Have you ever bought or sold a home and thought to yourself, “Why do I need an agent? I could have done this myself and saved thousands”. Or perhaps you felt let down by your realtor and felt like they weren't as helpful as you thought they would be. You may even know a person or two who bought or sold their house without going through the normal real estate sales channel.
Regardless of the reason, you don’t see the value in using a broker and you’re curious about selling your house by owner. Before doing so, find out if FSBO is right for you and makes sense for your situation.
You Have Up-To-Date Marketing Strategies And The Right Network
The biggest challenge for FSBO's is getting your phone to ring off the hook and getting serious, qualified buyers into your house. A real estate broker's greatest asset will be their large network and marketing channels. With this resource, they'll be able to generate interest in your house and show it to as many qualified buyers as possible.
Ask yourself, how big is your list of qualified buyers? Will you be able generate demand for your home and convert potential buyers into buyer(s) moving into your home?
You Have Lots Of Time
Yes, you’ll save 5-6% on agent commissions however you’ll be paying yourself to do the work of a real estate broker. The biggest resource that you'll be using to sell your house is your precious time. Do you have time to:
Analyze and determine the correct market value of your home;
Fix and stage your home for sale;
Take and edit high quality photographs;
Create a sizzling listing description;
Market the property on-line and through social media;
Qualify buyers without breaking any laws;
Schedule and handle showings;
Negotiate sales and write legally enforceable contracts;
Respond to any counters, addendums and amendments;
Navigate the inspections, repairs, lending, and appraisal process;
Pack, coordinate moves, and transfer utilities;
Follow through with the proper closing procedures and paperwork;
And have a work/life balance?
If you’re not on a time crunch and you're in no hurry to move, then FSBO may make sense.
You Are Up-To-Date With Real Estate Laws
The second biggest resource that your broker has to offer is their knowledge. Real estate markets change. So do laws change and real estate best practices to keep up with the times. We recently had a client who bought a house in the late 2000's and she had to submit an earnest money check with her offer. Fast forward to the 2020's, when it came time to sell, and she became confused why her offers didn't come with earnest money. Another example of changes is that your local regulations may require you to provide disclosures and waivers such as Covid-19 waivers. Is there someone in your network that will help you stay in the know and compliant?
You Are Not Selling To Get Top Dollar
If you put on your home buyer’s hat, it would rarely make sense to buy a house without an agent because it doesn't cost them anything and because they may not be comfortable with the home buying process. It always makes sense to have a expert guide you through such a life changing purchase. Buyers that forego using an agents are typically investors or someone desperate to if they really like your home. Your buyer will expect some sort of bargain because they know you’ll be saving thousands with paying agent commissions. They won’t be thinking about how you’re paying yourself.
You Are Absolutely Confident That You Can Get To Closing
It is not uncommon for deals to fall through because there are many factors and variables that have to come together and align correctly. An experienced real estate broker will be able to expertly navigate through each stage should there be any cracks. If you take on the responsibilities of a broker, will you be able to distinguish the best and strongest offer from the highest offer? A buyer can offer you 200% above your asking price but it won't matter unless it's a cash offer because lenders will not give the buyer a penny more than appraised value. Do you know what your legal responsibilities and duties are in regards to major defects flagged in an inspection? While rare, what will you do if title issues appear? If any of this makes you feel nervous, you're not alone. 95% of sellers use brokers for this reason.
You Are In A Hot Seller’s Market
4 out of 5 of FSBO listings end up getting listed with a broker after months of inactivity and disappointments. However, in a hot seller’s market, FSBOs may have more success when demand for a home is greater than the feel for a need to have representation. Those types of buyers are either desperate, inexperienced, or really experienced. If you’re not a real estate expert, it would be highly advised to have a few experts in your contacts. It never hurts to get a second opinion!
You Already Have A Buyer Lined Up
If you already have a buyer, and you’re not interested in getting other competitive offers, then FSBO would definitely make sense for you.