What You Need to Know Before You Go FSBO

By Keith Loria

Selling your home in today’s challenging market isn’t easy, however, having a real estate agent on your side can make the process much simpler for everyone involved. While it’s easy to see the value of having an agent guide you through the entire process, many sellers still choose to take matters into their own hands. If you’re thinking about listing your home as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner), be sure to take into consideration that there are things that can get in the way of a sale.

On paper, it may look like selling your own home will make you thousands of dollars more, but it can also cost you thousands if you go about it the wrong way—which many inexperienced sellers do.

Back at the turn of the century, the housing market was unarguably a seller’s market, so it was easier for one to sell a home on their own. Once the market turned and the buyers dried up, it made it twice as hard to do so.

Any homeowner who decides to take on the job of selling their own home is taking on an enormous amount of work and responsibility. With so many listings today and competitive prices to entice a prospective buyer, someone working on their own is at a definite disadvantage in today’s market.

Those that go this route will need to invest enormous amounts of time researching legalities, technicalities in sales contracts, negotiating strategies, comparable properties and the current condition of the local real estate market. Of course, a real estate agent will be current on all of this, plus have a few industry tricks up his or her sleeve.

An agent will also be responsible for marketing your home, unlike the FSBO seller who must create and spend money on ads, posters and signs. Plus, real estate agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service database that instantly publishes the information about available property to all the other REALTORS® and agents that are corresponding members. That means a lot more eyes will be seeing your property.

REALTORS® also have an established network of related professionals and agencies that will help you through the process, whereby a FSBO seller will need to invest time and money into finding the appropriate people.

One who sells their own home is also more emotional, and sometimes that can cause friction when showing a house to a prospective buyer. When someone comes to look at a home, they may nitpick and draw attention to every little fault, which could create some bad feelings in the room. A real estate agent is impartial and knows what to say to make those inadequacies seem quaint and easily fixable.

Even if one manages to come to a deal, things can get messy at the closing. Sellers often violate state laws without even knowing it and a misworded contract can hold up a sale.

Buying and selling a home isn’t easy, no matter the market. REALTORS® provide valuable service and earn commissions by serving their clients well.

For more information about the importance of having a real estate agent on your side throughout the home-buying or -selling process, contact our office today.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.