Though it’s on a decline, for sale by owner, or FSBO, is still an appealing option to some people. Some like the idea of not having to pay commission to an agent, while others just decide to sell their home to someone they know.
No matter what reason you may be looking into it, FSBO has its risks, and some pretty big ones.
You’re actually losing money
By far the most popular reason people like to sell their home themselves is to not have to pay an agent commission on the sale in an attempt to save money. However, there are several things to take into consideration.
- You’re still paying a commission. If the buyer has an agent, their commission still has to be paid.
- FSBO homes sell at lower prices than homes with listing agents. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median home in 2015 sold for $249,000, while the median FSBO home sold for $219,000. That’s a pretty significant difference. In fact, it’s a bigger difference than you would save by not having to pay an agent commission.
If saving money is the main reason you want to sell your home yourself, weigh these factors into your decision.
Are your interests being protected?
Most of the time, your buyer will have their own real estate agent. That agent’s sole responsibility is to look out for their client’s best interest and try to get the best deal possible.
And if you’re not confident of the value of your home, what a reasonable price is and real estate proceedings, they could take advantage of you and try to get you to come down on your price more than you should.
Unless you are completely comfortable in a negotiation, you could be in quite the pickle.
Not to mention, when it comes time to start putting together an offer, you’re going to have to handle all of your contracts yourself. If you’re not fully versed in contract law, it would be highly beneficial to hire a real estate attorney.
So if you’re going to go this route, make sure you’re extremely educated on what you need to do and are solid in the value of your home.
Online marketing is huge
A staggering 88 percent of homebuyers search online for their next home. If you’re not tapping into that audience, your home could be on the market for a while.
Agents have access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS), which make the listing viewable by other agents and lists it on websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Homes.com.
If your marketing campaign is a newspaper ad, a yard sign and maybe a Craigslist ad, you’re definitely behind the curve.
Do you have the time?
Selling your home is a lot more work than putting a sign up and waiting on offers. People are going to want to see the home. And with no agent to contact to schedule a showing, that means they’re most likely going to be knocking on your door.
And when they’re not knocking on your door, they’ll be calling you. You could get dozens of visitors and callers per day, no matter the time.
Are you okay with stopping what you’re doing, like having a family dinner, to run to the door? Can you handle that many calls per day?
Agents have digital tools that help them keep up with who calls, what they’re looking for, if they want to schedule a showing and when they should give them a call back. How will you keep all of these people’s status and needs in line?
If after reading this, you still want to sell your home yourself, we truly wish you the best of luck! But if you’d like to sit down with an agent for a consultation to discuss the process, you can find an agent above.