If you’re wondering how FSBO sites work, you’re not alone. “For Sale by Owner” makes good sense to many sellers in today’s healthy real estate market.
Most people remember the commonly held belief that selling your property always required a professional real estate broker. The seller paid a commission for the service, usually about six percent of proceeds from the sale. In real estate bull markets, the seller usually came out ahead. Sometimes, it was worth the commission to have an experienced seller to do the hard work of marketing and selling your home.
It’s not always necessary to hire a real estate professional. For instance, the supply of available homes may have dropped in your market. You may have received unsolicited indications of interest from one or more people who want to know “When are you planning to sell this house?”
The idea of selling your home without paying the selling agent’s commission is tempting for several reasons. It’s not just about the money, but the money is an important consideration. For instance, if you sell your house for $250,000 without a selling agent, you could save $15,000 to use elsewhere. Just realize an important caveat. Successful FSBO sellers know they’ve got to do the marketing, staging, and photography to introduce their home to potential buyers.
Let’s face it. Many homeowners don’t trust real estate salespeople. Some real estate agents seem quite new at their work. Others are so busy it’s challenging to get them on the phone.
Successful real estate agents might not have the seller’s best interests at heart. He or she might be less interested in getting top dollar for your property. The immediate goal is to get qualified buyers to the table as quickly as possible. A higher sale price won’t substantially change his or her commission. The time value of when the agent gets his or her cut is very important as well.
Realize that selling your home without a real estate salesperson will take more work:
The seller should understand that most buyers must obtain a mortgage. Fewer buyers will have cash to pay for the home in full. The mortgage lender will protect its interests. The process will include home inspections:
Closing is usually dictated by the buyer’s mortgagee. That is, when the lender makes the money available to close the home purchase, the buyer, seller, attorneys, and lender representatives convene to complete the closing.
There are plenty of reasons to use a professional real estate agent. For example, you’ll need to consider liability, proper disclosure, and state and local ordinances involving the sale of your home before opening the door to prospective buyers.
Determining the fair market value of your home is a complex topic. Your next door neighbor might have gotten top dollar for his home because a realtor tirelessly performed all the steps necessary to get the word out. He or she did the social media marketing, staged the home, made a video to post online, and used a large firm database to invite prospective buyers to the open house gatherings.
You may also ask, “How do I know if I’m getting a fair deal?” or “How do I know if the terms of my contract are met?” You might lose sleep at night if luck of the draw presents a disgruntled buyer. Understanding your legal obligations and options is one of the best reasons to hire a real estate lawyer to protect your interests in the sale.
It may be in your best interest to hire a real estate agent. However, before you agree to list with anyone, ask lots of questions. Check out your prospective agent’s track record. Read reviews. When in doubt, ask him or her for a few references—and then call each one before making a decision.
Owners have a wide range of FSBO site options. If you’re ready to do the work necessary to market your home to prospective buyers, check out some of the For Sale by Owner sites: