For Sale by Owner (FSBO) in Arkansas

The FSBO Closing Process

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Accepting an offer on your home is a wonderful accomplishment…and the beginning of a fairly complicated process. You now have a whole new ‘to-do’ list necessary to complete the successful sale of your property. The professionals at Bronson Abstract Company are here to help, and the following information is a good way to begin.

Order Title

You can usually negotiate with the buyer as to who will hire the title company…and who pays for any fees that occurred in doing so. Usually, it’s the seller who pays for the owner’s title insurance policy. Conversely, the buyer covers the fees for the lender’s policy. Whoever is responsible for ordering the title will need to have everything prepared before closing day.

Arrange Escrow

The professionals at Bronson Abstract Company can act as your escrow agent, ordering the title, property tax info, loan balances, and all other paperwork. Your escrow agent holds money in trust until the sale of the property closes. This includes earnest money deposits and/or contracts that need to be kept safe. Your escrow agent will execute the transfer of these monies and documents once closing is completed.


These are two major items on your closing ‘to-do’ list. Simply explained, an appraisal is an educated estimate of the fair market value of your home which is required by the purchaser’s lender as part of the loan process. A licensed professional comes to your home to view its condition, upgrades, etc. The appraiser will consider your home’s age, location, and the surrounding market to determine its value. If the appraisal is less than the sale price, it may be necessary to renegotiate to address the difference.


The homebuyer orders an inspection of the home’s structure and major components. Roof, foundation, HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical, as well as windows, doors, ceilings, and floors are reviewed. The inspector is looking for any necessary repairs, which may have to be covered by you, the seller. It’s a good idea to address any issues that might be considered a problem to ensure a trouble-free appraisal and inspection.

Repair Negotiations

Some purchase agreements may include an inspection contingency which states a buyer can negotiate needed repairs that may be uncovered during the home inspection. They may also cancel the contract as a result of these discoveries. Bronson Abstract Company suggests only agreeing to repairs that are considered major, such as electrical problems, roof leaks, etc., and refusing to fix cosmetic issues such as marred flooring, loose doorknobs, and other small inconveniences. Rather than have the repairs done yourself, you may want to lower the selling price by an amount agreed that will cover the costs of said repairs.

Paperwork Preparation

From title to insurance to property tax statements, loan documents to property surveys, plans, and permits, as well as homeowners insurance. Talk to the friendly professionals at Bronson Abstract Company about assisting you with all the paperwork you’ll need to close with confidence.

Why Should I Use a Realtor?

Throughout our lengthy history, Bronson Abstract Company has handled closings for many For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transactions. As professionals, we believe we would be derelict in duty if we didn’t remind anyone considering selling their own home that this is not a simple endeavor. Many things can go wrong for those inexperienced with this process. It is always our recommendation that you engage a Realtor for For Sale By Owner transactions. Realtors are highly trained and experienced with the various processes involved in selling a property. In addition, you’ll benefit from a realtor’s listing capabilities and advertising advantages that simply aren’t available outside of their professional purview. Please consider that:

  • You’ll be expected to show your home according to the schedule of potential buyers, which can be terribly inconvenient. A Realtor takes this responsibility off your hands.
  • Negotiations can be tricky. Realtors have vast experience in negotiating to your benefit.
  • Contracts come with deadlines and complications. A Realtor understands how to avoid potential problems.

A high standard of conduct can be expected from a professional Realtor.

Gavel on desk while two people shake handsDo I Need An Attorney?

The State of Arkansas does not require you to hire a real estate attorney when you sell your home. However, some clients hire an attorney to ensure all paperwork is in order. Transactions can become complicated and an attorney can ensure your rights are protected. When you have questions about the title, existing judgments, liens, or property distress, an attorney can prove to be very helpful.

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