When you sell a home, one of your first decisions is whether to hire an agent or go the FSBO (for sale by owner, pronounced ìfizz-boî) route. However, even in the hottest markets, FSBO home selling involves more than just putting a sign in your yard. DIY home selling may sound like a great idea. The prospect of saving money on the real estate agent’s commission can be tempting. But is FSBO the right way for you to sell your home?
Ask yourself these questions to figure out whether For Sale By Owner can work for you and areas where you may need some help.
1. CAN YOU PRICE YOUR HOME CORRECTLY?
Setting the right price for your home is the single most important decision you will make when deciding to sell. If you go too high, you risk your home staying on the market too long with nobody interested in your property. If you go too low, you may not be getting the highest offer possible. When pricing your home, you will need to spend time researching the going rate for comparable homes in your area.
2. CAN YOU MARKET YOUR HOME PROPERLY?
Many FSBO sellers rely heavily on yard signs and follow that with some social media exposure. The problem is that signs are no longer the best method for attracting the attention of potential buyers, and the likelihood that your buyer also happens to be connected to your circle of social media contacts is very slim. This means that you will have to branch out.
Real estate agents market homes with yard signs and social marketing, as well as other tools including the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). As a FSBO seller, you can obtain a flat fee listing on the MLS in some areas. If this is available in your area, you may be able to list your property on the MLS for a few hundred dollars. The real cost is the amount of time and energy you will need to put into selling your home.
Be sure to make the listing as complete as possible. Go through each room and take several photos from different angles. Use the best 3 to 5 photos to make a color flyer. You donít need to put 12 photos on your flyer, just enough to entice prospective buyers to make an appointment. A good flyer could have photos of the exterior front, the kitchen, family room, master bedroom, bath and backyard.
3. CAN YOU FIND THE RIGHT BUYERS?
After getting potential buyers into your home, how do you know if they are qualified? Real estate agents can more easily determine a potential buyer’s credit-worthiness and verify the funds. The FSBO seller is on his or her own with respect to requesting financial statements from potential buyers.
4. ARE YOU A GOOD NEGOTIATOR?
When someone gives you an offer on your home, will you be ready to negotiate? You are not likely to get the price you asked for so you will need to ascertain your bottom line. As a DIY seller, you will need to know when the deal has stalled and cannot be revived. It is always good to know when to walk away.
5. DO YOU HAVE TIME TO SHOW YOUR HOME?
There is a reason a real estate agent is a full-time job. It takes time to stage, schedule property viewings and get offers on a home. Agents work long hours, as well as weekends and holidays to make sure that the home is sold for the right amount in the least amount of time. Many FSBO sellers work outside the home and have to shorten their hours at work so they can show the home during business hours. Other FSBO sellers keep their home on the market for a long period of time because they canít drop everything and show the home at a moment’s notice.
Many people assume that since they are free in the evenings and on weekends, this will be sufficient. The truth is that those looking for homes often do so during the week and during the day. If the home buyer is moving into an area, they are likely to work with an agent for several consecutive days. If you cannot leave work during their search, your home will not be one of the ones on their list. This is an important variable to keep in mind.
6. CAN YOU HANDLE ALL THE PAPERWORK AND LEGAL REQUIREMENTS?
Selling a home requires a lot of paperwork to complete. Missing paperwork can lead to the loss of the sale, or even legal trouble. A real estate agent is trained and skilled with the paperwork process, and anything done incorrectly will be their responsibility rather than yours. If you do sell on your own, you should consider hiring a real estate lawyer to be sure that all disclosure statements are completed correctly. They can also help you develop a good purchase contract.
You will need to have a home inspection performed to indicate what repairs may be needed before listing your home. After you receive the report, hire a professional to make the suggested repairs.
Choosing FSBO vs. real estate agent depends on your situation and how motivated you are to take on the process yourself. It’s nice to know there are options and plenty of information on choosing an agent or FSBO. With Citrus Heritage Escrow by your side, you can rest assured that our professional team will walk you through every step of your home sale or purchase.
Call us today with any questions or concerns. Our professional Escrow Agents will help you through this exciting yet confusing process. (951) 335-7200