It’s not hard to understand why so many homeowners choose not to work with a professional real estate agent, instead opting to sell their own property. Indeed, by selling your own property, you can save yourself the need to pay real estate commissions. You can also exert a little more control over the whole process. It’s not without its advantages.
In the interest of full disclosure, though, we should note that there are also some potential pitfalls. Please be aware of some of the risks you run when you go the FSBO route.
The first risk you run is that you just won’t get the kind of exposure you need to sell the home. A professional real estate agent will be able to hook you up with an MLS listing, and share details about your property through other channels. FSBO sellers won’t always have access to these channels. There’s much you can do to market but be aware that you probably won’t get the same kind of exposure you would if you went through an agent.
The Wrong Pricing
When it comes to getting your house sold, there’s nothing more important than getting the correct list price. There’s a real science to it, and most agents have it down. When selling your own property, you run the risk that you either overprice your home (and thus miss buyers) or undervalue it (and thus leave money on the table). If you do opt for the FSBO approach, be very careful about pricing judiciously.
When you try to get your house sold without an agent, you may open yourself up to some legal exposure. Just to give one example, what about disclosure laws? In some states, it’s required that home sellers disclose certain aspects about home maintenance or repair issues. If you don’t do all the paperwork correctly, you could be putting yourself in real danger of a lawsuit. That’s something that an agent will generally be able to shield you from, so be aware of it as you consider the FSBO path.
Something else to be aware of when you sell your own home is that it will require a lot of your time. After all, you have to do everything on your own, from pricing to staging to marketing. And, you have to make yourself available for all showings. This can be a pretty major time sink, and if you have a full-time job outside of the home, it can be pretty inconvenient. One major risk for the FSBO crowd to consider is that the whole process winds up taking more time than you anticipated.
During the process of selling a house, it’s pretty common for maintenance issues to arise. You may find yourself needing to find an electrician, a plumber, a painter, or a general contractor to help with some of the problems that come up; you’ll probably need them to be expedient in their work, and you’ll definitely want them to be affordable. The thing is, good contractors can be hard to find, and there’s always the risk that you pick someone whose services aren’t up to par. This can stall the entire process of selling a house. A real estate agent will have local connections, and be able to recommend you some trustworthy vendors.
Finally, the biggest risk you run when you decide to sell your own property is simply that, for whatever reason, you just can’t get it sold; this may be the result of bad pricing, insufficient marketing, or something else altogether. It may send you back to square one, deciding to work with a traditional agent or a flat-fee broker after all, which can be a little frustrating if you’ve already invested a lot of your time into the FSBO process.
The Best Way to Get Your House Sold
Be aware of both the advantages and the risks of selling your own home… and, grab all the information you can before making a decision about how you’ll list. Your SOLD.com seller’s report awaits you, completely free. Request your copy today and get individualized house selling tips.