For Sale By Owner, what you need to know!

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When you’re ready to sell your home or property, it can be tempting to do it on your own.

Homeowners who attempt to go the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route do so for a variety of reasons, but in many cases end up turning to a professional to help them close the deal.

There are many reasons why it just makes sense to use a Realtor to sell – and buy – your home. These are just my top six.

1. Realtors Handle the Negotiations

Even if you fancy yourself a professional haggler, negotiations over a home or property are time-consuming and exhausting. There’s a lot at stake for everyone involved.

These are just some of the folks you’ll have to negotiate with if you decide to sell your home yourself.

  • The buyer who wants the best deal

  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer

  • The buyer’s attorney if applicable

  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house

  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

If you’re selling the house yourself, you’re negotiating with all these people on your own.

A Realtor can help you negotiate a contract that not only garners you an appropriate price for your home, but that meets your needs for a closing date.

2. Realtors Recognize Your Home’s Real Worth

You love your home, and that’s okay. But as the homeowner, it’s very hard for you to be objective. That’s what makes it hard for FSBO sellers to properly price their homes.

A Realtor can access current data about recent sales and other comparable homes on the market. This valuable information can be used to price your home appropriately.

Yes, the internet is great and can help FSBO sellers get close, but trust me, it is not the same information a Realtor can access.

Studies show that homes priced correctly when they’re first listed sell faster and for more money than those that linger on the market.

A Realtor will also look at your home objectively and suggest ways to make it more appealing to buyers, such as decluttering and making minor repairs.

3. Exposure to Prospective and Qualified Buyers

Your home might be the most gorgeous home in the marketplace, but no one can buy it if they don’t know it’s there, right?

The days of putting a sign up in the front yard are long over. According to the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, this is where buyers found the home they purchased:

Yes, we all know how to use the internet. But do you have an internet strategy for how you’ll market your home?

Realtors do. We’re trained to connect prospective buyers with homes for sale. It’s our job!

And we’re doing it well – 88 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker — a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.

Good real estate agents also save sellers the hassle of dealing with not-so-serious buyers. We request financial statements to determine a potential buyer’s credit-worthiness, and, in the case of an all-cash offer, verify where the funds will be coming from.

Most sellers would rather not waste time showing their home to buyers who won’t have the funds when we get to contract stage.

4. FSBOing is a LOT Harder Now Than it Once Was

Real estate agreements require a lot of paperwork, and unless you’re a lawyer or study real estate in your spare time, a good deal of it might not make sense to you.

The paperwork involved in buying or selling a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory.

There are appraisals, inspection reports and contracts to review, and that’s just the start. Realtors are qualified to help you navigate all of this, taking the worry off your shoulders.

If you go it alone, you’re leaving yourself open to potential legal problems unless you have any and all documents and contracts vetted by a qualified real estate attorney.

5. Realtors Sell Your Home for More Money

Many homeowners choose to go the FSBO route because they want to save the real estate commission.

Here’s the thing – the typical FSBO home sold for roughly $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales, according to 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

So in the long run, FSBO sellers aren’t saving any money.

Realtors can get you more money through negotiation, leverage of local knowledge, use of market data and unlimited access to a greater marketplace of buyers.

6. Who’s Got Time for That Anyway?

Let’s assume you have all the marketing, real estate and legal knowledge you need to sell your home. Do you have the inclination and time?

Selling a home requires a lot of work, from the things a homeowner must do, such as cleaning, de-cluttering and repairs, to the things a Realtor could do for you, like setting up inspections, managing calls from potential buyers and scheduling viewings.

Have you ever viewed a home while the homeowner was there? It can be uncomfortable for the potential buyer and the seller. With FSBO it’s unavoidable.

Realtors can show your home when you’re not available, and manage inquiries from buyers and their agents.

Perhaps even more important, a Realtor can screen the people coming into your home, adding a layer of safety and protection that FSBO sellers don’t have.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a Realtor in your marketplace and see what we have to offer.