Do You Really Want to Sell By Yourself?
Why should you not sell your home “for sale by owner”?
When you sell your home yourself— also known as "for sale by owner” (FSBO)— it may seem like a great way to save thousands of dollars. After all, the standard real estate agent’s commission is 5% to 6%—that’s $12,500 to $15,000 on a $250,000 home. Given the size of this fee, you may think that acting as your own seller’s agent will surely be worth the savings. Here are eight reasons why you may want to reconsider.
Realtors May Not Show a "For Sale By Owner" Home
In an FSBO deal, the buyer’s agent knows there won’t be a professional colleague on the other end of the transaction. Even if a client insists on seeing your home, the agent might discourage making an offer, citing the hassles and risks of trying to close the deal without a professional representing the seller—and without a guaranteed commission.
If you want to be taken seriously by sellers’ agents, get the best price, and make sure you don’t miss any key steps in the process—or risk a lawsuit—it’s better to use a real estate agent than to try to sell your home yourself.
Agents Avoid Emotional Sales
Selling your home is typically an emotional process. Having an agent keeps you one step removed and makes you less likely to make stupid mistakes, such as overpricing your home, refusing to counter a low offer because you’re offended, or giving in too easily when you have a deadline for selling.
If you forgo an agent, you’ll also have to deal directly with rejection every time a buyer’s agent tells you that the client isn’t interested.
Real Estate Is a Full-Time Job
Can you rush home from work every time someone wants to see your home? Can you excuse yourself from a meeting every time your phone rings with a potential buyer? At the end of a long workday, do you have the energy to take advantage of every possible opportunity to market your home? Are you an expert in marketing homes?
Do you have any experience doing so? Your answer to all of these questions is probably “no.” An agent’s answer to all of these questions is “yes.” In addition, by going through an agent, you’ll get a lockbox for your front door that allows agents to show your home even when you aren’t available.
Agents Access Large Networks
Yes, you can list your home yourself on Zillow, Redfin, Craigslist, and even the multiple listing service (MLS)that agents use. But will that be enough? Even if you have a large personal or professional network, those people will likely have little interest in spreading the word that your house is for sale. You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agent to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.
Weeding Out Unqualified Buyers
An agent can find out whether someone who wants to view your house is really a qualified buyer or just a dreamer or curious neighbor. It’s a lot of work and a major interruption every time you have to put your life on hold, make your house look perfect, and show your home. You want to limit those hassles to the showings most likely to result in a sale.
It’s also awkward for buyers to have the seller present, rather than the seller’s agent when they’re touring the home.
You Ignore Your Home’s Flaws
Agents are experts in what makes homes sell. They can walk through your home with you and point out changes you need to make to attract buyers and get the best offers. They can see flaws you’re oblivious to because you see them every day—or because you simply don’t view them as flaws. They can also help you determine which feedback from potential buyers you should act on after you put your home on the market to improve its chances of selling.
Exposure to Legal Risks
A lot of legal paperwork is involved in a home sale, and it needs to be completed correctly by an expert. One of the most important items is the seller’s disclosures.
Unless you’re a real estate attorney, your agent probably knows more about disclosure laws than you do. If you fail to disclose a hazard, nuisance, or defect—and the buyer comes back to you after having moved in and found a problem—the buyer could sue you. Agents can make mistakes, too, but they have professional errors and omissions insurance to protect themselves and give the buyer recourse, so the buyer may not need to pursue the seller for damages.
When you get down to logistics, selling on your own may not be the best use of your time and energy. Having an agent do it all for you can literally save you thousands in stress and energy AND get you the best price for your home. Still are not convinced? Try Us! We would love to run the numbers to see if this is the best option to sell your Park City area home.
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