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Ensuring Safety in For Sale By Owner Transactions: A Comprehensive Guide

Tuesday, January 23, 2024   /   by Don Minehart

Ensuring Safety in For Sale By Owner Transactions: A Comprehensive Guide

The concept of selling a home without the assistance of a real estate agent, known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO), is a route sometimes taken by homeowners seeking to maximize their profits. While FSBO transactions offer potential financial benefits, ensuring safety throughout the process is paramount. This guide will explore essential safety tips for individuals navigating the FSBO route.

  • Screening Potential Buyers:

Before allowing anyone to view your property, implement a rigorous screening process. Request proof of pre-approval or financial capability to ensure that potential buyers are serious and qualified. 

  • Secure Personal Information:

Be cautious about sharing personal information. Avoid providing unnecessary details about your schedule, routines, or reasons for selling. Focus on the property details rather than divulging personal information.

  • Meet in Public Places:

When arranging property viewings or meetings with potential buyers, choose public locations. This adds an extra layer of safety and minimizes the risk of inviting strangers into your home without proper vetting.

  • Utilize Technology:

Leverage technology to your advantage. Use virtual tours, high-quality photos, and video calls to showcase your property. This reduces the need for frequent in-person showings and limits physical interaction.

  • Implement Home Security Measures:

Prioritize the security of your home. Install proper lighting, secure doors, and windows, and consider a home security system. A well-lit and secure property can deter potential security threats.

  • Have a Support System:

Inform a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor about your FSBO plans. Share property showings and meeting details, and establish a system for checking in after appointments to ensure your safety.

  • Establish Open Communication:

Maintain clear and open communication with potential buyers. Clearly outline the terms of the sale, and be upfront about your expectations. This transparency can help build trust and reduce misunderstandings.

  • Consult Legal Professionals:

Seek legal advice to ensure your FSBO transaction adheres to local laws and regulations. A real estate attorney can guide you on contracts, disclosures, and any legal implications of the sale.

  • Document Everything:

Keep detailed records of all interactions, communications, and transactions. Documentation can serve as a valuable resource in case of disputes or misunderstandings.

  • Consider Escrow Services:

Utilize escrow services to safeguard financial transactions. This neutral third party holds funds in trust until both parties fulfill their obligations, reducing the risk of fraud or monetary disputes.


While the FSBO route may be rewarding*, prioritizing safety throughout the process is crucial. By implementing these safety tips, homeowners can confidently navigate the sale of their property, protecting themselves and their assets. Always stay vigilant, trust your instincts, and seek professional guidance when needed to ensure a secure and successful FSBO transaction.

*10% of homeowners sold as FSBO's in 2022. The average difference between listed homes & FSBO homes was 25% less received by the FSBO sellers, according to NAR statistics

The Marshall | St. Clair Group of Keller Williams
Sharon St Clair
395 Valley Brook Road
McMurray, PA, PA 15317

Information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Data is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.
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