When a home owner decides to sell FSBO (For
Sale By Owner) instead of hiring a REALTOR®, the reason is usually to avoid
paying a real estate commission.
Selling Your Home - Do It Yourself
Or Hire A REALTOR®?
While the "do-it-yourself" approach can be
successful for a hot property in a hot market, you might want to think about
what’s required to sell your home yourself before you decide to follow that
route. In many cases any savings in dollars are quickly lost in expending
your time and energy. There’s a lot more involved than sticking a sign in
the yard and an ad in the paper!
If you’re thinking the For Sale By Owner
method is for you, three of the most common problems you’ll face in
achieving a successful sale are:
- limited market exposure – you can’t put
your property in the MLS and consequently you lose a large number of
- attracting serious, qualified buyers –
often people who visit FSBO properties are either just ‘kicking tires’ or
they are bargain hunting.
Your FSBO Skills - Are They Up To The
As your own agent, you'll have to:
- Price your home properly
- Prepare, schedule and run your ads and
- Take calls, screen inquiries, schedule
- Pre-qualify potential buyers by asking the
- Stay home to show your property at
- Hold open houses, negotiate offers and
- Make sure buyers are qualified before
- Understand and prepare disclosures
- Follow up with the buyer’s mortgage
application and approval
- Coordinate inspections and appraisal
- Collect all buyer and seller legal
Serving as your own agent is a bad idea if
you're in a hurry to sell, you have a hard time handling tension,
complications and rejection, you don’t price your home properly or you're
Pricing Your Home - You Need A REALTOR® To
Get It Right!
An over priced home will not sell in a timely
fashion, and you’ll end up lowering the price anyway. An under priced home
causes potential buyers to think there’s something wrong with it!
BEWARE of online automated appraisal
programs. They crunch numbers, use averages, and can’t take into account,
for example, curb appeal, extraordinary condition, the fact that yours is
the best lot on the street.
While a REALTOR® looks at objective factors
just as an appraiser does (square footage, number of bedrooms), a REALTOR®
will also take into account the special features of your home. A REALTOR®
compares your home to other homes on the market. An appraiser compares only
to properties that have sold and closed – in some cases many months ago. It
is likely your REALTOR® has been inside every property in your area on the
market. An appraiser has seen only the homes he was hired to appraise. Who
has the better basis for comparison?
Common Pitfalls - Of Selling Without A
A major stumbling block in selling your home
yourself is your emotional attachment to it and your familiarity with it.
You overlook its flaws because you love the huge dogwood tree in the
backyard or whatever.
Your REALTOR® has no such emotional
attachment and can help you immensely in giving you information about what
you should do to prepare your home for sale. REALTORS® know what’s important
to buyers and what’s not so important. They can help you prioritize what you
must do, what you should do, what you don’t need to bother with in getting
the house ready for market.
Another common difficulty of FSBO selling is
the failure to properly identify in writing items not included in the sale.
Generally, anything permanently fixed to the house stays with the home after
the sale. Exclusions (items not included with the sale) can be a cause of
contention for buyers when those items are not specified ahead of time. Your
REALTOR® will help you think this through.
Showing and Selling - Time Is Money!
A few of the things your REALTOR® does to
save you time:
1. Handles telephone and email inquiries
about your property. You don’t have to be always by a phone whether it’s
convenient or not.
2. Screens potential buyers to gauge their
level of interest and financial ability to purchase your home. You don’t
have to know the ‘right’ questions to ask (which they most likely wouldn’t
answer for you anyway since you’re the seller!)
3. Schedules showing appointments and follows
up for feedback. You don’t have to make those follow up calls which take
time and might yield comments you don’t want to hear.
4. Brings buyers to see your home or arranges
with other REALTORS® to bring buyers to see your home. You don’t have to be
present at inconvenient times.
5. Arranges for access for inspectors and
appraisers. You don’t have to be present at inconvenient times.
Do you have the time to handle all of the
above – and more - without A REALTOR®?
Legalitites and Paperwork - It Can Get
Sticky for FSBOs
Disclosures, disclosures, disclosures.
You may be obligated to disclose problems
that could affect the property's value or desirability. In most states, it
is illegal to fraudulently conceal major physical defects in your property
such as a basement that floods in heavy rains. In some states, a less
stringent seller disclosure may be used when buying the property from an
In many states, a separate lead paint
disclosure is also required, and in some areas, there are local ordinances
pertaining to disclosures.
Do you know what your state and local laws
are? Do you have the correct forms? Do you know how to properly execute the
forms? Do you know when disclosures are presented?
Your REALTOR® does!