It can be tempting to go FSBO, or selling For Sale By Owner, to save thousands of dollars of your hard-earned equity on commission fees. But there is a huge difference between selling your home yourself and hiring a Realtor. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, less than 10% of FSBO sellers actually succeed without the help of a real estate agent.
Yes, I am a real estate agent. And yes, I will ultimately tell you that you should always hire a Realtor instead of going FSBO. But there are several reasons why you should never attempt For Sale By Owner.
Mistake #1: The For Sale By Owner Sign
A go-to sign for many FSBO home sellers is the one that you see in many stores. It has no other way of standing out. If there is a phone number, it has likely been handwritten in permanent marker, which starts to fade after a short time. When the phone number disappears, there is no way for an interested buyer to contact the FSBO home seller.
The Fix: As a FSBO home seller, you have limited access to the pool of home buyers looking for properties in the Denver, NC area, so you will have to set the price of your home extremely low to attract any interest. However, listing your home for a flat fee allows you to take advantage of the MLS — and the buyers who are searching online.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Marketing Plan
Sentimental value puts homeowners at a tremendous disadvantage when selling their own homes. You put more worth into your home because you own it. But once you put your FSBO sign (hopefully not the one that every other FSBO seller is using!) in your front yard, your home becomes a commodity.
The value of your home now depends on supply and demand, and you need to market its full value to interested home buyers in the Denver, NC area. After all, there is plenty of competition, even in your own community.
The Fix: Consider listing your home for a flat fee to take advantage of cutting-edge marketing. Don't forget to price your home correctly!
Mistake #3: Not Responding Quickly to Buyers
Buyers are shopping for their next home online, and they are quickly sending out emails and phone calls to multiple properties. If you wait a few days before responding, your potential buyer may have found another home.
The Fix: Respond as soon as possible to a call or email. You never know if it's a potential buyer for your home.
Mistake #4: Not Preparing Your Home
Any real estate agent knows that home buyers expect to walk into a clean, decluttered, depersonalized, and well-maintained home. If your yard has weeds growing in it or if your windows need cleaning, a buyer will not think twice about moving on to see another home.
The Fix: Focus on making inexpensive home improvements that really pay off, like painting the walls a neutral color, polishing door handles, and cleaning baseboards and other surfaces.
Mistake #5: Not Negotiating on the Terms
Unlike Realtors, FSBO sellers are not used to negotiating during the real estate transaction, especially about issues such as earnest money, possession agreements (the date the buyer will take possession of your home), and inspection dates. When selling your home yourself, it's your job to understand when something can be negotiated.
The Fix: Market your home with me, Michael White. As a marketing professional who specializes in real estate, I will review your offers, negotiate the terms, and keep your best interests in mind.
Mistake #6: Not Disclosing Certain Issues
The Seller's Disclosure is given to a buyer to let them know about any problems or defects in the home. If you don't provide this crucial form, you could get sued.
The Fix: By listing your home with me, I will handle the paperwork and negotiations involved in a home sale.
Are There FSBO Success Stories in Denver, NC?
While you may have heard of home sellers in the Denver, North Carolina area who have gone FSBO, you should keep in mind that the average home sold by the owner sells for $210,000, while the average home sold with a real estate agent sells for nearly $250,000.
Most For Sale By Owner sellers want to save money when selling their homes. But if you account for the $40,000 lost on average, and for the money you spend on the FSBO sign, any flyers you create, and any attorneys or other professionals you hire to help you negotiate a contract and inspect your home, you will end up losing thousands of dollars to sell your home yourself.
I Can Help You Sell for More Money
If you are selling your home and think you can save money without a real estate agent partnering with you, you can certainly try to be the 10% of successful FSBO sellers.
But remember, a Realtor has your best interests in mind, and takes care of all the stressful details — like contracts and real estate market trends — so you don't have to. Talk with me about what I will do to sell your home. Give me a call and we can schedule a time to discuss everything.