25 Reasons I Decided to Sell FSBO

1. I'm very isolated here as an outsider. When people come to my house, agents don't let me I talk to them. I feel excluded and invisible.

2. I'm more creative - a lateral thinker - than most agents who are vertical thinkers and who only follow the same system they learned in class.

3. I have more at stake financially than agent: $100,000+ versus the $1,500 they hope to get.

4. Selling my house is my full-time job; not so an agent who wants to have lots of houses to list.

5. I know my house better than anyone and can talk it up better.

6. Without having to give a 5-6% commission to a middleman, I can offer a better price to buyers.

7. I have the liberty of structuring a creative deal, one that an agent isn't interested in considering or offering.

8. I like being in control of my own house. It's still my house as long as I pay the bills and taxes and live in it.

9. With no agent I no longer get calls saying I have to cancel my plans to allow a non-buyer to spend 10 minutes in my home.

10. Without an agent calling the shots, I don't have the stress of having to leave my house and all my worldly goods in the hands of strangers I know nothing about.

11. With FSBO. I no longer feel I am working for my agent, or helping her win a trip to Italy. If I'm the one doing all the work anyway - taking photos, writing text, filling out long forms, staging the house - why have an agent?

12. I don't have to worry about strangers going through my personal things - as has happened - and hiding everything of value off-premises so they can't.

13. By showing the house to buyers myself, I can learn what a couple is looking for and what they don't want. I don't get that information from agents. Usually I have no feedback.

14. I can write what I want about the house - usually more than an agent will - not only on my own website but also on Zillow.

15. I have good marketing skills, usually better than the agents I have retained: I have a degree in marketing and I have sold a timeshare, 2 mobile homes (one in 6 days), a condo and raw land by myself.

16. I may have had more real estate training than most real estate agents who get their licenses in as short as two weeks. I've hosted a weekly talk radio show on real estate on which I interviewed agents and a real estate attorney. I wrote a booklet of 150 home selling tips; I created a website for people to sell their own homes FSBO; I passed the two Pennsylvania real estate courses; I took a course on real estate investing; I studied housing and design in university, taught by an architect; I worked in a architectural supply store giving advice to architecture students in college; and I studied same university courses as two former HGTV hosts.

17. I know how to stage a home because I studied interior design.

18. I'm always available to show a home. I have no other commitments as agents have.

19. I know how to negotiate a win-win deal. I've been a speaker agent, negotiating contracts.

20. I know what has to happen for the sale to close properly. I've been both a buyer and seller of homes.

21. My real estate attorney handles the contracts and documents better than any agent does.

22. I can wait for the best buyer, not rush a sale through for the commission as agents want to do.

23. I have put more effort into selling my house than my agents ever have.

24. I'm interested in selling only one house; agents have multiple house listings so they aren't focused full-time on my house.

25. I don't have other interests that take up my time; but agents have kids and husbands who also demand their attention. And agents like to go on vacations. I must stay focused on selling the house until it sells.

22 Things I've Done to Sell My House

To attract house buyers to my 3-bedroom, Post Avenue, Cape Cod home in southwest Erie PA – – I have:


1. Beautified the house by adding landscaping, painting the front porch and steps,
2. Fixed the basement rain seepage by adding 3 rain barrels outside to divert water,
Installed new appliances: dishwasher, gas range, refrigerator, range hood,
4. Added central air conditioning,
5. Gutted and renovated the second floor,
6. Built an 8’ x 7.5’ storage shed in the side yard,
7. Retained the services of 3 consecutive real estate agents (Fail),
8. Reduced the price from $121,000 to below what I paid 5 years ago before additions and renovations: $99,000 (Fail),
Advertised the house For Sale By Owner (FSBO),
10. Promoted a home giveaway essay contest: 10 sentence “essay” + $10 entry fee that would give all non-winning entrants $20 worth of my books (Fail),
11. Promoted a second home giveaway essay contest to businesses: 3 sentences + $1,000 entry fee that would give all non-winning entrants $2,000 worth of my marketing services or lectures (Fail),
12. Promoted a third home giveaway contest: 3 sentences and no entry fee and I would raise $150,000 by working to compensate me for the house (Fail),
13. Included dehumidifier, upright freezer, NordicTrack treadmill in the $115,000,
14. Buried a St. Joseph statue in the front yard,
15. Advertised to rent the second floor to one LECOM student (Fail),
Advertised to rent the whole house to LECOM students (Fail),
17. Offered seller financing with no down payment (Fail),
18. Offered an evening seminar to first-time buyers: Seller Financing: How you can afford to buy Andrea’s house even when banks say no, and make a legal offer (Fail),
19. Offered a $500 finders fee to any non-agent friend who sends me a buyer (Fail),
20. Offered a 3% commission to agents who referred a buyer with no involvement (Fail),
21. Reduced the price from $99,000 to $89,000 as a short test (July 6 until July 15 only). Cash sale or bank financing only, no agents, no commissions; letter showing pre-approval only.
22. Offered agents a $10,000 finders fee if they refer a buyer to me who closes successfully on the price of $115,000 or better (after July 15).

Copyright 2016, Andrea Reynolds, PO Box 9124, Erie PA 16506. (814) 520-5548, All rights are reserved. Ask about reprints and licensing.
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What to do with your unwanted timeshare

© Andrea Reynolds, 2005 - 2014. From the archives.

A few years ago my elderly father gave up traveling and decided his two week (back-to-back) Labor Day timeshares on the coast of North Carolina were costing him $1,000 a year in maintenance fees. He had paid two "timeshare advertising companies" upfront at least $500 each to sell his shares for him. That was a waste of money. Months went by and all they did was print a tiny ad in tiny type which was lost in a large catalog of other unwanted timeshares.

So I took on the task. I posted six photos of the timeshare unit, its location, description and map on my
web site and waited to see what would happen. Yes, this is passive selling, but it cost me, and Dad, nothing. In a little over a year someone contacted me and offered $3,000 which was the current value of the points. I knew we would not likely find another buyer so I urged my father to accept, and to handle the transaction, they used a local lawyer in the same town as the timeshare. There was no realtor commission to pay, just the lawyer fee which was nominal.

One day I heard
Clark Howard say on his radio show that there was no way his caller was going to be able to sell her timeshare and urged her to just give it as a gift to family members. Obviously, I only partly agree.

My father could have done that: he could have just given me his two weeks and then I would have had a lovely vacation spot that would have cost me only $1,000 in annual maintenance fees. I could have stayed in it, or traded it for a different location.

• If you have two children and own two timeshares, it would be somewhat easy to split them between the two. And of course, if you have only a one-week timeshare that sleeps six, perhaps your adult children could share.

• Yes, you could sign over a timeshare week to your children as a
wedding gift so they have a free honeymoon location (for the rest of their lives).

• Or you could simply allow friends to use your week for a fair payment for
honeymoons and vacations. If you can break even on renting it out, you can keep the timeshare in your name for years to come.

• You can designate family members as beneficiaries of your timeshares in
your Will.

• Or you could
donate unwanted timeshares to your local PBS station and let the station figure out a way to sell the timeshares for cash (if they are willing to take it).

• Or put your timeshare in their annual fundraising auction to offer to subscribers. Consider
other charities that accept vehicles as donated items.

If you give away a timeshare, you don't make money, but you stop having a money drain from the annual fees, and if you
talk to your accountant, there may be a tax advantage in giving it or donating it. If you donate it, be sure to get a receipt from the recipient with a date on it.

And of course, if you insist on selling it, there is eBay, Craigslist, Kijiji, and some local buy/sell groups on Facebook, etc. Those may involve an element of danger - both physically and financially - and I'm not sure I'd attempt to sell anything of significant value that way. I've encountered a number of scammers on those sites and an elderly person who is trusting may not fare well with a masterful scammer.

So giving away your timeshare(s) may be less hassle in the long run. But keep in mind not everyone wants to own timeshares even if they can trade for a more desired location.

But if your timeshare is sitting vacant, I'd be happy to use it so it doesn't go to waste. ;-)



Money blogger Andrea Reynolds doesn't have another timeshare to sell you, but she is renovating a 2 bedroom bungalow which will be for sale in a few months. She is the author of Sell Your Mobile Home in 60 Days or Less and Save $500 to $6000 on Agent Fees. The 150 tips work for all kinds of homes. Order your copy here:

Want to republish/reprint this blog post? First let's talk about a licensing agreement. I'm a professional writer and I sell my writing.

4 Spinoffs from Selling My Mobile Home

© Andrea Reynolds, From the archives: July 29, 2010

Eight years ago, when I needed to sell my second mobile home and realtors were only complicating my life, I created
a website to advertise it myself. I found a domain name that clearly defined the site’s purpose. I’d already sold my first mobile home without a realtor in 6 days, so I had some credibility.

On the website I posted a long, bulleted description of my home, a list of contents I could include in the sale, a dozen color photos of the interior and exterior, a map of the area, directions to the front door, the price, and what it would cost to live there.


To add more content I posted other mobile homes for-sale-by-owner in my neighborhood for a small fee. If someone wanted to buy nearby, but didn’t want my home, I figured I’d help others who wanted to sell their mobile homes. Then I started receiving payments from mobile home owners in other states who wanted me to advertise their homes. Suddenly I was operating a business.

I discovered most sellers didn’t know how to market their homes as well as I did to entice buyers to make an offer. How could I help them? I created two digital products to sell: a
booklet of 120 tips I used to sell my first mobile home in 6 days, and a set of purchase agreement forms to sign when a verbal offer came in. People started buying them.

Once my home sold and I didn’t need the website, I decided to sell it. I held out a year for a reasonable price and received an offer for more than I expected. This turnkey operation included the right to sell my two digital products for the life of the website, but I kept affiliate and resell rights for myself. I won’t say what the selling price was, but it was enough to cover my truck payments for 18 months.

Do you have a no-longer-needed web site you could sell?


Money blogger Andrea Reynolds took back the website she sold ( and is offering it for sale again along with licensing rights to her booklet, Sell Your Mobile Home in Fewer Than 60 Days. Make her an offer:

Want to republish/reprint this blog post? First let's talk about a licensing agreement. I'm a professional writer and I sell my writing.