For Sale By Owner

Only 9% of all seller’s who list their homes “For Sale By Owner” (“FSBO”) actually sell their homes. What happens to the other 91%? They usually pull the home from the market or hire a Realtor. Why is it so hard for sellers to sell their homes without a Realtor?

  1. FSBO’s can’t list their home in the MLS. FSBO’s cannot list their homes on the MLS because they are permitted to access and use the multiple listing service (MLS). The MLS is an industry membership organization which is only available to licensed real estate brokers and agents. FSBOs are also locked out of many home search engines and Web sites, including HAR and Realtor.com to name a few. Sure, a determined FSBO can put a for-sale sign in their front yard and run an ad in the local newspaper or Craigslist, but the home won’t receive nearly as much exposure as it would through the MLS. Why? Almost all home buyers begin their search on the internet now.
  2. Agents don’t show FSBO homes. Since a buyer’s agent receives a percentage of the commission that the seller pays the listing agent, a buyer’s agent won’t get paid on an FSBO. Even if a FSBO offers to pay the buyer’s side of the commission, most agents find it extremely difficult to deal with an inexperienced, self-represented seller across the table. That means the pool of potential buyers for FSBO homes is limited primarily to unrepresented and probably unqualified prospects.
  3. FSBOs usually overprice their home. Most FSBOs price their home much higher than comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Usually, they’re wrong. A Realtor can provide accurate comparables and market conditions to assist in assessing the likely selling price range of the home and tips for improving the home’s buyer appeal. Overpricing a for-sale home is a sure way to deter potential buyers.
  4. Buyers will feel intimidated. Potential buyers spend less time in a for-sale home if the owner is present during the showing. They are also uncomfortable discussing the home with their own agent if the owner is present. Buyers are also less inclined to make an offer when negotiating directly with the seller.
  5. FSBOs are may stumble into legal trouble. Real estate transactions are fraught with potential liability at every turn for sellers, particularly in states that have extensive disclosure requirements, like Texas and California. A FSBO who overlooks even one required form or legally mandated disclosure could face a an expensive buyer lawsuit after the transaction closes. It happens. 

So, that’s 5 great reasons to not sell the home yourself! And here are 20 reasons why you should list with a Realtor!

  1. A NAR survey of recent closed sellers found that Realtor-assisted sales brought in 20% more sales price than For Sale By Owner sales.
  2. A recent NAR survey found that only 9% of sellers nationally ended up selling by owner. Most sellers who spend their time as a “For Sale By Owner” end up by listing in the end. Why spend your time and money if in the end you will hire a Realtor?
  3. I orchestrate the contract-to-closing process, including the appraisal, buyer-loan process, title, inspections, pest control, survey, etc., taking this burden off of you.
  4. I make sure that you are compliant with all laws relating to the sale of your home.
  5. Most buyers use a Realtor, which increases the number of buyers who will see your home.
  6. Homes are bought by comparison. I have a large inventory at my disposal through MLS while you have an inventory of one.
  7. Additional exposure that I provide through the MLS and the Internet brings you a higher price and quicker sale. The MLS has over a million viewers a month and I syndicate your listing to every major internet website available (including my own).
  8. I am very familiar with competitive houses so I can help you price and position your home aggressively.
  9. It is hard negotiating for yourself. I have lots of experience in writing contracts and can negotiate aggressively on your behalf.
  10. Buyers are not always forthright about their financial situation. I insist on pre-qualifying them before I even bring you an offer
  11. My lender contacts and mortgage experience help buyers get the financing they need
  12. Most buyers don’t want to tell the seller why they don’t make an offer. I can probe the buyer or his agent for that information.
  13. Personality conflicts with a buyer can get in the way. I come between the buyer and the seller so that personalities don’t enter in.
  14. I can mobilize my company agents and other area Realtors® on your behalf.
  15. A FSBO sign makes you vulnerable for any curiosity seeker or unsavory character. When you list, only buyers accompanied by a REALTOR will get into your home.
  16. Being accessible to show your home limits your personal time and cuts down the available showing time. When you list your home with me, your property will be available during normal showing hours and the prospect will always be accompanied by me or another Realtor.
  17. I can showcase your improvements better so that you don’t appear like you are “selling.”
  18. Unqualified buyers can tie up your home. I make sure that doesn’t happen.
  19. Any follow up you do with a buyer can be seen as desperation. I follow up as part of my job so that you are not perceived in a compromising light. I will pull the buyers and their agent’s response to pricing, condition and presentation.
  20. I only get paid when I get the job done.