Is 'For Sale By Owner' a Good Idea?


Every year, thousands of homeowners pound a hefty “For Sale” sign in their front lawn in hopes of selling their own homes without representation primarily to bypass agent commissions and to pocket the “extra” money for themselves.


In the real estate industry, these folks are referred to as “For Sale by Owner” or FIZZBO.


Is FIZZBO a good idea?


There are instances when a FSBO approach works well for the Seller. But beware: FSBO is no walk in the park.


In 2017, Zillow reported that approximately 36% of home sales began as FSBO. However, only about 11% actually completed a transaction by themselves. In other words, more than two-thirds of sellers who try FSBO fail.


And what about saving on those commissions? On average, a home listed by an agent nets 6% higher proceeds than its neighboring FSBO.


So, before you decide to forgo representation, understand what you’re giving up. The duties of professional listing agents include:


Assisting with the Legal Aspects of Selling a home and Securing Appropriate Paperwork.


Real estate transactions laws vary from state to state. Your real agents is well-versed in providing the necessary forms and paperwork to keep the Seller’s interests safe during a transaction that can involve hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Preparing the Home for Sale.


No property is perfect. An agent casts an objective, even critical eye over your home. She may suggest pre-listing inspections for your home and provide advice for addressing any issues that are uncovered prior to listing your home. These inspections can not only save time and money. In some cases, addressing issues before coming to market ensures a smooth sale of a home. A qualified agent can help decipher home reports and guide a seller in making repairs as needed.


Staging the Home.


Your agent should help you prepare your home for listing. Many professionals offer staging services to ensure that your home is ready for its close-up.


Helping the Seller Set a Realistic Price.


A professional knows how to interpret comps, or recent comparable sales, and recent sales patterns in your specific neighborhood. Homeowners may inadvertently price a home too high based on their personal perceptions of the property and upgrades or too low based upon a misunderstanding of neighborhood sales comps. An objective analysis is crucial to the appropriate listing and marketing of a property.


Marketing is Crucial in Today’s Environment!


Marketing is critical in today’s market. A potential buyer looks at a house online for just seven seconds before swiping to the next one. It’s vital that your home stands out to the intended audience. Your listing agent should provide high quality photos, virtual tours, open houses and outstanding marketing through many channels.


A listing agent has a variety of tools and trusted partners at his/her disposal to show your home in its best light. Your agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which markets your home not just on the MLS, but feeds more than 140 sites including Redfin, Zillow and Trulia.


Facilitating Home Showings.


Your agent is the primary organizer and point of contact for home showings. Many online apps, which are available to other agents in the MLS, simply this process and allow the home to be seen more easily by eager buyers.


Facilitating Negotiations.


Your agent also receives prospective buyers’ offers and acts as an intermediary in negotiations. With a Seller’s best interests in mind, an agent will look carefully through any purchase offer to discuss the next best course of action. Many subtleties exist in an offer. An experienced agent is an important guide in the process.


Assisting with the Closing Process.


A myriad of paperwork and details exist in the during the escrow and closing process. A qualified listing agent works with a trusted transaction coordinator to be sure that all the paperwork is filed correctly and on time.


Do you have other questions about your listing your home? I am always available to discuss the current market and to meet your needs.


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