For Sale By Owner or FSBO. It sounds like a good idea. Besides, you can sell your home – right? You know your home better than anyone. While that may be true, there are very few people that can actually sell their own home properly.
Here are a few reasons why a “for sale by owner” is not the best way to sell your home.
1. As an FSBO you cannot list your home in the MLS. The Multiple Listing Service is a membership only site that only licensed real estate agents have access to.
2. As an FSBO you will be locked out of most of the major home listing websites such as Realtor.com etc.
3. You will be limited to placing a sign in your yard and placing your ad in the classifieds. This will drastically limit your homes exposure to potential buyers. You will be depending on a small classified ad or for an interested buyer to drive by. The chances are very slim.
4. Many real estate agents will not show a “for sale by owner” home because they generally do not get paid a commission for showing a buyer your home. In other words, most realtors will not work for free.
5. Most FSBO sellers overprice their home. You probably have an emotional attachment to your home and feel that it is worth more than it really is. Additionally, you will not have the experience of a licensed real estate agent who knows how to dig up the true market value numbers of homes that have recently been sold in your area.
6. A buyer generally feels very uncomfortable talking with the owner of the home about the homes pros and cons of their home. And if they do, they may not always believe how accurately the information is being presented. In addition, a buyer usually does not like negotiating the sale of the home with the owner. Buyers prefer leaving the negotiations up to their realtor. The realtor is a good buffer between the buyer and the seller and is the best way to come to an agreeable offer.
7. FSBO sellers are more likely to get into legal trouble. Most people are not well versed enough in real estate to know what does and does not have to be disclosed. If a FSBO misses just one form or a legally mandated disclosure, they could face an expensive buyer lawsuit after the transaction closes.
Just how much risk are you willing to take? It is just not worth saving a few pennies now only to find that you have to spend thousands more later to get yourself out of an improperly handled real estate transaction.
Ultimately it is up to you, but consider talking to a Realtor to discuss how much it will cost and let them explain their services and how they plan to market your home.