You’re thinking of selling your home without a listing agent. It doesn’t seem that hard, right? You’re in the mood to take pictures, you know how to get it on the MLS, or you can even just post online, and you’re sure buyers will come running to you with offers. After all, who wouldn’t want to save 1.5-3% in potential commissions by selling without a listing agent?
While some people have the time and experience to sell without an agent effectively, it’s no surprise that most FSBO home sales fail. The percentage of US homes sold by owners has seen a steady decline.
Here are the 10 Reasons Why You Should Think Twice before Selling On Your Own
1. Too Much Time Required
Selling as an FSBO requires a lot of time, from staging the property, taking magazine-worthy pictures, to getting the descriptions down and marketing it right. Not to mention spending time for property showings, entertaining, and talking to people and agents who may or may not take you seriously. There’s just a lot of time and effort involved in doing it independently.
2. Cost-saving… NOT!
The idea that selling-by-owner saves you money is not always true. In reality, you would more often than not spend a lot of money upfront without guaranteeing any return. On the other hand, Listing agents spend a calculated amount of money to make sure a listing sells and ultimately pay both you and themselves fairly.
3. Savings On Commission…NOT!
On average, homes sold by agents get $295,000 compared to $217,900 for FSBO. When you find the right agent, they will price your property to get the most money in the shortest time, a combination that can mean 10-30% more net profit. Compare this to the 1.5-3% savings in listing commissions when you sell FSBO and reconsider when making your decision.
4. High Risk and High Actual Costs
When you use a listing agent rather than FSBO, and the agent spends thousands but can’t sell it for the price you want, they lose the dough, not you. Listing agents do not charge anything upfront to sell your home; This is perhaps one of the most incredible things about using an agent.
5. Perception of FSBO Sellers not being serious
Most buyers think that FSBO sellers are not serious about selling their properties and are just in it to test the market or see if they can get some far-fetched price. They are often not taken seriously in the real estate community because they may seem not to know the value of representation by an agent or broker.
6. Marketing on your own
Doing marketing on your own can be daunting. You might be ready to post your home on Facebook and Craigslist a few times, but you don’t have the ultimate home selling tool – the MLS. The multiple listing service can be accessed by licensed real estate agents and is the way to get your home listed on sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia. Additionally, if you were to post to your home directly on Zillow as a FSBO it goes into the category of “Other Listings” and many home searchers don’t know to look there.
You’d want to get your home listed on these platforms and in the right area because most buyers begin their searches here. Of course, you would like your home to be seen by as many buyers as possible. It’s no surprise that homes sold via FSBO have seen a steady decline as online real estate has become the norm.
7. Liability you might not be prepared for
When you sell your home without an agent, mistakes you make can cost you significantly. Agents have something called E&O (Errors & Omissions) Insurance. This provision protects them when mistakes are made in contracts.
8. Prone to Agent Boycott/Sabotage
Agents often see FSBO sellers as easy marks to negotiate against. For one, they control the buyer/offer and can arrange their commission. Secondly, they can pick your property and price apart because they have the expertise to do so. The chance of them dealing with you again is slim to none, so they don’t need to worry about unfairly treating you. In most cases, they will simply ignore your listing altogether to avoid the hassle.
When you decide to sell your home yourself, this might appear to other agents that you don’t trust and understand their value in a multi-billion dollar industry.
9. Pricing Incorrectly
When selling your home FSBO, the worst mistake you can make is pricing it incorrectly. Incorrect pricing can affect your days on the market and your final sale price.
Price it too high, and fewer people see it, resulting in more occasional offers. Price it too low, and you might give off the wrong impression that something is wrong with the property or that you are desperate to sell.
10. Low Ballers are highly attracted to you
Investors and low-ballers may see you as inexperienced and ignorant and use this to their advantage when you sell FSBO. What may seem like a lot to you may be a steal to them, and you won’t even know. An experienced agent will understand this and negotiate the most money possible for you.
Selling FSBO may have worked for some people and may work for you if you are determined and ready to face the demands of FSBO. But if the items listed above gave you the slightest doubt about making it, reconsider and give yourself the peace of mind you deserve. There are other alternatives available that can make your life easier. Everhome streamlines the processes to help sellers get the best out of their selling experience. Read here about the ten ways Everhome can help you make top dollars fast.