Many home sellers have considered skipping the real estate agent to save on closing costs, but very few have actually succeeded in seeing those savings. There’s a good reason: the average homeowner doesn’t have the rigorous training and real estate knowledge that a licensed agent does.
But just what makes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) such a bad idea? From incessant inconveniences to costly paperwork mistakes, here are a few of the horror stories that FSBO sellers inevitably encounter.
The Daunting Task of Marketing Your Home
It takes more than a “For Sale” sign in your front yard to make buyers notice your home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers use the Internet in their home search.
This means that online marketing — starting with listing your home on the local listings database, sharing your listing to dozens of social media platforms, and advertising your listing on numerous websites with a global audience — is essential to selling your home.
Without an Agent, Home Marketing Isn’t Cheap
This is where it gets expensive: yard signs, newspaper ads, brochures, high-quality photographs, and a professional-looking website — things real estate agents have at their disposal — are your responsibility to finance and maintain when you have to do your home’s marketing yourself. Continue reading
Why Hire a Real Estate Pro?
A quick Google search is all it takes to discover hundreds of new recipes, do-it-yourself projects, and tips about how to stage your home. With so much information available online, especially about the home selling process, many homeowners start to wonder whether it’s faster and more cost-efficient to sell their own homes rather than hiring a real estate agent to do it for them. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.)
Maybe you’re just now thinking about selling your home. All those HGTV shows and helpful articles make it look so easy — how hard could it be to sell your home yourself? Or maybe you’re already elbows deep into selling For Sale By Owner and are thinking, this isn’t so bad.
A helpful tip when considering whether to skip right over hiring an agent: Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean that you should, especially when it comes to selling a home.
So what makes a real estate agent so invaluable?
Is For Sale by Owner Right for You?
In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are the top five reasons:
1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers
Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 16% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
2. Results Come from the Internet
Where did buyers find the homes they actually purchased?
- 51% on the internet
- 34% from a Real Estate Agent
- 8% from a yard sign
- 1% from newspapers
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner:
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
- The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
- The appraiser if there is a question of value
Thinking of selling it yourself to save money?
In the current financial state and housing slump, many Washtenaw County homeowners need to sell their Ann Arbor area homes and are considering for sale by owner (fsbo) to save on Realtor commissions. It is possible to sell your home yourself, but why deal with the time and headache. Here are just a few reasons it pays to use a trained professional.
Reason #1: Real Estate Expertise. A real estate agent has the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the entire home selling process. This includes determining an accurate sales price, qualifying prospective purchasers, knowing the proper inspections required, communicating with the banks and title companies, making sure you understand all paperwork, protecting your best interest when it comes to a legal contract, and much more. A Realtor can evaluate your home’s current condition and recommend what to do to get it in top selling condition, helping you avoid costly projects that don’t pay off. If you don’t have the knowledge and skill to put a new roof on your house, would you attempt it or hire a trusted professional?
Reason #2: Accurate Market Analysis. Correctly pricing a home is a science with many factors affecting the list price. Realtors have access to the local multiple list service where they can not only view your competition, but what similar homes have sold for. A realtor with a strong network can find out more than just a sales price, they can find out how many price reductions there have been; what factors influenced the final sales price, ie. needed repairs; the sellers specific situation; any concessions given to the purchaser; and more. To entice buyers to view your home without an agent representing them, you need to price your home well below the competition, which can result in netting less than with an agent, along with the frustration of doing it all yourself.