You have probably thought about going the “for sale by owner” or FSBO route, but wonder what you’ll miss out on by avoiding the high commissions.
After all, signing up with a regular commissioned real estate broker will take 6%, 7%, or even more right off the top of your sales price. And, that means a lot of money out of your pocket. So, many people are eager to go the “for sale by owner” route to get the most for their home.
So, let’s look at what you may miss.
First, unless you first talk with some real estate agents you may not know what comparable homes have sold for in your area. Understanding what similar properties have sold for is critical to pricing your property to sell. If you price your home too high you may not be able to sell your property until you lower the asking price and become more competitive.
So, before you decide to go the FSBO route, get some assistance from several real estate agents about setting the right listing price.
Second, while you may have a sign on your front lawn indicating your house is for sale, only people who drive down your street will see your sign. You will have take further steps to expose your home to potential buyers. One of the best ways to do this is through your “Multiple Listing Service” or MLS. This is the database all the real estate agents in your area use to show properties. Many MLS databases are searchable from the Internet.
You can get your property listed on your local MLS for a flat fee. Flat Fee Listing [http://flatfeelisting.com/] works with brokers across the United States who will enter your property into the local MLS as well as other national sites for you.
Third, a real estate agent can help guide you in getting your home ready for showing to prospective buyers. As an energetic home owner you can find sources of information about how to show your home in it’s best light on the Web or in bookstores. A home inspection will also help you know exactly what repairs need to be done to get your home into prime condition. Most buyers include clauses in their offers that make the purchase contingent on a clean property inspection report. You attention to your own inspection report will help eliminate or reduce negotiations regarding these contingencies.
Fourth, many people who look at “for sale by owner” properties expect the listing price to be below that of properties lists by regular brokers. They expect to share in your savings. By pricing your property just below competing homes, you will gain a price advantage that may attract so many offers you won’t have to worry about buyer expectations of a further reduction in price.
Fifth, going the FSBO route may put you at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiations and legal matters. Selling a home is an expensive legal transaction and offers and counter offers are all part of a legally binding contract. Unless you have access to legal counsel or are very familiar with real estate transactions you will need to educate yourself in these areas. If might be wise to retain the services of a real estate attorney just to make sure everything you do is in your best interests.
Overall, selling your home requires a number of skills and a lot of patience. While you can do it yourself and possibly save some fees, you will need to gain some knowledge and do many tasks that a real estate agent can do for you. Remember that many people have sold their property on their own and you can too.