Should You For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

According to the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers here is the data on For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

FSBO accounted for eight percent of home sales in 2015.  The average home sold for $185,000 compared to the average realtor assisted sale price of $240,000

            With the average brokerage fee being 5-6% of the sale price, that leaves those who sold themselves in an attempt to save money somewhere in the hole $43,000 on average.  ($240,000 less 5% left assisted sellers with an net of $228,000 vs the FSBO netting the average sale of $185,000) Not such a good deal after all.

The difficulties faced by individuals trying to sell their properties without an agent were:         

Getting the right price 18%     

Preparing and fixing home the home for sale 13%           

Understanding and performing the paperwork 12%           

Selling within the planned length of time 3%           

Having the time to devote to all the aspects of the sale 3%

The methods used by FSBO to market the home they were selling:         

Did not actively market 41%        

Yard Sign 33%        

Friends, neighbors and relatives 21% 

Open House 21%

Online Classified’s 10% 

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) 13%

Social networking sites like Facebook and twitter 9% 

For Sale By Owner Websites 7%

Print newspaper 3%

Direct mail and or flyers 2%

Video 1%

Preparing, Pricing, Marketing, Showing, Negotiating, Selling and then Closing on the sale aren’t as easy to do as one thinks, nor financially advantages when you really look at all of the data. 

An agent has nearly unlimited resources and access to up to the minute information on the market, the current similar inventory of homes available, the stream (or lack of) buyers at the moment.  Agents are aware of so many factors that will affect the price of a home that someone who isn’t in the industry just cant duplicate.  Setting the price right day one is so important and shouldn’t be taken lightly otherwise your home will literally be the assistant to selling so many similar homes around yours but never be the one being sold.

Agents know how to properly prepare (Stage) a home for showings, marketing and photo / video and at times will call on professional stagers who can add tens of thousands of dollars of value to a property in what it does to the appeal of the property to perspective buyers.  

Marketing and Merchandising

Marketing a property properly requires far more than snapping some blurry photos of a cluttered home and uploading them to a FSBO site and craigslist.  State of the art technology can be employed now to render amazing three-dimensional virtual walk through tours, and fly overs.  Online video brochures and placement of presentations on literally hundreds of site will maximize the exposure and present the most opportunity.   

Showing a home takes time and energy, and knowing how to get the word out to generate the buzz needed to drive qualified buyers to the home is a skill.

Would you like to spend weekend after weekend preparing and then showing your home to people who are no more financially ready to buy nor prepared to.   In an agency with over 400 realtors, and partnered with finance, title and inspection partners, an agent can weed through and present only the most qualified, eager and ready to act customers.

Negotiations for a home aren’t as simple as tossing numbers back and forth, and without the skill and informational background, a seller can cost themselves thousands in this regard or just be stubborn, overpriced and stuck sitting on the home they were trying to sell. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client’s case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.  Top agents negotiate well because, they remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It’s part of their job description.

The paperwork

Today’s purchase contracts can be ten pages or more. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. In some states, lawyers have to handle the paperwork.

In the end you may certainly save yourself 6%, but its being penny wise and pound foolish, the amount you saved will still leave you with far less money than you would have made, will have taken you far longer to sell and put you through far more risk, effort and frustration. 

Like Chris Farley said in the movie “Black Sheep”, you can get a good look at a piece of meat by sticking your head up a cows A**, or you can just take the butchers word for it.