Are you considering selling your home without a real estate agent? You probably think selling a home simply follows these simple process of selling real estate: a buyer finds your home, takes a look at it, makes you an offer, negotiate with the buyer and struck a deal. You save money because you did it “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO), no commission to pay and you can pocket all the profit yourself. Sounds easy-peasy, but think again before you peddle your home on Craigslist like a simple commodity. Selling as a For Sale By Owner is not as simple as that.
Selling your home without representation or help of a real estate agent is possible especially if the market is hot and homes are easily snapped up as soon as they come on the market, but this is not always the case. Just because others succeeded in selling their home by FSBO, all FSBO sellers will also succeed in selling their home. Not every seller is a candidate to sell by owner. There are also many sellers who did the FSBO route and failed to sell their home.
Here are 7 things to think about before selling your home without representation:
1. How much is your home’s worth? You don’t want to make the mistake of not pricing your home correctly. You’ll need to do your own research, get comparable sales, and hire an appraiser to figure out the best price to list your home, because if you will only rely on your intuition or price it because you think your house is worth more chances are, you’ll get it wrong.
2. Listing your home without preparation is a bad idea. The success of you selling your home on your own depends on how you carefully prepare your home. Some prelisting tasks that you should do include decluttering and depersonalizing, enhancing your home’s curb appeal, repairing anything that needs repair, and other things you need to do to make your home in its best condition. You have to remember that this will help sell your home faster. A property that is poorly staged might take longer to sell.
3. Most buyers nowadays search their home online. Putting up a ‘for sale sign’ and putting an ad on newspaper no longer produce great results. If you are doing FSBO, you’ll have to create a strong internet strategy to market your home online. Craigslist shouldn’t be your only avenue for online marketing. You should also put your listing on the MLS.
4. You have to make sure that your listing has excellent photos. Your photos will be competing with the pros and it’s almost guaranteed that if you take your photos for granted, home buyers shopping online will not be impressed and will likely overlook your listing.
5. Don’t be surprised to get low ball offers when you do FSBO. You will surely encounter people who will come up with questions like ‘Will you take less for your home?’ ‘What if I offered cash, will you take less?’ Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save money. Many buyers believe that FSBO sellers will always going to come down in price. If they buy it for less, then they’re saving the same commission that you hope to save. You and the buyer can’t both save the commission.
6. Not every seller is successful. In fact, NAR reports that the majority of sellers doing FSBO end up listing with an agent. One reason for this is because most buyers are represented by an agent and sellers don’t work well with the buyer’s agent. Another reason is because FSBO sellers lack the expertise to price their home to sell or they fall short on marketing strategies.
7. In a real estate transaction, you must be prepared to negotiate with many people aside from the buyer or the buyer’s agent. This means getting in touch with the appraiser, the title company, the Inspection Company, real estate attorney, etc. You’ll have to navigate the required paperwork in a way that sufficiently protects yourself. The responsibility of the success of the sale lies on your shoulder, you’ll have to make sure everything is good and that you are protected.