For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

A lot of homeowners today are trying to sell their homes themselves.  Affectionally, we refer to them as FSBO's.  I applaud your efforts and wish you the best of success.

However, let's look at some pros and cons of FSBO.

Pros of FSBO

1.  Commission savings

2.  You control the listing side

3.  You schedule your own showings (can be a con!)

 

Cons of FSBO

1.  People looking for a FSBO are trying to save money just like you.  They expect you to give up the commission that you are saving.

2.  You don't get good feedback.  People will be nice to you but not necessarily honest.  Good feedback is imperative.  (Example, if they smell dogs or diapers, they won't tell you this!)

3.  Exposure!  You are limited to drive bys, word of mouth, perhaps a few craigs list ads, signs at work  or grocery store, etc.  The MLS (now called the BLC) gives you exposure to thousands of buyers.

4.  You're on your own professionally.  If you're not fluent in the process, it could cost you because you don't have professional representation.

5.  You may not know the right people to call for inspections, title companies, legal advice, home repairs, etc.

6.  You're probably on an uneven playing field with your buyer.  A realtor's job is to professionally represent their client.  This evens the playing field.

7.  Negotiations are almost always awkward.

8.  Limited access to realtime information regarding current listings, pendings, solds and market.

9.  Many FSBO's don't fully understand the process from contract to closing.

10. Every transaction has some type of twist.  A realtor's job is to smooth out those twists with the most favorable outcome to you as possible.  As a FSBO, you're on your own.  (Example.  suppose that your inspection revealed a latent defect in your foundation.  An encroachment.  A subdivision violation.  Evidence of mold or termites.  A cloud on the title.  What about possession.  Home Warranty.  Who pays for what at closing.  What is an appropriate earnest money.  What about seller paid closing cost.... the list goes on and on.)

 

So.... What about a limited service listing like "Assist to Sell"? 

That only solves part of the issue.    You still interface with the buyer directly, schedule your own showings, realtor is limited in their service to you.  We usually find these programs of limited success.

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Personally, I've walked the FSBO route.  I actually sold a home in 1994 as a FSBO.  I've owned 6 homes in the last 26 years.  I lucked out in 1994 but I would describe the transaction in one word:  stressful!

In 2003, I had a limited service listing with Home Yeah!  I paid $500 to get me in the MLS.  That didn't work so hot.  One word:  awkward!

In 2005, I had my home listed with a realtor but would not listen to him.  We were way over priced.  We eventually sold the home less than what the realtor suggested because the listing became stale.  We were 2.5 years on the market before we woke up.  One word:    stubborn!

Then...I got smart!  I started listening to my realtors and learned the value of what they provide.  I became a realtor in early 2007 and have had excellent success in representing both buyers and sellers.  My record listing in 18 hours from entering the BLC to an accepted contract.  That's hours...not days!

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Most FSBO's give up after 60 days and list with a realtor anyway.  Good realtors will be honest and list the home only after an appropriate amount of due diligence, market research and home preparation.  A good realtor doesn't take a listing that they cannot sell.  That doesn't help anyone.

I'd love to share with you what I've learned and how it will work for you.

Give me, Robby or Jen a call.

 

Robert Haynes

317-250-7213