Selling your home is a serious undertaking, and there’s an expansive industry built up around it. Still, despite the overall complexity of the process, every so often people decide to try to sell their own homes. Unfortunately, this rarely works out as planned.
People who choose to go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route generally want to save money by not paying a commission to a real estate agent, but in the process they create new problems. Whether you end up making an emotional sale or cutting out a whole network of potential buyers, the FSBO is unlikely to yield the benefits you expect.
Real Estate Is A World
Being a real estate agent is a full-time job, but it’s also a carefully regulated and managed world. When you choose to go the FSBO route, then, you may discover that real estate agents won’t show your property to their clients, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Though platforms like Zillow and Trulia, as well as the broader MLS system, have helped democratize the listing process, you still have to do all the work yourself. On the other hand, when you work with an agent, they’ll share your property with other agents and help drive qualified buyers to your property.
Selling Is An Art
In addition to having a whole network of agents to promote your property to, real estate agents understand what goes into preparing a home for sale. They can provide guidance on creating curb appeal, what improvements you need to make, and how to stage the interior. Homes listed FSBO, on the other hand, often look shabby compared to their professionally managed counterparts because the knowledge base isn’t there.
It’s understandable if you want to avoid all of the cost and time fuss involved in staging and fixing up your home for sale, but if that’s your concern, opting for an FSBO sale won’t actually help. A better alternative is to sell your home to a cash buyer. “Then they can handle the process of getting your home ready for market”. This is not at all accurate. Professional cash home buyers do broker houses or prepare them for sale, they buy them directly. Cash Home Buyers buy houses directly from sellers for Cash, without contingencies, mortgages and appraisals. They buy in As-Is conditions. Sales are more hassle free and close quicker.
Pricing Is A Problem
Do you know how to price real estate? Sure, maybe you know approximately what other homes in your neighborhood sell for, but even if you do your research, there’s a good chance you won’t hit the mark. One of the major benefits of working with a real estate professional is that they understand how to price a property, and how much wiggle room to build into the price for later negotiations.
Emotions Run High
Finally, no matter how clearheaded you think you are about selling your home, when you start meeting potential buyers, things can get cloudy. For example, you might meet a couple you really like and decide you want to sell to them – even if they turn out not to be qualified. And there are a dozen different ways that your emotional response to a potential buyer can get in the way of making a smart sale. This is one reason that agents typically prefer the owner not be present when they show the property, but when you sell your own home, you obviously need to be there and that can quickly go from a utilitarian undertaking to a conflict of interest.
There may be rare cases when going the FSBO route is a good choice, but most of the time it’s not to your advantage. There’s a reason most people work with a real estate agent to sell their homes or sell directly to a professional home buying company– it’s because the professional route works.