Should I sell my home FSBO (For Sale By Owner)?
In a solid Seller’s market, some may sellers think, “Every property is selling, I should just save the commissions and sell on my own. How hard can it be?” The truth is, your home will probably sell eventually if you do it yourself, but your outcome will probably be better if you have an agent on your side. Here’s why:
Price: Multiple studies show that homes listed by real estate agents sell for significantly more than homes sold by owners. The primary reason for this is exposure, agents have systems in place to market for maximum exposure. This gets more buyers thru your house and ultimately helps sell your home for a higher price.
Buyer’s Agents: Most homes sell to a buyer with a Buyer’s Agent. This means in most cases FSBOs end up selling to a buyer with an agent and the seller ends up paying that buyer’s agent anyway. Do you want a trained professional on the opposite side of the transaction, while you have no representation?
Negotiations: A FSBO seller generally thinks all the need to do is negotiate a reasonable price. Be careful though, you’ll need to negotiate other terms of the contract too. You might also find yourself negotiating again after inspections and appraisals. This is where I often see FSBO’s get pushed around when things don’t go perfectly.
Documents: Selling without an agent, you’ll find yourself sorting through lots of paperwork; offers, counter offers, amendments, notices, appraisals, inspection reports, title docs, etc. This is fine if you have the time and understand all the language, but don’t let anything slip through the cracks.
Time: Selling on your own can suck up a considerable amount of time. You’ll be the one answering phone calls and emails, scheduling showings, showing your house, filling out documents, and setting up things with the title company. With an agent, this can all be done for you.
An agent will know strategies for pricing and negotiations that will help you achieve better results. If you are a great marketing and sales person who is willing to put in the time and effort, you might want to try it on your own. However, I’ve seen many people spend lots of time and money advertising a house on their own, only to turn to an agent in the end. After all, most agents are free (spending their own marketing dollars) if the house doesn’t sell. Most agent’s only get paid if they succeed at what you hired them to do. In most cases, it’s worth hiring an agent to do the job they are trained and experienced in doing.