Homeowners believe they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own, and while that may be true, studies have also show that homeowners net more money when using a trusted real estate agent to sell their home. According to NAR, the typical FSBO home sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales in 2016.
Agents are fully equipped with real estate knowledge, experience, and tools that allow them to get their clients more money through the art of negotiation, effective marketing tools, access to a larger marketplace and qualified buyers.
Like previously mentioned, FSBOs typically sell for less. But why?
One reason is it does not have the exposure of being marketed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of houses and properties available for sale. Only licensed agents have access to the multi-listing service or you could pay the flat rate of listing your home, which ranges between $500-$1000. Eighty-nine percent of home buyers bought with an agent in 2017. Pre-qualified buyers are searching for homes with their agents online – they aren’t out driving around looking for ‘FOR SALE’ signs in yards.
Most people don’t understand the amount of time and effort that goes into selling a home and to try to do that in addition to your regular full-time job, can be exhausting and stressful. It can be difficult to properly stage your home, set up an inspection, manage phone calls to schedule showings that accommodate the potential buyers’ schedules as well as yours. Typically, the average FSBO should expect to spend at least 10+ hours showing and marketing their home per week. If you can’t commit at least 10 hours a week, FSBO is not your best option.
If you are in a time crunch, then FSBO is definitely not for you either. Agents have the tools and programs that will quickly get your home listed and in front of as many eyes as possible. Agents also have access to qualified buyers – which can save A LOT of time. The FSBO seller is on their own for requesting financial statements and verifying credibility for potential buyers.
There are tactics and negotiation points that an experienced agent will use in negotiating besides just price. Repairs to the house, lawn maintenance, and even additions can be negotiated almost entirely outside the price discussion. For every negotiating point, there is a tactic to handle it and a real estate agent will be able to navigate negotiating much better than a non-experienced FSBO seller.
When you go to sell your home, you aren’t likely thinking about the legalities and potential liability issues that need to be carefully handled when working with a potential buyer. For example, if the home sells while something requires work or repairs and the responsibility is not clearly stated in the contract, you may quickly find out that you are on the hook for the cost to fix the issue. Realtors have their clients best interest in mind and look for irregularities or loopholes in the contracts that a typical FSBO seller might not catch.
Choosing to do FSBO or go with the knowledge and experience of a trusted real estate agent depends on how motivated you are to take on the process yourself. It’s a lot to take on and can be done, but a real estate agent would provide a level of experience and expertise that will make it a much more stress-free process, all while having your best interest in mind.