These days, a lot of people selling their homes think they know enough about real estate to try to sell it on their own. But while selling your home without the help of a real estate agent can seem like a good idea in theory, in truth, less than 10 percent of For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers actually succeed.
Homeowners may believe that FSBO could save them a lot of money, particularly in commissions, but is it really as great an option as it seems? If so, why do so many FSBO sellers have trouble closing the sale?
Well, to start, selling a home without a real estate agent just isn’t easy. Local real estate agents’ expertise is invaluable, and a seller (or buyer) who doesn’t have the representation of a licensed agent could pay dearly for any mistakes made as a result of dismissing a licensed agent’s knowledge.
Agents can save sellers time, money, liability, and hassle. Here are just some of the mistakes FSBO make:
An agent will be able to market the property far better than a novice seller could ever hope to do.
A property not marketed in the right way and to the right people won’t sell easily or well, and likely won’t ever achieve the price the seller wishes. Real estate agents have the knowledge and experience to get this marketing right, including access to a few powerful online marketing tools — including ones that often won’t let FSBO homes be listed.
Pricing your home correctly is the #1 mistake FSBOs make. It can be difficult to get pricing right without specific industry knowledge and experience. Contracts are confusing, negotiations are tough, and contingencies may need to be examined.
Homeowners looking to sell without a real estate agent are usually doing so to save on commissions. But if they leave more money on the table during the deal than the amount they would save on the commission, then it really doesn’t matter, does it? Not only could this happen, it often does!
Additionally, conditions are right in the market right now in many places for multiple offer situations. FSBO aren’t likely to get to take advantage of this boon. Sellers are almost certain to give up any chance of a a bidding war when selling without a real estate agent.
Understanding paperwork is surely one of the most difficult tasks for FSBOs. A variety of legal forms are required —that may be different in each state — and while form contract templates can be downloaded, they would inevitably need to be properly customized.
As we’ve mentioned, most FSBOs are going the do-it-yourself route to saving money. But in the end, chances are these sellers are being nickeled and dimed into paying for a lot more than they realize.
These extras include signage, flyers, photography, MLS listing, an attorney, a home warranty, a home inspection, a wood destroying pest inspection, a credit report for buyers, contracts, and even more.
Inspections are a part of the negotiation process, and through the give and take, buyers will likely identify problems with the house with which the owner doesn’t agree. But sellers should neither get stuck with unnecessary and costly repairs nor have the contract fall through because they are unwilling to correct the problems found.
Real estate agents can be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to inspections and alleviate some of these emotional inspection stressors.
FSBO scams happen to both buyers and sellers with little recourse besides hiring an attorney.
Common scams include fraudulent papers, foreign buyer deposits, purchases through a third-party, and asking for personal information.
For many, FSBO may sound enticing. But the truth is that there’s no one looking out for homeowners who attempt to sell on their own. They have no one to call with problems or a questions, and no one to help when the unexpected happens.
By listing your home with a real estate agent, you have an advocate in the sales process who provides his or her expertise to handle the paperwork, pricing, negotiations, contracts, closing, and so much more.
There is so much that goes into selling a house. When you work with List With Elizabeth, you won’t have to concern yourself with tricky legal issues or confusing paperwork. You’ll know you’re in good hands to receive the best offer on your home.