If you’re even remotely considering selling your home, then no doubt the thought of selling it on your own (FSBO) has at least crossed your mind. How do I know this, because every homeowner across the country has done the same thing when they decided to sell. It’s in our nature to fend for ourselves, to hold onto any equity that we can rather than just give it away to a Realtor.
Here’s a few compelling reasons why you should seriously re-consider selling your house yourself.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Most homeowners that decide to sell without the services of a licensed broker are treading murky waters. The truth is that even though we live in the information age, finding out what your home is worth is not not just as easy as heading over to Zillow and entering your address. Part of the value that realtors bring to the table is their access to their local board’s MLS data.
Every realtor in your city that sells a home that is listed on the MLS is required to enter all sales data for that transaction within days of the sale. This means that realtors can accurately see the breadth of the market as well as accurately determine the current value of your home. Fact is, that unless you cough up money for a formal appraisal, you may not know what your home is truly worth.
You Won’t Get Enough Market Exposure
Putting a “For Sale” sign in your yard is not a great marketing plan! What homeowners don't realize is how many buyers need to see that sign in order to actually produce a serious, ready, willing and able buyer The number could be in the hundreds, and I promise you that the number of actual qualified buyers that drive by that house will be very few. Even if your home happens to be located on a popular street, most qualified buyers will not even know that your home exists.
In my experience, most of the “pre-qualified buyers” are already represented by agents, that are off viewing houses that they were shown to by their agents. Agents only look on the MLS when trying to find homes for their buyers, so if your home isn’t listed in there, then you’ve just removed a very large pool of available buyers. Marketing on third party real estate websites like Redfin or Zillow can offer greater exposure of your home, but be prepared to get a lot of tire kickers and “unqualified” buyers contacting you.
Also, any good agent will have a very strategic marketing plan for each property including targeted Facebook and social media ads, posts, and more. This added exposure means more potential buyers which could entice more offers, bidding wars and more money for the homeowner.
Agents Access Large Networks
Yes, you can list your home yourself on Zillow, Redfin, Craigslist, and even the 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 agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. We have direct access to all the local & NYC agents, plus our own MLS. 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.
Agents Know What Sells
Agents are experts in knowing what makes a house 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 potential 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. Many agents know how to assess and help highlight what makes a home appealing to buyers.
Your Inexperience Could Cost You
How many times have you negotiated closing costs, sales price, or even repairs with a home buyer? Probably not often. Fact is, most real estate agents have much more experience than the
typical homeowner will ever have as negotiations are a huge part of a Realtor's job and in real estate, inexperience can translate into financial losses.
Time Is Money
Before taking the leap to sell by owner, in order to save the 6% commission, try calculating what your time is worth in dollars. Then, estimate how many hours you’ll realistically need to work to get your house sold. I'm sure you agree, time is money and that 6% commission sure starts looking more attractive when you knwo all the time it takes to sell a home even in a hot market.
To Sum It All Up
Sure, it’s possible to sell a house without using an agent, but if you should decide to forego hiring a professional to help you, then please know that you’re probably not actually saving a lot of money and in fact, it may cost you. There’s a good reason why 85% of home owners listed with a real estate agent when selling their home. When counting the true costs of selling FSBO you could end up on the losing end of the equation.
FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2018. The typical FSBO home sold for $217,900 compared to $295,000 for agent-assisted home sales. (National Association of Realtors)
If you are thinking of selling. Let’s talk about your options and how I can be of help to you.