For Sale By Owner – it’s a convenient notion, that you should just be able to put up a sign saying your house is for sale, and have someone come along and say “yes, I’d like to buy that.”
Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy to sell your own house – both selling and buying a home are tremendous legal processes, and huge investments, and most people simply don’t feel comfortable doing it themselves without knowing all the ins and outs of the process.
Even if you do feel confident enough, though – it’s not usually a good idea to sell your own home. There are so many more moving parts in real estate than most people realize, and while it might have worked out on shows like The Office when Jim buys his parents’ house, most of the time these transactions are not done between family members, and therefore aren’t as easy.
Realtor Shannon Jones from Long Beach recently laid out five key reasons why it’s not a great idea to sell your own house – and why having a Realtor like her or myself on your side is such a big help.
For sale by owner, or FSBO, is when an individual sells their own home without a real estate agent. On the surface, this can seem like a good way to avoid agent fees and be in charge of the selling process yourself. However, a lot more goes into selling a home than people understand, so it’s best to have an expert by your side. Not to mention, according to Zillow, less than a third of people who try to sell their home on their own are actually successful. Here are just a few reasons why having a real estate agent actually helps the seller.
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 For Sale By Owner:
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible (and is looking at FSBOs to save the same money you want to save)
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- 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
Plus, an agent knows all the right people around town. They have their finger on the market and talk to other agents. So they know who is looking for homes and which clients are looking for a home just like yours.
2. Marketing Plan
Selling a home does not happen overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen without a plan. Luckily, for sellers with an agent, they don’t have to worry about the marketing plan. Agents already know what buyers in the area want, which emails to send and to whom, all the best websites to list homes on, and social media accounts with a local following. They also know the right professionals to take photos of your house and create a 3D tour.
Also, anyone doing a FSBO doesn’t have the built-in audience an agent already has on all of their social media channels. Agents have a social media presence where people have come to expect real estate posts and their audience is more likely to be looking to them to buy a home.
Life can get very busy. Between your job, kids, marriage, pets, cooking, and cleaning, sometimes there is hardly enough time in the day for yourself! Becoming your own agent on top of that can be overwhelming at best. On the other hand, selling homes is an agent’s job. They spend at least 8 hours a day (usually many more) with houses on their mind.
(That also means they’re more experienced – so not only will they have more time than you, they’ll also be faster at doing all the things you would be doing, purely because they’ve had years of practice!)
4. 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. Selling a home can entail lots of complex legal processes. There are many forms and documents to sign and coronavirus has created even more. Real estate agents know the ins and outs of all of these forms and can help prevent you from signing your life away. Or the worst-case scenario, finding yourself with a lawsuit on your hands.
Read More: “Corona Clauses” and Addendum
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 for sale by owners is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
According to the National Association of Realtors’, 35% of homeowners who decided who sold their own home last year did so to avoid paying a commission fee. However, this may have been counterintuitive. In fact, homes sold with an agent net 6% more than those sold by owner according to Collateral Analytics. The fact is, real estate agents know how to negotiate price more than the average person.
So, in conclusion…
While it’s certainly worth it to shop around when it comes to real estate agents, to be sure you’re finding the best fit to work with you, after reading all that, I think we can agree that it’s probably not worth it to take all the extra time and effort necessary to sell your own home. Best to stick with someone who knows the local markets, knows who’s looking, knows the area, and knows how to show off the best parts of your home to potential buyers.
If you’re still looking for an agent, give me a call or send me an email – I’d be more than happy to tell you all the ways I’ll be able to help you get the best price on your home – and all the ways I’ll be able to make the whole process easy for you.