In reality, selling homes isn’t easy – and many have learned the hard way that the notion that homes practically “sell themselves” is rarely, if ever, true.
Before venturing into the FSBO realm, here are a few things to consider.
1. Objectivity. People form sentimental attachments to their homes, which is perfectly understandable. That being said, those personal ties can become a hindrance when it comes time to sell a home. From start to finish in the selling process, people who are emotionally connected to that property can struggle when it comes to making objective decisions. Which brings us to…
2. Price. Most know that listing at the right price is critical – but how do you determine that price? Emotions and pride of ownership aside, what is the true market value of your home? Some make the mistake of taking a quick survey of properties in the neighbourhood, or simply coming up with a number that they want. The reality is that most individuals do not have the tools to accurately determine market value, and the approach of ‘testing’ the market with an inflated price can prove very costly. A Realtor can evaluate specialized data and make appropriate value adjustments based upon a Comparative Market Analysis, coming up with true market value and a related pricing strategy.
3. Staging. At the very least, most homes need a freshening up before they go on the market for sale. But how much should a seller invest in time, energy and money on Staging? Some do too little, while others over-invest in Staging efforts that won’t reap financial rewards.
4. Marketing. You’ve got a sign on your lawn and perhaps your listing is online; now what? Without a formal marketing strategy to sell your home, you’re shooting in the dark. And without a breakdown of your marketing and advertising efforts and costs, it’s virtually impossible to measure their success.
5. Exposure. A significant downside to selling your home FSBO is the lack of exposure you’ll gain. Going it alone, you won’t be able to take advantage of an agent tour, where agents network and preview properties. Getting agents interested in your property translates into one very important thing: buyer interest.
6. Limited buyer interest. A percentage of prospective buyers won’t be interested in a home that is For Sale By Owner. They may question the claims of an unrepresented seller who, after all, is not bound by the ethical obligations of a Realtor. Buyers that are represented by an agent may balk at your property, believing that the seller should pay fees.
7. Showings. Some people think showing a home is easy, but it’s not easy to do well.
Knowing when (and when not) to offer commentary is important – as is the ability to detect buyer interest signals. Speaking of buyers, can you pre-qualify prospects to distinguish the serious buyers from the tire-kickers? If not, you may find what others have experienced – that a lot of time can be wasted on showing your home to people who are not serious. Last but not least, ask yourself if you have the flexibility to show your home often and potentially on very short notice.
8. Negotiating. Negotiating terms of sale is complicated and stressful and emotionally charged. For some, negotiating may come naturally; others struggle with this critical aspect of selling a home.
9. Time on Market. Homes marketed FSBO do not sell as quickly as their counterparts in the real estate market. Keeping a home in show-ready condition, being ready to show the house on short notice, and dealing with offers and negotiations – it can be very stressful for sellers. And all that aside, the financial repercussions can be significant – homes can become stigmatized as somehow unsellable.
10. Legal issues. Real estate transactions are extremely complex. Are you aware of the importance of disclosures, privacy issues and other serious matters that can result in legal action? Realtors are – and we are bound to act in the best financial interests of our clients.
So there you have it: 10 things to consider about selling your home For Sale By Owner. Could the strategy still work for you?