You see a house as you’re driving through your neighborhood. Out on the front lawn, you see a sign reading “For Sale By Owner”, and you wonder, “What does that even mean?”. Keep reading to find out!
The term “for sale by owner”, or otherwise known as FSBO, is a home that is being sold directly by the homeowner rather than going through a real estate agent. There are a couple of benefits to this; however, there are some downsides as well. One benefit is that the homeowner doesn’t have to pay a commission on the sale of his or her home. The downside to this is that the homeowner is now responsible for all of the detailed work (such as deep cleaning, repainting, etc.) that is involved in selling their home.
If you are experienced in purchasing, selling, or marketing a home, then this may end up being an easier option for you. However, if you have no experience whatsoever, or if you have no time to do it yourself, choose the easier route, and get an agent! It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Making any mistakes when it comes to selling your home on your own can lead to serious consequences, both financially and legally.
There are a number of things that could go wrong if you decide to go this route. One of the most important things to do in an FSBO transaction is to get the house perfectly up to standards and have the proper price tag attached to it. Many people overlook what is defined as “true cleanliness”, only cleaning what they see and not deep-cleaning. It also has to look well-maintained, which means all appliances have to be in great, if not outstanding, conditions. The home also needs to be appealing to the buyer, so the homeowner might have to remodel the whole house! What the homeowner might see as appealing may be undesirable to the majority of people looking at it (which will ultimately lead to the house being of lesser value). A FSBO home needs to also be compared to other houses for sale near it or be in line with other homes that have similar prices.
Marketing is another factor that gets people in trouble when trying to sell their home by themselves. A lot of times, it is never enough just to stick a sign on the front lawn and call the home “advertised”. A homeowner needs to set up a network of friends, neighbors, different community groups, and real estate agents who work with people looking for homes to give the property more publicity. The homeowner also needs to come up with a detailed description of their home, along with the most desirable features, good-quality photos of each of the rooms, and any other details necessary (make sure it is also well-worded!). Once the description is finished completely, they need to post it online on several home-selling websites (i.e. Zillow, Craigslist, FSBO.com, Trulia, etc.). Many homeowners fail at this either because they get overwhelmed with everything, or they simply don’t have the time to get everything done.
Another thing that homeowners struggle with when selling a FSBO home is that they don’t get the proper contacts. Homeowners need to know all of the state laws regarding full disclosure on their property. If done in the wrong way, homeowners could potentially face a lawsuit if the buyer suspects fraud in any way. A poorly-written contract could also cost the homeowner lots of time and money, so they would need to hire a real estate attorney to draft the contracts for them, or they could buy their own forms at FSBO.com. However, the reason people have a hard time with this is because of either a lack of time or not wanting to get real estate agents involved (which is a pretty bad idea, especially if they might get a potential lawsuit). Click here to read our tips for finding the best real estate agent in town!
Though a homeowner might want to sell their property without having to pay real estate agencies to do it for them, it could still cost the seller in the long run. They will still need professional insight on contracts and help with other parts of the process if they want things to go smoothly. There are some agents who are willing to consult these homeowners for a small fee. Real estate attorneys help with contracts and other legal items for the sale. Some agents work as transaction agents (meaning they don’t represent either party, but they are still there to make sure the transaction is done properly and in accordance with state laws). The only way to get a transaction agent is to contact different real estate offices. No matter what the FSBO homeowner wants when it comes to avoiding real estate agencies, there is no way of getting around it. They will have to contact one eventually.
As you can see, if you are thinking of trying to sell your home by yourself, take this advice: save yourself the time and trouble and contact a real estate agent to help you sell your home. Yes, it may have commission costs, but it’s hassle-free, and it is truly the easiest way to get your house on the market. There is also less risk of any legal issues arising. Contact Accel Realty Partners and let us show you what we do best! Our job is to do whatever we can to make the experience as seamless as possible.
Want to sell your home ASAP? Click here to read our blog filled with tips for listing your home during the Summer!
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