For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is where the owner sells the home alone without a real estate agent. At first glance, this would be a great way to save money, especially since the realtor’s commission is between five to six percent of the sale. Eight excellent reasons why you may wish to reconsider follow.
1. Realtors May Not offer Showings of a “For Sale By Owner” Home
When no professional realtors are involved in an FSBO deal, key steps could be missed—and you may risk a lawsuit. It’s better to use a realtor rather than trying to sell a home yourself because there are many critical steps to the process.
Even if a potential buyer insists on seeing your home, their realtor may dissuade the buyer from making an offer elaborating on the hassles of closing the deal without the benefit of a professional on the owner’s end and a commission.
Two significant reasons a realtor will show an FSBO home is when there is no inventory available on the housing market or the price is very low. Real estate agents have been burned, and many view FSBO sellers as unreasonable and unrealistic.
There are a few other conditions buyers’ agents will show an FSBO property. First, an agreement is signed with the agent spelling out the percentage fee you will pay the agent. Any agreement should clearly state that the realtor works only on the buyers’ behalf. The seller’s full disclosure should also be included in the agreement, such as the need to sell the home by a specific date.
2. Experienced Realtors Avoid Emotional Sales
Typically, an emotional process, selling your home can cause you to make errors in judgment. Common mistakes occur, such as overpricing your home, refusing to offer a counteroffer on a low bid because you’re offended, or even jumping at a low bid because of impending deadlines. Making mistakes in the selling process can be avoided by having an agent helping you stay one step ahead.
Also, if your home sits on the market for a long time, the FSBO seller does not have a professional’s feedback on why the house is not selling. Constructive criticism and a positive spin on negative feedback from a realtor who is on your side allows you to get the best results possible.
3. Being a Successful Realtor Is a Full-Time Job
Rushing home from work every time a prospective buyer wants to see your home may not be possible. Are you an expert at taking full advantage of the real estate market? Or do you have enough energy at the end of a long day at work to show your house?
Realtors have all the knowledge and experience, as well as the necessary time, to devote to selling your home. Also, realtors supply a lockbox for the front door to show the house with your permission when you are unavailable.
4. Agents Access Large Networks—the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Generally speaking, real estate agents have clients and relationships with other agents bringing an extensive network of potential buyers. FSBO homes can be listed on Zillow, Craigslist, and Redfin. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) network that realtors use can even list your home. FSBO sellers have a much smaller body of potential buyers, which may result in a long time on the market before you sell or not getting the price your home is worth.
5. Unqualified Buyers
Realtors qualify buyers before they ever set foot in your home. Let’s face it; it’s a lot of work to keep your home ready for showing, and limiting the times your home is shown to interested buyers who are qualified will result in a sale much faster.
Moving a motivated and qualified buyer to purchase your home is part of the expertise of a professional. Buyers tend to be uncomfortable when the owner is present and rush through the house without remembering many details afterward.
6. Negotiations of Price
Experienced realtors have negotiated hundreds of home sales requiring the skills of a professional realtor. They also know current market conditions and local practices driving demand—an advantage in understanding the direction of the negotiation process.
Realtors also handle offers and counteroffers. Also, realtors know who pays the fees, such as closing costs and transfer taxes—the buyer or the seller.
7. Your Home May Have Flaws
Real estate professionals are experts on what sells in the current market. Realtors see flaws that you may not even notice. Walking through your home with you, pointing out any changes to make your home more attractive to a potential buyer, will help you get the best offers possible.
Advice from the realtor can go far. For example, the realtor may advise you to hire a professional cleaning service before placing your home on the market.
8. FSBO Legal Risk Exposure
The paperwork required to sell your home are considered legal documents and must be completed correctly and takes an expert. Disclosure laws include any hazards, nuisances, or defects that must be listed.
Suppose you fail to disclose a problem, you can be held liable for fraud, breach of contract, or even negligence. Meaning the buyer could sue you. Realtors make mistakes too, but they have professional omissions and errors insurance for protection, so the buyer may not need to sue the seller for damages.
FSBO can save you money, but selling your home is a significant transaction. Hiring a professional real estate agent has numerous advantages. Namely, more exposure to a larger audience, and negotiation of a better offer, give you the time needed to sell your home. The professionalism and expertise of a realtor will also help you avoid legal and financial pitfalls.
The Gilson Sikora Real Estate Group strives to help every client in an honest, fair, and dignified way. Whether you are buying or selling a home, we work hard, show professionalism, and aspire to get the best deal done!” Today’s market is more stressful than ever, it is imperative to work with a professional like us in order to navigate these times.