If you are thinking about listing your home as “For Sale By Owner,” there are a few things you should know about the reality of this process.
First of all, consider your accessibility. You will need to be present for each showing, whether a buyer is out looking at homes during the day, when you’re usually at work, or in the evenings when you like to relax. Someone will need to be at your house to let the potential buyer in and show them around.
You also need to consider how well you can overcome objections. You may not even know what those objections are in the first place. Normally when a buyer looks at a home, they are with their agent. In that case, they are able to share their concerns or what it is about the house that is keeping them from making an offer. If the agent knows what these objections are, then we are able to overcome them fairly easily. If it’s flooring, you can offer a flooring allowance; sometimes it’s as simple as changing up some paint colors.
The problem is that most buyers would be hesitant to share those concerns with you, the homeowner, simply because they may not want to hurt your feelings.
The easy part of selling your own home is finding a buyer and drawing up an agreement. The difficult part is moving through that contract to the closing table. There are a lot of moving pieces in each transaction. If the buyer is working with a lender, you have to make sure that they are qualified to buy your house. You also need to make sure that the loan they are using is applicable to your property; not all home loans work in certain areas or with certain properties.
There could also be problems with the title, flood insurance, and more. When those obstacles come up, it can be very beneficial to work with a professional. If you are selling on your own, will you be prepared to overcome those obstacles?
It’s also important for you to consider the amount of exposure that your home will have to potential buyers. There are certain tools and ways you can get your house out there, but the fact is a FSBO property has very limited exposure compared to a house listed by a real estate agent. Agents simply have more marketing power.
When it comes down to it, it’s about supply and demand. An agent will be able to draw more buyers, have more showings, and get more offers. The value of that house listed by an agent will be higher, and it will be difficult for you to compete simply because the agent has exposed that other home to so many buyers.
There are fewer FSBO properties on the market these days than there were in the past. Most homeowners realize that although they think they are saving money on an agent’s commission, they could end up spending or losing money if they sell on their own. As a result, most homeowners prefer to work with a professional to sell their house.
Finally, consider the listing price you’ll set for your home. When a house is marketed as “For Sale By Owner,” the buyer gets the idea that there is an embedded discount. The buyer knows that sellers list as FSBO because they want to save money on an agent’s commission. Since you don’t have that expense, they will present you with a lower offer simply because they know you are saving that money.
So, before you list your home on your own, make sure you consider each step of that process. If you have any questions you would like to ask a professional real estate agent, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!