Bellingham, WA — When Sergei and Barbara Volkov decided to sell their lakefront property in Sudden Valley, they considered the recent market collapse and decided to maximize their return by offering the home for sale by owner.

Recent studies reveal that between 8 and 12 percent of Washington state homeowners are converting to “do it yourself” realtors. The majority have become educated through various FSBO websites such as and, as well as local seminars.

“We have been private real estate investors for decades and have acquired considerable knowledge about offering our home for sale by owner,” states Barbara Volkov. “However, it has become considerably easier to list waterfront homes thanks to the many tools provided via the Internet.”

The Volkov’s created a website to market their home and communicate with prospective buyers. It includes photographs of each room, along with the property, and the 180 degree scenic views available from each floor of the three-story home.

“We wanted to showcase not only our lake home, but also the lifestyle on Lake Whatcom and all that it provides,” states Volkov. “Bellingham offers a bounty of outdoor recreational activities and caters to active, yet laid-back lifestyles.”

As part of their marketing strategy, the Volkov’s began listing their Sudden Valley home at various for sale by owner websites. They realized the competition was stiff and to attract buyers would require extra attention to every detail.

Along with sprucing up the waterfront resort home they also began researching the best ways to reach buyers. Realizing there are fewer buyers interested in Bellingham luxury homes they knew they would need to get creative.

According to the National Association of Realtors website, nearly 80 percent of home buyers look for houses for sale via the Internet. The couple decided to capitalize on the statistics by producing a video of their Bellingham home for sale and published it on YouTube.

“Once our video went live, we scheduled more showings than our neighbors who had hired realtors,” states Volkov. “Being able to showcase the property and the glorious surroundings helped us attract buyers who want live in the private community of Sudden Valley.”

Property owners who list their real estate as FSBO can be competitive with pricing, yet still net profit at closing. By passing along the savings of realtor commissions to buyers, sellers can beat out competition and quickly close the deal.

“Selling a home on your own, especially one in a niche environment such as Bellingham, is not for everyone,” states Volkov. “It does require the ability to market the property, as well as schedule showings, and prepare closing documents.”

Taking the FSBO path gives homeowners the opportunity to offer enticing incentives to buyers. These might include paying closing costs or points on home loans to reduce interest rates or providing allowances for decorating or renovation.

“Making use of all the available tools has helped us generate a lot of interest in our luxury waterfront home ,” states Volkov. “We believe we’ll find the perfect buyer because FSBO lets us offer a more attractive asking price than if we were using an agent.”

About Barbara Volkov

Barbara Volkov is a freelance writer who specializes in Bellingham luxury homes for sale. Barbara resides in private waterfront community of Sudden Valley, which is adjacent to Bellingham WA. If you want to discuss ways to get a great deal on Bellingham homes for sale by owner, contact Barbara today.

Barbara Volkov
[email protected]