FSBO or “for sale by owner”, is a transaction done without the help of a real estate agent. Minus the commission, sellers often believe that they are saving more money this way.
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While FSBO sounds tempting, its risks and complications are too many to ignore. Here are the reasons why you should think twice before going FSBO:
- Sellers do not have representation. FSBOs not only have to deal with potential buyers alone, there are other people who will be involved in the transaction, whether you like it or not. They are: the buyer’s agent trying to keep the price down; the appraiser who will question the real value of the property; the buyer’s home inspector; the home repair service; the title company; and in some cases, a buyer’s attorney, a home warranty company, and some buyer’s lenders as well.
- You have to deal with overwhelming paperwork. Mandatory disclosures, state regulations, records, contracts, inspections, credit checks, and a whole lot of other legal forms are needed to be reviewed prior to the sale. 18% of sellers revealed that paperwork is one of the most difficult tasks when doing FSBO.
- You lose your ability to specifically market to qualified buyers. Without an agent, sellers are left on their own, missing the opportunity to provide property details to a wide network of agents, who also have qualified buyers as clients.
- Unexpected costs will lessen your profit. Most agents have already connected with trusted professionals for a successful sale. Because of repeat business, they can get photographers, home staging services, handyman services, landscapers, local printers, and advertisers at discounted prices. On your own, you usually have to pay the higher regular rates.
- FSBO homes take a longer time to sell. Unless the seller has a sure buyer (like a long time acquaintance or a distant relative who will take the property “as is”) the home will possibly spend more time on the market with all the paperwork, marketing, and negotiations involved.
- Marketing will demand a huge chunk of your work week. If you have a full time job, are you willing to take some days off to schedule property viewings? Entertaining calls and setting appointments with potential buyers will sacrifice regular hours of your work day.
- Sellers have a high liability risk. It is easy to overlook irregularities when you are doing FSBO. Real estate agents work with trained eyes, carefully navigating all the details on legal forms to avoid potential lawsuits and legal issues for their clients.
- Home inspections are stressful. Inspectors working for buyers will bombard you with an endless list of repairs, including unnecessary ones.
- Deals may not always work in your favor. Buyers have agents looking for their best interests, while you figure out everything by yourself. You may have to compromise and accommodate more requests just to get the house sold.
- FSBO homes tend to sell below median price. With a limited understanding of market trends, sellers usually undervalue their homes.
- FSBO transactions are prone to scams. How much time are you willing to devote in verifying genuine buyer information, loan documentations and financial details? Real estate agents will only allow viewings to qualified buyers, preventing unscrupulous buyers from entering your home.
Why go FSBO when it is easier to sell and buy with a trusted agent on your side? In Bryan County OK, there are a lot of affordable homes to choose from. Let me help you. Call or email me today.
Brian A. Allen is a Realtor and is full of energy, excitement and zeal for every sale. He spent most of his career in marketing and now applies that skill set to the homes his clients want to sell. Click here to learn more about Brian A. Allen