Why not FSBO?

Dated: January 15 2024

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Driving along any road in America, you will see a sign in a yard claiming “For Sale By Owner”. We live in a world full of technology. This makes it easy to do many tasks that we used to hire people to do, on our own. We can do our own taxes, order our groceries, sell our belongings online instead of having a yard sale, and so much more. The possibilities are endless! Does this mean we should sell our homes on our own? Whether or not to hire a real estate agent to represent you with the sale of your home has been a topic of discussion for many years. There are many reasons homeowners make the decision to attempt to sell their homes on their own. The important questions to ask are, “What are the risks?” and “What are the facts?”. 

 

There are so many things to consider when selling your home. Selling your home takes a lot more time and expertise than you may think. The seller has to determine the price, create a listing, fill out a Seller’s Property Disclosure, market to potential buyers, coordinate showings, and prepare documents. That is just what is needed to get the process started. According to NAR, the National Association of REALTORS®, 10% of homes sold in 2021 were FSBOs. This low number is proof that many sellers do not have the means of taking on these tasks alone. 

 

Let’s start at the beginning. You want to sell your home. How much is the fair market value? Pricing your home correctly is the key to a successful sale. An overpriced home will deter buyers in the area from even giving your home a thought. If you price your home too low, you run the risk of leaving money on the table. In 2021, the typical FSBO home sold for $225,000 compared to $330,000 for agent-assisted home sales. This information can be found on the NAR website. Real Estate agents are local experts. They understand the local market and understand the art of pricing a home to sell today. Overpricing or underpricing your home is a serious risk. It is important to partner with an agent you trust to ensure your home is priced at current market value. This will appeal to eager buyers looking for their perfect home. 

 

We live in a digital age where online marketing has changed the game for selling a home. Across the generations, it is known that the first step when buying is looking at properties online. Real estate agents have the tools to create a digital marketing plan. This gets your home in front of all of the tech-savvy buyers in your area. Selling your home on your own may leave you missing a strong online presence. Pictures also play a huge part in the marketing plan. Cell phone pictures may miss many important features of your home. Pictures done with a cell phone make spaces look smaller and not as bright as they actually are. Professional photos help sell homes faster and for more money. According to realestateexposures.com, properties with professional photography can sell for $1,000 to $18,000 more than homes with point-and-shoot photography. Many real estate agents hire professional photographers, on their own dime, to present your home in the best way possible in online marketing. 

 

So a seller has decided on a price and put together marketing on the property. Now buyers are reaching out to see the home for themselves. Purchasing a home is a huge decision. One that not many people will do without properly seeing the home for themselves. Buyers will reach out at all hours of the day to schedule a time to see the home. Now the seller is opening their home to a bunch of strangers. It is important to make sure you are safe as well as not overwhelmed by the number of people coming into your home. Real estate agents field calls all day. They have the ability to verify that a buyer is qualified to buy your home so that the seller isn’t wasting time out of their schedule to open their home up to simply a nosy neighbor or someone with unattainable goals. By properly verifying that the potential buyer is qualified, you are also cutting down the risk of theft or scam. When you open your home up to strangers, you are putting a lot at risk and it is often far more scary than just some wasted time. With an agent, you will have peace of mind that you are safe during this process. 

 

When you decide to sell your home, you aren’t just finding a buyer. You are stepping into a world of negotiation. Buyers are looking for a good deal. Sellers are looking to get the most for their home. It is important to have a good understanding of negotiating. There are many people who you will have to coordinate with along the path from receiving an offer and going to closing. You may be negotiating and coordinating with the buyers, buyers agents, lenders, home inspectors, and more.  It is very strategic and every move counts. Partnering with a real estate agent gives you all of their expertise in your tool belt. It is important to have someone to represent your best interest to handle these negotiations, keep everything on track, and ensure a successful sale. 

 

“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”- Samuel Goldwyn. There can be many legal risks to selling your own home. Once an offer has been received and negotiations handled, paperwork is next on the agenda of selling your home. It is important to have a sales contract. Knowing what the contract really states can be difficult. What protections are in place for the buyer and for the seller? What happens if the contract obligations are not met? There are other forms required to sell a home as well. The seller's property disclosure is one of these other forms. All known material facts about the property must be disclosed to the buyer. A real estate agent has all the forms required by law readily available to them. They attend detailed trainings on the specifics of the forms to understand every line. 

While some people still decide to sell their home on their own, it is important to know exactly what you are taking on. Please take the time to interview local real estate agents and discuss their processes and options you have. You just might find it more beneficial than you thought.

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Brittany Jean Lesher

When it comes to real estate, you want someone who truly cares for you. You need someone who is there every step of the way from our first meet until long after settlement. I believe in going above an....

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