For sale by owner (FSBO): $299,900

We’ve decided to sell our home ourselves — big surprise. Since I’m a blog coach, I’ve been itching to find out if a homeowner’s house-for-sale blog be an effective way to sell a house — especially in a buyer’s market like we’re currently experiencing.

Our asking price: $299,900. How did we arrive at that?

  • 2001 appraisal of $283,000; appreciation until late 2005 but then a buyer’s market in the past year
  • $80,000 of hailstorm repairs (new roof, siding, gutters, screens, windows, ceilings)
  • Comparison to other houses currently on the market in the 55057 Northfield zip code. According to, as of today, there are 312 single-family homes for sale in 55057, and 27 single-family homes in the $275,000 to $325,000 range.
  • In that batch of 27, there appears to be only one older-style home similar to ours. It’s at 407 6th St E, MLS ID#: 3294142, listed for $309,900 by RE/MAX Results / The Kuyper Group, which has a more detailed listing of that house here.
  • We think their house has some advantages over ours: new floors, central air, concrete driveway. We think our house has some advantages over theirs: Victorian-style exterior, full ‘new’ basement, much larger lot (86 x 165 vs theirs at 65 x 99).
  • We could easily justify pricing our house the same, i.e., $10,000 more than we’re asking. But with 26 other houses on the market in this price range, it seems prudent to be a little more aggressive on price.

This week I’ll investigate getting a FSBO yard sign with a brochure dispenser, as well a directional sign for the end of our street where it intersects with Woodley. And once I get the brochure done, we’ll tack up a few on public bulletin boards around the Northfield area — various coffeehouses, grocery stores, etc. We’ve already notified the colleges, Carleton and St. Olaf.

In January, we’ll place the house on Mpls/Twin Cities Craigslist (where it’ll also end up on the map mashup and then maybe pay an FSBO service the fee to get it listed on the MLS. In the meantime…

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