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Here’s Why You Should or Shouldn’t Go FSBO

Going FSBO, otherwise pronounced as “fis-bo,” has pros and cons that are often overlooked. Selling your house is going to be a heck of a lot more work than you think. It also doesn’t help that the internet seems to make some of us believe we can do anything ourselves. Hence, potentially causing your solo effort to end with costly mistakes and deep remorse.

Think You Should For Sale By Owner? Think Again! [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

You know your home better than anyone else.

Who’s going to know their home better than the homeowners themselves? No one! For this reason, you’re free to share your opinions on nearby schools and neighborhoods. On the other hand, real estate agents like me have to be very careful with what we say about those sorts of things.

This is because we could get accused of “steering,” which is when a real estate agent or broker tries to lure people away or toward specific areas. Thereupon resulting in getting fined along with a suspended real estate license.

Although this is a significant advantage, your inside knowledge may come with a high level of emotions. In other words, like most proud homeowners, you’re likely to be biased about your home. As a result, you could come off as dishonest to the homebuyer and ruin the sale.

Going the FSBO route may result in you losing money.

FSBO’s typically sell for a little over $24,000 less than agent-assisted homes.

There’s a lot of resources available for FSBOs.

You can easily list your home as for-sale-by-owner on websites such as Zillow or Trulia. In fact, many free websites are specifically for FSBOs.

More than likely, you don’t have any real estate sales experience.

Yes, the internet does allow you to post your home for sale without a fee. But on the contrary, selling a house isn’t the same as selling bracelets on Amazon. I made this apple to oranges comparison to show just how absurd that sounds. A real estate agent has access to the MLS, which has relevant and correct market data.

Therefore, finding your home’s real market value via CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) will give you a realistic list price. Otherwise, you might end up overpricing your home, which isn’t an unusual mistake.

An excellent real estate agent will also have a broad network of professionals, which will be needed throughout the home selling process. This list of connections will typically consist of contractors, closing attorneys, title agents, etc.

All in all, I’m sure selling a house may seem like it’s a piece of cake to some of you. After all, all we Realtors do is stick a sign in the yard and wait for a buyer to call, correct? Wrong. Instead, agents of such actually end up in the seventy-some percentile who leaves the industry within the first two to five years.

For instance, to some of you, I’m sure Floyd Mayweather makes “throwing a punch” look simple as a boxer, right? But if it’s so easy, then why aren’t you the one who is undefeated with a record of 50-0? One critical thing to remember is that a professional will always make something hard look easy.

Challenges of FSBO

I know, I know, you don’t want to pay a commission.

Admit it, you simply don’t want to pay a commission, which is probably your most significant motive to go FSBO, huh? The good news is you are saving money in general. But the bad news is the buyer is the one who usually comes out ahead. Just like I stated earlier, homes sold by their owners will typically sell for a median of a little over $24,000 less than agent-assisted homes.

Your method(s) of marketing probably sucks.

Although billions of people are roaming the internet as we speak, only very few will see your home. Posting an ad online will not cut it. Reaching out to such a broad audience is a waste of your time and theirs. This is where target marketing is key, which is personally one of my favorite services to offer as a Realtor.

I am often baffled by how many times I’ve seen shabby images posted online by folks selling their homes themselves. I’ve seen pictures with dark lighting and messy countertops. While this may not be an issue to you, it will be a huge turn off to homebuyers in reality.

One of the other reasons to use a real estate agent to sell your house is their real estate agent network, which may have a buyer. In other words, there’s a possibility your home could be sold before going on the market. Altogether, effective marketing is expensive and time-consuming. This is one of the many reasons you should henceforth consider using a real estate agent’s experience. Or else, you might end up feeling frustrated and lost.

Some of the cost of going FSBO.

You’ll have more control as an FSBO, but… your stress level could go through the roof.

Overall, you will have a lot more control over the home sale, which is a gift and a curse. Your duties will involve a lot of paperwork, marketing, negotiating, pricing, etc.

You also may see you’re going to be at a disadvantage while trying to negotiate with the buyer’s agent. After all, their agent is only working for their client, and you could face a steep uphill battle in trying to win the fight.

In short, a buyer’s agent will likely have a lot more knowledge and expertise needed to achieve victory. Thus, you may end up cutting your own throat. Nonetheless, the more control you have, the more time and risks you will take.

I hope you plan to use a lot of time and energy.

You probably have a family, career, and many other things going on. Trying to juggle your life along with the challenges of selling your house for-sale-by-owner can and will quickly burn you out.

You need to carefully weigh out the pros and cons of going FSBO.

In conclusion, your best bet is to hire a superb real estate agent. You’re more likely to bear less stress and make a higher profit than you probably would otherwise. I must repeat, the internet makes us believe we can be an auto-mechanic one moment and a salesman the next.

For instance, we all know at least one person who is known to be “the Jack of all trades.” And generally speaking, that same individual is usually someone who hasn’t had much success with their vast array of endeavors.

With all things considered, there’s nothing wrong with going for-sale-by-owner, but the pros and cons are both very noteworthy. So, in the final analysis, it’s okay to leverage a real estate agent’s education and experience.

Infographic about the benefits of using a realtor to sell your home.

About the Author

Marlon A. Thomas, Jr.
Marlon A. Thomas, Jr.

Marlon A. Thomas Jr. is a residential Realtor and blogger in Williamsburg, Virginia, and has been living there since he was two. As a Realtor, his job is to act as a personal marketing expert and consultant for buyers and sellers. July of 2015, Marlon was on a family vacation in Miami, Florida. The skyline filled with a vast array of skyscrapers under construction further sparked his interest in real estate. His long-term goal is to become a commercial real estate investor. While also being an avid car lover, Marlon loves to attend drag races and car shows when possible.

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