The South Coast Real Estate Round-Up

6 Reasons to NOT be a For Sale By Owner

February 13th, 2014 2:08 PM by Christopher Terry

Some homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). And who could blame them, after all if you believed you could save thousands of dollars why not? However, there are several reasons this might not be a good idea. 

Here are our reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO.

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

2. Exposure to Perspective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 92% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. Being a FSBO has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people being a FSBO has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

One More Thought

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, consider this: The Founder of sold their home through a real estate professional. After trying to sell their 2000 s.f. 2 bedroom apartment in New York for 6 months the founder of called a real estate professional who helped the owner reposition themselves in the market. As a result their condo soon attracted multiple offers and sold for $150,000 more than the original asking price.

Buyers tend to shop For Sale by Owners to save the commission. So as a homeowner you have a choice, 1) Do all the work yourself and pay the commission to the buyer (in the form of a lower sales price), OR 2) Hire a real estate professional and let them do all the work. The choice is yours. If you are thinking of selling your home and want to see what make us unique visit for a slideshow just part of our services.

Christopher Terry is a licensed real estate broker in Ma and RI, has completed the Accredited Buyer Representative Certification, is a graduate of the Certified Distressed Property Institute, holds the prestigious CDPE designation, is a 4-Time winner of the Master Sales Society's 5/50 Award and is the founder of EZ Home Search Real Estate Inc.

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Posted by Christopher Terry on February 13th, 2014 2:08 PM


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