You are hearing all over the news that the housing market is going nuts in our area! People are getting multiple offers left and right and it’s the best time to sell your home. All of these statements are true, but that doesn’t mean you should sell your home on your own because of it.
There is so much more to selling a home than your bottom line. It’s been proven that homeowners net more when they use a real estate broker vs For Sale By Owner (FSBO). I know this from experience and there is one sale I was involved with which took the cake when it came to this very subject.
I was newer in the business and a family friend gave me a chance at selling her home. I was tech savvy before I got into real estate so my marketing skills were pretty impressive for being new. I had professional photography done and had many open houses, which did produce a ton of traffic, and… Offers!
I also knew her price was ambitious. I tried to convince her that the market was still down and the market dictated her price, but she wouldn’t listen. We priced it high and we were getting showings because it was super cute and a very desirable area, but it was also 2010.
We went thru a few price reductions and then we finally got an offer. It was still decent and higher than I had originally told her she should list. I was happy that she finally got an offer because her goal was to move to Canada to be with her new boyfriend. She was so happy to get up there I wanted to help her make that happen.
Once she had an opportunity to look at the contract she noticed who the buyer was. It was a women who had tried to offer to purchase her home before she even called me to list it. According to my seller she was not nice and she didn’t like her and couldn’t imagine her living in her home. I started to panic because I could see where this was going and I couldn’t believe it.
I tried to explain to her that it shouldn’t matter who the buyer is, money is money, speech. She was not hearing any of what I had to say. She wouldn’t even respond to the offer or counter. I had to have the embarrassing conversation with the other broker as to why she wasn’t accepting her offer or responding to it.
At this point you’re probably wondering where the FSBO comes in. After that she decided to cancel the listing and told me she wasn’t going to sell for a while. She would think about renting it out so she could get to Canada sooner.
Two days later I happened to drive by her place and it was listed as a For Sale By Owner. She raised the price from the last price reduction we had already had on the market. I couldn’t find it advertised online at all and I didn’t bother to buy a newspaper because I haven’t looked at one in years. She tried to use my photos on her flyer’s, but because she didn’t have the full resolution copy, they didn’t look very good.
A few weeks go by and I happen to be checking the hot sheet and there is her listing. She had given up on the FSBO and decided to list it with another brokerage. I watched the price go down as it sat for months on the market. It eventually got an offer and ended up closing for a whopping $40,000 less than the first offer I brought her that she rejected because she didn’t want that particular person to live in her home.
I hate to break it to homeowners out there, the second you list your home for sale, it is no longer your home… Wrap that thought around your head before you decide to list your home. It is a very personal and emotional decision and I want to make sure that everyone is 100% on board with selling their homes.
Beside the fact that you could lose out on thousands of dollars, here are 5 more reasons why you shouldn’t go the For Sale By Owner route when selling your home.
1) So many people to negotiate with:
Here are just a few of the people you might have to negotiate with
A) The Buyer who wants the best deal possible
B) The Buyer’s broker who represents the buyer only. Not YOU!
C) The home inspection company. Again this is paid for the by the buyer, therefore it’s their property. They don’t have to give you the report whether they buy your home or not.
D) The appraiser
E) The rest of the people to communicate with: Attorney’s, Escrow Closers, Title Company’s, etc.
2) FSBO’ing has become more difficult:
The paperwork involved has increased dramatically over the years. Where a one page contract used to get your home sold properly, now has turned into 20 + pages. These forms and addendum are also constantly changing. It’s challenging enough for me to keep up with the changes to the forms and this is my full time job.
3) Do you even know what a Seller’s Disclosure Statement is?
State law requires all homeowners who sell their homes to fill out a Seller’s Disclosure Statement. If you don’t and the buyer finds a material defect that you didn’t disclose, even after closing, you risk getting sued and have to pay damages. The paperwork is the easy part, but keeping up with all the laws involved with selling a home is another full time job. Its best to leave it to the professionals.
3) Are you prepared to show your home to perspective Buyer’s?
Real estate brokers care about your safety first and foremost when it comes to selling your home. We know that strangers will be entering your home and we take that very seriously. Are you prepared to prequalify these strangers? Do you know what questions you should ask the buyer to know if they are a ready and willing buyer? Do you have a plan for is something goes wrong during a showing? These are things that most homeowners forget to think about when selling their home on their own.
4) Marketing Strategies are harder than you think:
In order to sell your home today takes more than a newspaper article and a sign in your yard. You must be able to know how to capture the right buyer for your home. Buyer's are first looking online for at least 6 months before they ever contact anyone about buying a home. Their first point of contact is usually a real estate broker because they are looking to us for advice and the knowledge of the process. If you don't know how to navigate the Internet, you won't be very successful in capturing all the buyers you could be.
5) It’s just too stressful:
I know what I do on a daily basis and I know it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s hard to separate yourself from your home. I am a professional and when I sold my own home I became seller-zilla! It was horrible, but I realized how stressful that process really is. You really can’t put a price on your sanity. I’m not saying that you won’t be stressed, because moving in itself is stressful, but allow me to focus on the stress parts. The only thing a seller should be thinking about is their next chapter and the reason why they are selling in the first place. People sell their homes for many reasons, but it’s usually a pretty significant life change. That’s why you’re moving.
If you have thought about selling your home For Sale By Owner, I hope that some of this has reached you. I would love to chat with you to discuss your options, whether you list with me or not, I can help you be a little more successful with your FSBO and maybe we can even help with open houses!