Home for Sale by Owner – Is it as good an idea as you think it is?
When you choose a qualified agent to help you list and sell your home, the agent will earn a commission upon completion of the transaction. The good news is they are not paid if they don’t satisfactorily sell your home. But why is using an agent a good idea instead of selling it yourself and keeping that commission? Below is a list of reasons why:
- Scams happen – trusting an agent is completely different than trusting a homeowner. Yes, bad things happen in real estate transactions every day. A trustworthy agent will make sure you aren’t the victim of one.
- Liability is all on the seller – Everyone makes mistakes, even when selling their own home. A FSBO may decide to hire an attorney to draw up the contract, but here’s the thing – attorneys do not carry errors and omissions insurance. That means if you as a seller make a mistake as a FSBO, you’re on your own. An agent will protect you from this risk, and in today’s overly litigious society, every bit of protection from lawsuits is a good thing.
- Paperwork is daunting – “The 2015 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that understanding paperwork was one of the most difficult tasks for FSBOs. Depending on the state, there are a variety of legal forms that are needed, including but not limited to a sales contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and lead paint records. Sure, ready-made contracts can be downloaded easily enough. But does an untrained seller understand what all that means? Would the seller know how to customize that one-size-fits-all contract?” ~ Inman, 11 Reasons for Sale by Owner (FSBO) is a Terrible Idea
- Bad deals happen every day, and if the error is discovered after signing on the dotted line, you are stuck. You’ll either need to pay to get out of the contract, or live with it. Both of which can cost you thousands of dollars. I can save you that headache and worry.
- Fact: FSBO’s sell for less
- FSBO’s spend more time on the market – In fact, 18% of FSBO’s do not sell within their chosen time frame last year
- FSBO’s lack representation – when you sell on your own, no one is looking out for your best interests, and there is no one for you to call when you have a question or experience a problem. If something happens to your home while under contract that affects the closing date, there can be huge costs associated with this. Those costs aren’t on the buyer’s shoulders, they will be on yours.
- Inspections can be more costly – sometimes even inspectors request modifications, repairs and updates that aren’t needed or unreasonable. Again, not having someone who is qualified to be in your corner to know the most current laws and codes can cost you real money, money that would have been profit from the sale.
- Marketing opportunities are limited – Keller Williams, for example, has some of the most amazing home marketing tools available – including websites, apps, networks and marketing opportunities. Keller Williams agents spend a significant amount of time learning and working with innovative ways to market your home in order to get top dollar, and many agents (like myself) spend even more time and resources working with local experts in the marketing field to sell your home and build our businesses. This is all a benefit to someone looking to sell their home. We’ll put your home in front of as many potential buyers as possible, in order to not only close the deal, but to make it the best one possible for all involved.
- Hidden costs – FSBO’s often spend a lot more money on things they didn’t anticipate or know about, including yard signs, flyers, photography, video, MLS fees, and the list goes on and on. The biggest cost to a FSBO? Their time. A licensed, qualified agent will save you the headache and cost of all of those things, most importantly, your time and energy.