaleByOwner.com.
    2 – The Home Seller Sweepstakes is open to the current ForSaleByOwner.com customer base as well as the general public who have legal proof of selling their home without the aid of an agent.
    4 – According to ForSaleByOwner.com sales data.
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Five Smart Reasons to Buy a Home Now

Chicago (PR Newswire) —  The economy is stabilizing. Home prices are holding. It’s not just as good a time as ever to buy a house.  It’s one of the best times ever.

For SaleByOwner.com presents five overlooked reasons why now is a great time to buy a house.

1.    Low mortgage rates serve as an equity shock absorber. When buyers borrow at today’s record-low rates, they start building equity as soon as they close. That means they have a little give to absorb a few ups and downs as the still-recovering housing market gains traction.

2.  Houses are in move-in condition. Homeowners have continued to spend on maintenance and repair, according to the Harvard Joint Center on Housing. Homeowners who have been holding back kept their houses in good shape while they waited. As those houses enter the market, they are in marked contrast to tattered foreclosures.

3.    Terrific houses are coming on the market. Foreclosures are finally starting to clear the system – and this is just the opportunity that owners of many desirable properties have been waiting for.

4.  Appraisal regulations are finally aligned with market realities. Fannie Mae has adjusted its appraisal guidelines…again. Now that appraisers have more flexibility to set values that reflect the current market, today’s deals will make it over the finish line.

5.  Plenty of programs. Homes are more affordable than they have been for years, but communities have stuck by “workforce housing” programs that encourage middle-class families to buy houses. Buyers who qualify can get a big boost by combining one of these programs with today’s low mortgage rates. About ForSaleByOwner.com

ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s leading “by owner” real estate website. Since 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has saved home sellers more than one billion dollars by coaching and equipping them with information, tools and services that enable them to buy and sell houses directly. By selling directly, homeowners can recoup more of their home equity by controlling transaction fees. The company offers a wide range of listing packages at varying prices that provide advertising, information, tools and resources to empower people to sell their homes themselves. A homeowner selling a $300,000 home through a real estate agent would be charged a 6% commission and pay approximately $18,000, plus additional fees.

ForSaleByOwner.com was acquired in 2006 by Tribune Interactive and is based in Chicago.

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Broker Commissions Fell 18% Last Year, ForSaleByOwner.com Says

Broker commissions on U.S. home sales dropped 18 percent last year as purchases of foreclosed properties and the recession slashed values, according to ForSaleByOwner.com.

Total commissions were $46.6 billion in 2008, the lowest since 2002 and 34 percent below the peak of $71 billion in 2005, the New York-based online real estate service said in a statement today. The average commission paid on a brokered sale last year was $12,600.

“The cost of paying real estate commissions has clearly been magnified by declining home values,” Greg Healy, vice president of operations at ForSaleByOwner, said in the statement.

Prices in 20 U.S. cities fell 18.5 percent in December from a year earlier, the fastest drop on record, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. Sales of previously owned homes, which account for about 90 percent of the market, fell in January to the lowest since 1997, and new-home purchases plunged to the lowest since records began in 1963, the National Association of Realtors and Commerce Department said.

U.S. foreclosure filings exceeded 250,000 for the 10th straight month in January, RealtyTrac Inc. reported, and nonfarm payrolls plunged by 651,000, pushing the unemployment rate to the highest since 1992, according to the Labor Department.

Homeowners in the U.S. West paid the highest commission to sell their property at an average $16,230, according to ForSaleByOwner. Sellers paid $15,500 in the Northeast, $11,050 in the South and $9,540 in the Midwest.

ForSaleByOwner obtained its estimates using the $243,100 average 2008 home sale price from the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors and a 5.2 percent average commission estimated by REAL Trends Inc., a Castle Rock, Colorado-based property research firm, said company spokesman Eric Mangan.

About 75 percent of the 4.9 million U.S. home sales last year were sold through full-service brokerages, Mangan said, citing data from REAL Trends and the Realtors group.

ForSaleByOwner was founded in 1999 and acquired by Chicago- based Tribune Co. in 2006. It helps property owners market their homes without using a broker. It had more than 2 million unique average visitors in 2008, Mangan said.

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Condo Can-do: Selling Through ForSaleByOwner.com Delivers Unexpected Advantages

Press Release Source: ForSaleByOwner.com on Tuesday June 29, 2010

CHICAGO–(PR Newswire) —  Sell a condo by owner? Can you do that?

Yes, you can…and it’s easier than you might think. Condo owners are discovering unexpected advantages of selling direct in a difficult market. 
Today, ForSaleByOwner.com launches a new guide to selling and buying condos by owner.  It equips condo owners and buyers with tactics and tips for finding, pricing, marketing and purchasing condos directly from each other.

The ForSaleByOwner.com Condo Guide outlines these top tactics:

• Appraisals are easier when similar units have recently sold to verify the purchase price – removing one barrier plaguing single-family sales.
• Property managers and neighbors are on-site to help with showings for out-of-town owners.
• Condo associations, property managers and densely developed neighborhoods make it easier to spread the word when selling by owner.
• With condo values still sliding in many markets, eliminating the sell-side commission may be the only hope an owner has of retaining any equity.
These dynamics helped former Milwaukee resident Jason Fisher sell his two-bedroom condo in just six weeks.

Career demands prompted his move to Florida. Meanwhile, the condo that had been so appealing in 2005 was now just one of many on the glutted downtown Milwaukee market.
A listing with ForSaleByOwner.com quickly drew interest. Neighbors helped show the unit when Fisher was in Florida arranging his move.  The eventual buyer looked at several units in the building. She decided on Fisher’s because it was easy to validate the upgrades and better location of his unit when she did an apples-to-apples comparison.
And without a sell-side commission, Fisher extracted the equity he’d put in.

He purchased the unit for $178,800 in 2005 and sold it for $175,000 in 2010.  “I considered it a wash because I didn’t have to pay an agent’s commission,” said Fisher.
“Condo owners can leverage these hidden advantages to price and market their units for a prompt, profitable sale,” says Joanne Cleaver, senior content producer for ForSaleByOwner.com.  “Selling by owner gives them flexibility in negotiations and credibility in a cluttered market.”

About ForSaleByOwner.com

ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s leading “by owner” real estate website. Since 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has saved home sellers more than one billion dollars by coaching and equipping them with information, tools and services that enable them to buy and sell houses directly.

By selling directly, homeowners can control costs and fees, recouping their home equity. The company offers a wide range of listing packages at varying prices that provide advertising, information, tools and resources to empower people to sell their homes themselves. A homeowner selling a $300,000 home through a real estate agent would be charged a 6% commission and pay approximately $18,000, plus additional fees.
 
ForSaleByOwner was acquired in 2006 by Tribune Interactive and is based in Chicago.

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Make Househunting a Snap With The ForSaleByOwner.com Mobile App

CHICAGO, March 23, 2011  — No matter where you are, there’s a house listed with ForSaleByOwner.com nearby. Now, househunters can get the inside scoop on those houses in an instant with the new ForSaleByOwner.com iPhone app.

“Today’s buyers want details about a house immediately.  They don’t want to wait to get back to their computers – and why should they?” says Eddie Tyner, ForSaleByOwner.com general manager. “The new ForSaleByOwner.com mobile app lets buyers see interior photos, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the price, and the seller’s contact information.  The mobile app allows buyers and sellers to directly connect, faster.”

Searching from where you are at the moment, or by city and state, the ForSaleByOwner.com mobile app shows you all the nearby ForSaleByOwner.com listings.  Color-coded to highlight open houses, new listings, houses with price reductions and houses already under contract, the app makes it a snap to plan an efficient househunting itinerary.

The ForSaleByOwner.com mobile app also makes it easy to manage the sometimes-tedious process of scheduling and seeing properties.  Users can:

* Get driving directions to the properties via Google maps
* Keep a ‘short list’ of favorites and get updates when the price changes
* See what houses are available versus under contract
* Get feedback from friends via Facebook, Twitter and email

The ForSaleByOwner.com mobile app is available online via Apple’s iTunes store at no charge. Additional information about the functionality of the app is at ForSaleByOwner’s Education section FAQ.

About ForSaleByOwner.com

ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s largest and most robust “by owner” real estate website. In 2010 alone, ForSaleByOwner.com facilitated sales of $1.8 billion worth of residential real estate, enabling homeowners to keep at least $72 million* in home equity for themselves.

Since 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has saved home sellers more than one billion dollars by coaching and equipping them with information, tools and services that enable them to buy and sell houses directly.

By selling directly, homeowners can recoup more of their home equity by controlling transaction fees. The company offers a wide range of listing packages at varying prices that provide advertising, information, tools and resources to empower people to sell their homes themselves.
A homeowner selling a $300,000 home through a full service real estate agent would lose $18,000 in equity, based on the traditional 6% commission.

ForSaleByOwner.com was acquired in 2006 by Tribune Digital, a division of Tribune Companies, and is based in Chicago.

*Based on some home sellers paying a 2% commission to the agent representing the buyers of their homes. The traditional real estate commission is 6%.

Media Contacts:
Zeno Group
Leah Rosenfeld
Leah.Rosenfeld@zenogroup.com
O: 312-396-9766

ForSaleByOwner.com
Mercedes Carlton
mecarlton@tribune.com
O: 312-527-8526

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FORSALEBYOWNER.COM PRICING GUIDE HELPS SELLERS SET APPEALING ASKING PRICES AND EQUIPS BUYERS TO MAKE OFFERS THAT STICK

FORSALEBYOWNER.COM LAUNCHES INTERACTIVE PRICING GUIDE PROVIDING ACCURATE, CURRENT HOME VALUE ESTIMATES

CHICAGO, IL- April 4, 2011: It’s the one thing every homeowner and househunter wants to know: How much is this house worth…and why? The new ForSaleByOwner.com Interactive Pricing Guide solves the mystery.
“Correct pricing is one of the top concerns of customers who call the ForSaleByOwner.com call center,” said Stephanie Hammell, director of public relations for Tribune Digital Classified Marketplaces. “With the ForSaleByOwner.com Interactive Pricing Guide, they have a ready reference for understanding current home values for all stages of homeownership.”

Whether you’re selling, buying, or staying put, the Pricing Guide walks you through the process of figuring out what the house is probably worth from both a Seller’s and a Buyer’s perspective.

• Sellers can use the guide to set an asking price that will invite solid offers.
• Buyers can use the guide to make offers that will stick – with the seller and with lenders.
• Owners can use the guide to better understand the dynamics of today’s real estate market, so they can make smart decisions about improving and refinancing.

“Smart pricing isn’t a trade secret at ForSaleByOwner.com,” says Joanne Cleaver, senior content producer and author of the guide. “The right price is a moving target. The ForSaleByOwner.com Interactive Pricing Guide enables consumers to hit the bulls’ eye so they can maximize their equity and achieve their financial goals.”

Available to the public at http://www.forsalebyowner.com/pricingGuide    the ForSaleByOwner.com Pricing Guide includes worksheets for figuring pricing and net equity and illustrates how pricing dynamics shift over the course of a home sale transaction.

About ForSaleByOwner.com

ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s largest and most robust “by owner” real estate website. In 2010 alone, ForSaleByOwner.com facilitated sales of $1.8 billion worth of residential real estate, enabling homeowners to keep at least $72 million* in home equity for themselves.

Since 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has saved home sellers more than one billion dollars by coaching and equipping them with information, tools and services that enable them to buy and sell houses directly.
By selling directly, homeowners can recoup more of their home equity by controlling transaction fees. The company offers a wide range of listing packages at varying prices that provide advertising, information, tools and resources to empower people to sell their homes themselves.
A homeowner selling a $300,000 home through a full service real estate agent would lose $18,000 in equity, based on the traditional 6% commission.

ForSaleByOwner.com was acquired in 2006 by Tribune Digital, a division of Tribune Companies, and is based in Chicago.

*Based on some home sellers paying a 2% commission to the agent representing the buyers of their homes. The traditional real estate commission is 6%.

Media Contacts:
Zeno Group
Leah Rosenfeld
Leah.Rosenfeld@zenogroup.com
O: 312-396-9766

ForSaleByOwner.com
Mercedes Carlton
mecarlton@tribune.com
O: 312-527-8526

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ForSaleByOwner.Com Offers Tips On How To Buy A Home Without Using A Real Estate Agent

NEW YORK, May 20, 2009  – ForSaleByOwner.com (http://www.ForSaleByOwner.com), the leading real estate “by owner” website, is reminding homebuyers that they do not need a real estate agent to buy real estate. With “by owner” real listings accounting for approximately 20% of all homes on the market, ForSaleByOwner.com offers the following tips on how to buy a “by owner” home without using a real estate agent:

1. Determine Your Budget: The first step in any home buying process is determining how much you can afford. It’s important to not overextend yourself. There are many Internet-based mortgage calculators that will tell you how you can afford based upon your income, debt level, mortgage rate and available cash for a down payment.

2. Get Pre-Approved: Now that you know the price range that you can afford, you’ll want to get pre-approved so that you can move forward in the home buying process. In today’s market, buyers with a large down payment and a strong credit rating are more likely to obtain a mortgage. Getting a pre-approval letter is a quick process that will tell sellers that you are a serious buyer who can afford their home.

3. Search For Homes: This part is simple. Nearly 90% of all buyers use the Internet to search for a home, so ForSaleByOwner.com can help find your ideal home. Keep in mind that nearly 25% of all properties on the market are “by owner” listings, so remember these properties as you search for your next home.

4. Contact the Owner Directly: Unlike homes represented by an agent, there’s no middleman to interfere with you from getting directly in touch with the seller. Phone or email the seller and ask additional questions about the home that wasn’t on the online property description. If you’re still interested, agree on a mutually convenient time to tour the home.

5. Get a Valuation Report of the Home: Either before or after you see the home, get a valuation or property report to see how the home’s asking price compares to other recently sold homes within the neighborhood. It’s similar to a real estate agent’s CMA (comparative market analysis), and it will compare the home you’re considering with recent nearby home sales. Remember that such property reports and CMAs do not factor in any recent renovations — such as kitchen or bathroom remodeling — so the price of the home will be affected accordingly.

6. Hire an Attorney: For a few hundred dollars, a quality real estate attorney will provide you with all the advice and counsel you’ll need to go from the offer to closing. Use a local attorney who is knowledgeable about your town’s ordinances when it comes to real estate transactions, as well as your state’s disclosure laws.

7. Make an Offer: Now that you’ve seen the home firsthand and have a property valuation report, plus an attorney in your corner, you’re ready to present the seller with an offer. Your attorney should have the necessary offer forms or you can use ForSaleByOwner.com to get all of the state-specific paperwork that you’ll need.

8. Lock in Your Mortgage Rate: Assuming that the seller is entertaining your offer, you’ll want to shop around for the lowest mortgage rate. You should contact major lenders, visit local banks and contact mortgage brokers to price compare. Once you’ve settled on a lender and a mortgage product, they will lock you in that mortgage rate and give you a set amount of time to close the real estate transaction. A 30 day or 60 day “lock in” period is most common.

9. Get the Home Inspected: The next step is hiring a quality home inspector who will go through the home – from foundation to attic – to see what condition the home is in. A home inspector will cost $300-$600 and the inspection will take around 2 hours. You’ll get an inspection report outlining any mechanical or structural problems that the home might have.

Depending on the results on the inspection report, you might want to re-negotiate the purchase price. For example, the inspector might tell you that the furnace to be replaced. Negotiate with the seller to lower the price to compensate for any such expense.

10. Close the Deal: Your real estate attorney will handle most of the details at closing and, depending on your state and local area, will advise you on any special paperwork that needs to be completed between you and the seller. Your attorney and your mortgage lender will also assist you with coordinating the financing and providing payment to the seller. The seller will sign over the deed of the home and, voila, you’re the new homeowner!

About ForSaleByOwner.com
ForSaleByOwner.com is the nation’s leading “by owner” real estate website. Since 1999, ForSaleByOwner.com has saved home sellers more than one billion dollars by providing premium Internet marketing services, MLS listing services, property pricing reports, real estate guidance and information, downloadable legal forms, as well as live customer support, to help customers independently sell their own homes. The company offers a wide range of listing packages at varying prices that provide advertising, information, tools and resources to empower people to sell their homes themselves. In contrast, a person selling a $300,000 home through a real estate agent would be charged a 6% commission fee and pay approximately $18,000. Prospective homebuyers can browse property database, available at http://www.forsalebyowner.com, at no charge.