For Sale By Owner: Things You Should Know About FSBO

Is FSBO the Way to GO?

Homes for Sale By Owner (FSBO) have become an increasingly common trend in the real estate market. It happens when homeowners want to maximize their profits by not having to pay commissions to realtors. Websites like Trulia and Zillow have made it easier for the FSBO seller, who is armed with more online information. And with advances in smartphone technology making it easier than ever for novices to take quality photographs, FSBO sounds like a great way to cut out the realtor.

 

Negotiating

What are you really saving? For Sale By Owner transactions may sound appealing to home sellers. But they might actually end up costing them more. Sure, you could save yourself the typical 6% fee that realtors charge for commission. But is it really better to “do it yourself” to save some money? Is it really worth going through the trouble of selling your home by yourself without the aid of a real estate professional?

Statistics show that selling your home through a professional real estate agent will bring you a higher profit. So how good are your negotiating skills? Because unless you’re a real estate broker, you don’t have the knowledge, training or experience to broker a better deal for the sale of your home. But a licensed real estate agent does! And the price a professional realtor can get for the home you’re selling could more than cover the cost of the commission.

According to The National Association of Realtors, in 2016, “the typical FSBO home sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales.” That’s almost a $60,000 difference! So based on that statistic alone, even if the agent pockets 10%, you still make more money off the sale than if you had gone the FSBO route! The thing about going the Home For Sale By Owner way is that it leaves you, the homeowner, to do the negotiating. And you will have to rely on yourself to finalize a contract. That means unless you’re a master negotiator, not only could you be looking at a smaller profit, but also potential legal problems if you don’t know what you’re signing.

 

Exposure

How many qualified buyers can you reach? So you have a Facebook account. And an Instagram and various other social media platforms to market your house. Plus you have websites like Zillow and whatnot to advertise your home for sale. But how many qualified buyers is your listing actually going to reach? Doing your own marketing is hardly going to get you much exposure or more importantly, the right exposure!

A real estate agent offers widespread exposure for the listing of your home. Remember that licensed realtors have access to an array of listing services beyond a Zillow or a Truvia. And your real estate agent also has a vast network of other real estate professionals to share your listing with their clients. Real estate professionals not only have an immense network of avenues to market your property, but it will save you the big chunk of money you don’t want to pay in commissions to advertise on your own.

 

Pricing

How do you know the price is right? So you found an online assessment tool to valuate your home. That’s fine. But how do you know you’re not selling yourself short? FSBO sellers tend to set a price based on an online assessment tool or the price a neighbor bought or sold their home. But methods such as free online assessment tools are not exactly known for accuracy. And they could set the value of your home at a price that’s way off. It’s almost like relying on the Google Translate tool instead of a professional translator to translate a document from English to (insert foreign language here) and expecting 100% accuracy. So you could end up overpricing a home that nobody will buy, or underpricing it and cheating yourself out of money.

A real estate agent provides an accurate valuation of a home using market analysis to list it for what it should be worth. And a realtor ensures you’re pricing your home not so high that it will scare off potential buyers, but not so low that you will end up losing out. Real estate agents know how to maximize your profit through industry knowledge; negotiation skills; widespread marketing; and greater access to qualified buyers.

 

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Showings

Are you ready for showtimes? Most realtors will tell you that showings are a pain in the you-know-what. So while showing a property might sound like a hoot, it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be. For Sale By Owner sellers may not know how exhausting setting up showings can be. Realtors not only deal with potential buyers, but they often have to deal with showing homes to people who can’t afford it; have no intention of buying it; or investors looking to make lowball offers to flip it. It’s a daunting task that most For Sale By Owner sellers aren’t equipped to handle. A real estate agent manages everything from scheduling and staffing showings to the barrage of phone calls from interested buyers (and non-buyers). So unless you have the time to do all of this yourself, it’s best to leave the sale of your home to the real estate pros!

Professional realtors are experts at what’s called “staging” a home. They know how to present it in a way that appeals to buyers, both visually and emotionally. In other words, they have the expertise to make it attractive to potential buyers from curbside appeal to establishing a personal connection. Real estate agents have a trained eye for details that translate into true buying potential. And if the realtor is a reputable professional, he or she can gain a savvy buyer’s trust in a way a FSBO seller cannot.

 

Paperwork

Do you know how to prepare contracts? Because if you do sell your home at the price you wanted and are closing a deal, you better know what you’re doing! Paperwork is something else you can count on a professional real estate agent to do correctly. So unless you know your legalities and can handle 20+ pages of complicated terms, addendums and whatnot, you might want to reconsider that FSBO thing. A professional realtor takes care of all documentation to prevent future liabilities. Because who wants a lawsuit, right?

 

Qualifying Buyers

Are you ready to ask for financial statements? Real estate agents request financial statements to check the credit worthiness for qualifying buyers. And even if it’s an all-cash offer, they will still verify the funds. A real estate broker knows how to verify where the funds to buy a home are coming from. This helps prevent a deal from breaking down at the contract stage. So unless you’re ready to request financial statements from potential buyers and qualify them yourself, again, leave it to the pros!

 

Saving Time

Do you have the time? Real estate agents exists for a reason: to save you the time and hassles of selling your own home. And to protect you, the seller. So unless you have the time and patience to stage your house, set up inspections, manage phone calls, fill out paperwork, qualify buyers, etc., don’t forgo the realtor! Do things the right way! Hire a real estate professional to sell your home and to protect you and your investment.

 

For Sale By Owner? … Nah. When you’re ready to have a true real estate professional handle the sale of your Tampa Bay home, call us at 813-230-2439 or fill out our contact form!

 

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