Every year homeowners contemplate hiring an agent or listing their property for sale by owner (FSBO). However, FSBO might not be the best option for the majority of sellers. Here are a few considerations to mull over before you decide if you have the chops to take on a complex real estate transaction.
1. You probably don’t have the time
Think about it, do you really want to be answering calls and knocks at the door from complete strangers who may or may not actually be potential buyers? Safety and privacy are big considerations when deciding to sell without an agent.
2. After sale issues
Although employing an agent doesn’t protect you from liability or guarantee that there won’t be any after-sale consequences, they help by taking precautionary steps. An example of an after sale issue includes a leaky roof and the buyer now wanting you to pay for a new roof. However, if you disclosed the leaky roof before the sale your bases should be covered. The key to avoiding after sale issues lies with prevention.
3. You may not be saving money after all
One of the most common reasons for someone to try and sell their house on their own is to save money. Although a very valid reason, the average FSBO home sold for $210,00 in 2014 compared to $249,000 for a home sold by a real estate agent according to the National Association of Realtors.
4. You could get scammed
Or taken advantage of. Buyers often feel that they can get a better price or deal for themselves because owners lack the skills and knowledge to negotiate. By employing an agent, you will have an expert negotiator in your corner ensuring you get top dollar for your property.
5. It’s all about the details
Underestimating the complexity involved during the entire real estate purchasing process can be detrimental. The list of potential mistakes is huge unless you are aware of your state’s laws and regulations regarding real estate transactions. Knowing how to read closing documents, fill out purchase agreements and calculate the true value of the property are extremely beneficial skills in protecting you from future litigation.
6. Too many people to negotiate with
Let’s say you decide to list your home FSBO. You should be prepared to negotiate with the buyer, the buyer agent, the buyer’s lawyer in some cases, the home inspection companies and the appraiser all of which work for the buyer. They are looking out for the buyer’s best interests. Who will you have looking out for yours?
7. The internet gets results
And real estate agents have solid internet marketing strategies. According to recent studies, 92 percent of buyers search online for their next home while only 28 percent look at print materials including newspaper ads. Do you have the skills needed to get maximum exposure to potential buyers?
8. FSBO is getting more difficult
The percentage of people listing FSBO has dropped from 19 to nine percent over that last 20 years. One of the main reasons for this drop is that as industry disclosures and regulations increases so does the paperwork involved in selling and buying a home.
9. You will end up hiring a Realtor anyway
Generally, those who are unsuccessful with selling their homes FSBO seek out professional services including hiring a real estate agent. Employing an experienced agent with a history of success gives you peace of mind that your real estate transaction will be handled carefully, respectfully and professionally.