For Sale by Owner
Many people like to look at all the options that are available to them when it comes time to sell a home. Some like the idea of listing their home with a professional while others are interested in going down the road which is commonly referred to as ‘For Sale By Owners’ (FSBO).
While many people feel there are clear advantages to selling their own home others realize that that is not necessarily the case. There are numerous points to consider when weighing your options.
- The Real Estate Market: The market is constantly changing and a REALTOR® keeps up to date on those changing housing and financial market trends, current inventory, supply and demand within each of the market areas and further statistics that can be ever so important when making decisions.
- Bargain Hunters: Private sales attract bargain hunters who expect to pay less. Since the seller and buyer are each trying to save commission they are usually quite far apart before they have even started their negotiations! Many buyers simply assume that they should reduce the cost of the home by 5-6% and that is before additional negotiations would even have begun.
- Pricing Your Home: Some sellers ask too little, others ask too much. Once a house sits unsold for too long it becomes stale. Often sellers are forced to reduce the price and may have to accept less money for their home than they would have received had they started at the right price originally. There are many factors in pricing a home and again they involve current market trends, unsold inventory, location, condition, size/updates, and the number of buyers on the market. A REALTOR® will use a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or evaluation to help the seller identify the right price to ask.
- How many buyers are actually contracted with a REALTOR®? Approximately 60% of all buyers are already contracted and working with a REALTOR®. Most buyers who are moving from another home already have an agent they are working with who has now sold their home. Who are they going to use? Their REALTOR® is their trusted advisor. Many REALTORS® will still consider taking their clients to see a FSBO, however many of those REALTORS® have had uncomfortable or even terrible experiences dealing with home owners who do not always stand by their word.
A REALTOR® must carry Errors and Omissions Insurance which provides an understanding that a REALTOR® must act in accordance with the laws of the Real Estate and Business Brokerage Act. A FSBO does not have insurance and thereby has no protection.
Much of a real estate company’s business comes from corporate relocations or personal referrals between offices across the country. These buyers seldom have the time or knowledge to deal directly with owners. This market of qualified buyers who may have been perfect for your home, may be unavailable to private sellers.
- Qualifying Buyers: It is very possible that a complete stranger will come up to you at your home, ring the doorbell and ask to see your home. What if the stranger has no real interest, does not have the money, cannot even qualify for a mortgage and is even possibly there for alternative reasons? A REALTOR® qualifies their buyers, before even setting up appointments.
- Handling Inquiries 24/7: It’s common that many showings on a home can be requested with little notice or when you are at work or planning an event with your family. When marketing the home yourself you have to understand that you need to be available when the buyer wants to see your home. Any time you are not available your home is effectively ‘off the market’ and you may not get that second chance to show! At Royal LePage Team Realty we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with 24 hour pager assistance. This means that we know when a request has been made for a showing on your property and we are there to handle all inquiries, field any potential calls and qualify buyers.
- Staging: Most homeowners are quite attached to their homes as they have usually poured a lot of time and attention to making their house a home. Our own personal tastes are usually reflected in our homes. These tastes are not necessarily the best when it comes to selling your home. By having the introduction of a ‘home stager’, it is statistically proven that you will sell your home quicker and at a higher price than those that have not had any staging. A home stager is a person who prepares a house so that it is ready for sale. REALTORS® get to know what buyers are looking for. My stager consultation is complimentary to you when you list with me to ensure that your home shows superior to the others.
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS): This system provides a vast networking of thousands and thousands of prospective buyers, many who may not be living anywhere near your home. Most buyers are very tech savvy and rely on the MLS system to keep them up to date on all the latest activity. A FSBO does not have the ability to reach nearly as many potential buyers.
- Legal Content, Negotiating and Offers: Offers are written on legally binding contracts that are there to help protect the buyers and the sellers. The last thing you want or need is a sale to fall thru at the last minute because of incorrect paperwork. A REALTOR® is trained to understand the legal documents. Additionally, emotions can sometimes play into the negotiation process and a sellers objectivity and judgment can become clouded when the negotiations are reaching critical stages. Your REALTOR® has the ability to be impartial and professional and still look out for your best interests.