The main reason most sellers would choose to forego the assistance of a professional real estate agent is to save on the commissions that would otherwise have to be paid. Sure, this bill can cost in the thousands of dollars, so sellers may want to keep that money in their pockets by marketing and selling their own properties.
The truth is, the money spent on these services provides a lot of value in return. In fact, much of that value can translate into a lot of money actually saved at the end of the day. Many of these services simply cannot be performed adequately without proper training and experience in the realm of real estate.
Before you decide to go the FSBO route, be sure to consider the following reasons why you should think twice.
1. It’s Time-Consuming
Selling your home isn’t as easy as planting a For Sale sign on the front lawn and slapping up a few images online. There is a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes in order to effectively market a property. Given the heavy competition out there, you want to be sure that as many buyers see your home as possible, but without effective marketing, your listing could get lost in the pile.
When it comes to selling property, the amount of time that it takes to get your home ready to be shown, showing the home at any given moment with little notice, making follow-up calls, handling open houses, negotiating the sale, getting the paperwork ready, and seeing the sale through takes up a ton of time that you just might not have.
2. Pricing Your Home Right Can Be Tough
The most important component to selling a home is its listing price. If it's too high, you'll scare off buyers and end up with a stale listing. If you price to low, you will be doing nothing but leaving money on the table. Getting the price right is crucial when selling real estate. The thing is, price is not some random number that you pull out of the sky. It's strategically chosen based on careful examination of recently sold listings in the area.
It's not uncommon for homeowners to think their home is worth more than it actually is. A professional real estate agent with experience in properly pricing homes will know your local real estate market and will be able to pull reports with recently sold listings. This will help them find the "sweet spot" when establishing a listing price that will attract buyers and get you the most money for your home.
3. There is a Ton of Paperwork
The paperwork that's usually involved in selling real estate is extremely lengthy and complex. Without previous experience in this industry, looking at the documents that have to be filled out can seem like they're written in a foreign language. And considering the fact that this is a contract that you are legally binding yourself to, it's imperative that you ensure it's all accurate before you seal the deal. If at any point a FSBO decides to bail on the DIY route and enlist the help of a professional real estate agent, it's usually at this time.
4. Negotiating Can Be a Real Challenge
Considering this is your home which you've likely become very fond of and have built memories in, you probably have an emotional connection and attachment to it. As such, the negotiations can become pretty awkward and even heated given these feelings you have for your home. It can be tough to see a buyer come in with a low offer, which you may assume means they have little regard for your home. While this may be a home to you, it's just another house to the buyer.
The negotiations are best left to a neutral third party - a real estate agent - who will be able to remove any emotions from the table while getting you the price that you deserve for your home given the current real estate market. In addition, these experts have plenty of experience negotiating, so they'll be much more likely to get you a higher price for your home than if you had gone it alone.
5. You'll Lack MLS Exposure
We all know the importance of advertising when it comes to selling real estate, and while there are some tools available for FSBO sellers, they pale in comparison to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
This online marketing platform is hands down the most effective way to advertise properties for sale. Every licensed agent in your area will see it and will be notified when a listing comes up that matches their clients’ requirements.
Rather than take the FSBO route, enlist the help of a professional real estate agent instead who will help you get a lot more for your home and will help you avoid making costly mistakes.
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