**Important** Is it worth the possibility of facing Legal Matters? Continue reading below for more details.
While selling your home by yourself, without getting a seller’s agent involved may seem like a great way to save money on a commission fee, the fact is that most potential FSBO sellers end up regretting the decision and end up putting more profits in their pockets even after paying out a commission using an agent. If you’re considering going FSBO, or you’re already listing your home that way and things aren’t exactly working out as planned, then keep reading. Using recent statistics, here are a few reasons you may want to reconsider.
According to reliable data, FSBO sales accounted for only 9% of all home sales in 2013. Not too impressive, is it? Well, it gets even worse when you take into account that FSBO sales seem to be on a steady decline over the past decade from a 2004 peak of just 14%.
While “location, location, location” might be the home buyer’s mantra, as a home seller, that’s one variable you really can’t change. Instead, the key factor to selling your home in a reasonable amount of time is pricing it correctly, which isn’t nearly as easy to do as you might think. Sure, you can go online and see what nearby homes have sold for, but are you really comparing apples to apples here? An experienced Realtor will be able to perform a detailed market analysis which not only takes into account your home’s condition and any improvements you might have made, but can generate an up-to-the-minute temperature reading of just how hot (or not) your local market really is.
Believe it or not, many FSBO home sellers still believe that all they have to do is throw up a “For Sale” sign in the yard and the world will beat a path to their doors. Sorry, but today’s tech-savvy buyers (See reason #4) prefer to house-hunt in more methodical ways than simply driving around the neighborhood. And yet, according to the NAR, this is still the top FSBO marketing method, as 36% of would-be sellers rely on yard signs. The key word here is “would-be”, since only 10% of all buyers actually find their homes via yard signs. Statistics are even more dismal for sellers who choose print media, since only 1% of buyers find homes through newspaper ads.
Okay, so you’re internet-savvy, you know all about Craigslist and similar online free classified listings. That’s fantastic, since NAR’s 2014 housing market profile shows that 92% of all home buyers use the internet to help them in their search. But (and it’s a really big but) – these online classifieds are also seen as a happy hunting ground for scammers, criminals, and dangerous people you really do NOT want to be admitting to your home. Realtors don’t have to resort to dubious bargain-basement listings, but can instead list your home on highly-qualified sites such as the MLS, & Realtor.com. (See reason #6 for more on what resources Realtors have available.)
Marketing via social media, what could be more up-to-the-minute? Sure, you may have hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers, so that’s a potentially sizable audience if you decide to advertise your home that way. Think about it, though – how many of them actually live in your area? And of those, how many are actually looking for a new home? If you do manage to sell your home that way you’ll be one of the lucky few.
91% of all Realtors make use of social media sites as a marketing tool. Just about everyone browsing their page is interested in buying a home in the local area. What’s more, Realtors are actively engaged in driving traffic to their own websites and they also have the capacity to list homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). In order to list a home on the MLS, an FSBO seller will have to pay an outside agency several hundred dollars, as well as having to cover the cost of the buyer’s agent fee. At present, NAR data shows that only 7% of FSBO homes are listed on an MLS website.
A very high percentage of buyer's are using agents and their websites to search for homes. What are the chances a Realtor, working strictly from commissions is going to market and show your home to a buyer? Close to zero, huh? Also, one thing you might not be taking into account as a potential DIY home seller is just how available you’ll need to be in order to show your home. Are you really going to be able to call in sick or cancel your plans every time someone wants to look at your home? Potential buyers aren’t going to want to work around your convenience. A professional Realtor, however, doesn’t need to take a day off work in order to show your home since this IS his/her job.
If you’re acting as your own sales agent, how do you decide who’s a legitimate buyer and who’s just going to be wasting your time? Seller’s agents have the necessary tools to determine whether a buyer is pre-qualified with a home loan sufficient to cover the cost of your listing. What’s more, FSBO homes are more likely to appeal to the type of buyer who’s out for a rock-bottom bargain-basement deal and may even go so far as to want you to give them a cut of the commission you’re saving by foregoing a Realtor’s services.
In case you’re not already getting the picture, selling a home is pretty hard work! Not only do you have to find and get potential buyers, but once you’ve found that buyer then the real headache begins. Every detail must be attended to in order to make the sale go through…and what’s more, if you neglect something crucial from the long list of mandatory disclosures, inspection reports, material defects, and SPD addendum you may find yourself facing not just the loss of the sale, but also potentially serious legal repercussions. Now all this is just the laws involving all the needed paperwork to list and sell a home. What about the ethics involved in selling a home? Are you caught up on all the important Fair Housing Laws and what you can and cannot disclose to a potential buyer? There are lawsuits regularly filed AND WON against sellers for huge amounts. In a recent case a buyer won a lawsuit for $75,000 against someone selling their home. The seller really thought he was doing and saying the right things. With so many laws constantly being implemented and changing even Realtor's are required on-going education to stay up to date new laws and changes. Having a Realtor not only saves you time, money, and frustration, but also takes the liability off you. Yes, there is some paperwork to go through even if you work with an agent, but that’s still a lot easier and safer than doing it all yourself.
What? How can this be? Don’t all seller’s agents work on commission? Well, yes, they do. But real estate agents themselves bear many of the costs you might otherwise have to pick up, like marketing your home and screening buyers. A savvy sales agent can also build the cost of his/her commission right into your home’s asking price, so you won’t feel a thing. To learn more about how my service can save you money and all the hassle that comes with FSBO by matching you with a top, local agent. Click Here
And the survey says…bottom line, the average FSBO home last year sold for $208,700 while the average agent-assisted home sale was $235,000. This means that an agent-assisted home sale can net you an 11% larger profit. Assuming you paid a 6% agent commission on a $235,000 home, or $14,100, you would still come out $12,200 ahead! Looks like a win for everybody.
If you’re willing to put up with all the headaches of listing, selling, and closing on a home, and you don’t mind settling for what may well be a lower price, then an FSBO sale may be for you. If, on the other hand, this all sounds like too much work for too little payoff you’re in good company. It seems that according to a Local Real Estate News article, over 80% of all FSBO sellers eventually wind up choosing to sell their homes by using an agent instead (and this number applies nationwide, not just in SC). If you’d like to skip the headache and proceed straight to the happy ending, I'm here to help. Would you like to hear more about how I spend hundreds out of my very own pocket to market your home BEFORE it even hits the market? Connect with a top performing agent, and compare multiple proposals today.
Let's give your home the Fair Chance it deserves. Check out the link below for some brief info on my cutting edge selling system.