For Sale By Owner, or FSBO, is the process of selling real estate without representation by a real estate agent. The primary reason owners choose to sell on their own is to avoid paying the real estate commission in an attempt to save money. However, there are many factors to weigh when considering selling FSBO v. hiring an agent. Will I price it right? Who will prepare the documents? Do I really have the time and patience for this? Will I get in legal hot water?
PRICING IT WRONG
There’s the risk of selling your home for a lot less than it’s worth. Statistics have shown that the average FSBO home sells for about 25% less than homes sold through a Realtor.
Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased? The days of selling your home by putting a sign in the yard and placing an ad in the paper are long gone. Most agents have an online strategy to promote the sale of a home. Do you?
Preparing all of the legal forms, disclosures etc. is your responsibility, and if you’re unfamiliar you take the risk of financial and legal liability. The paperwork alone is one of the reasons the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.
There are too many people to negotiate with when selling a home. Are you prepared to negotiate with:
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The home inspections companies, who work for the buyer and will almost always find problems with the house
- The appraiser if there is a question of value
Selling your home will likely be one of the biggest transactions of your life. You can try to do it alone to save money, but hiring an agent has many advantages. Agents can get broader exposure for your property, help you negotiate a better deal, and dedicate more time to your sale. An agent brings expertise, which few home sellers have, to a complex transaction with many financial and legal pitfalls.
Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.
For more information on selling your home download HUFF’s free seller’s guide: