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For Sale By Owner? Pros and Cons

Why do some sellers choose for sale by owner?

(1) No listing commission!

This is the most obvious reason sellers give for choosing the for sale by owner route.

Pro:

  • Clearly sellers envision thousands of dollars in extra cash in their pockets.

Con:

  • However, it doesn’t usually work out that way. Statistics show that as many as 90% of FSBOs eventually list and sell their homes with Realtors. Therefore, the success rate is not high and the process often accomplishes nothing more than delaying a sale.
  • The FSBO sign tells prospective buyers that a seller is not represented and is not paying a listing commission. Therefore, many assume that the seller will accept a lower offer and negotiated accordingly.

(2) More control of the sale process:

Pros:

  • You know your home and your neighborhood better than anyone, so you are in the best position to help the buyers visualize living here and to get excited about the wonderful lifestyle they would have.
  • You can get your home ready at your own pace and rely on your own judgement. After all, you have bought homes before, you can put yourself in the buyers’ shoes and you know best how to make your home look good.
  • You can make the showing process conform to your schedule by setting appointments only when its convenient to you.

Cons:

  • You don’t have a professional to act as a buffer between you and buyers. Since you are emotionally connected to the place that has been your home, that may influence your ability to objectively look at options. Because of that, in negotiations, the dispassionate voice of Realtor who understands the market can often produce better results.
  • If you share your motivation for selling, your time line, the best features of your home and those of your neighborhood with your Realtor, you will receive straight forward advice as to how to maximize you sales price and adhere to your timeline. Therefore, working in partnership with a pro will usually get you where you want to be quicker and with less stress.
  • A Realtor can screen potential buyers and save you from dealing with those who are unqualified, or who make a business of submitting low ball offers.
  • By substituting your judgement for that of a professional Realtor, you may miss opportunities to take little steps to maximize the value of your home. You may omit minor repairs, improvements and staging steps that translate into dollars in an offer. However, you may take other steps that do not translate into dollars at all.
  • An experienced Realtor has marketing knowledge and resources not generally available to sellers. Therefore, he or she is likely to give your home much more exposure than you yourself could. That frequently translates to a quicker sale at a higher sales price.
  • By being represented, you have a professional transaction management system working for you. Therefore, every step is monitored and followed up on. This greatly reduces the risk that a transaction will fail to close.

Share Your Thoughts

Does this analysis make sense to you? Be sure to share your thoughts and ask questions in the comments section.

For sale by owner? Make the decision that’s right for you and your family!

For sale by owner has pros and cons. However, consider that the vast majority of sellers hire a Realtor after a few weeks.

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