You’ve probably seen those “For Sale by Owner” signs as you drive around town, and if you’re in the market to sell you’ve maybe considered listing your own home. While there are some potential pros to listing your own home, there are also some cons.
For sale by owner, also known as FSBO, is when a seller chooses to list, market, and (hopefully) sell their home without the help of a licensed real estate agent or Realtor. The motivation for doing this is almost always to save on costs since home sellers are usually responsible for paying the commission of both their own agent and the buyer’s agent.
While savvy sellers may think that selling a house by owner is an easy way to keep more money in their pocket, it can also lead to frustration and wasted time and money.
For sale by owner is easier when the market favors sellers, but it is still not as simple as that. As a seller, one of your goals is to make as much money as possible. So naturally, it makes sense to want to list your own home and pocket the real estate agent fees, but when you use a licensed real estate agent or realtor you have the potential to make more. Agents have large networks and can leverage marketing to reach more qualified buyers and bring in more potential offers to help sell your home at list price or above. They’re trained to ask qualifying questions to determine how long buyers have been looking, whether they’ve seen other home if they’re prequalified or paying cash, and other important questions that can move a qualified and motivated buyer to the point of purchase.
Having to show your own home is another aspect of FSBO that could hinder your ability to find the right buyer. It can be awkward for buyers to have the seller present, rather a real estate agent or realtor, when they’re touring the home. When you list your own home, you will have to manage and show your home to potential buyers, and being present could make the potential buyer uncomfortable causing them to rush through the house and not ask questions or take time to remember what they saw. Also, as the owner, you often overlook your home’s flaw and have an emotional connection to it, which can make it harder to sell.
One of the biggest risks of FSBO is not having the experience or expertise to navigate the legal and regulatory requirements that come with selling a home. The buyer’s agent knows there won’t be another real estate agent or realtor on the other end of the transaction, which could discourage them from showing the property or making an offer, because they may want to avoid the risks associated with closing the transaction without a qualified real estate professional.
If you want to be taken seriously by sellers’ agents, get the best price, and make sure you don’t miss any key steps in the process—or risk a lawsuit—it’s better to use a real estate agent or realtor rath than trying to sell your home yourself.
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