If you ask anyone why they want to sell their home without the use of a REALTOR® they will typically say they want to save the fees the Sales Associate will earn by selling the property. Referred to as a For Sale By Owner or FSBO, selling a home without professional assistance is certainly legal but there are limitations to what a homeowner can do on their own – limitations that simply do not exist when employing the services of a professional REALTOR®. Let’s look at a few of the issues that can affect a FSBO sale.
No MLS®: As the Multiple Listing Service® is a listing tool available only to licensed REALTORS® a property being sold by its owner will not have access to this unmatched marketing opportunity. Available 24/7 the MLS® service provides Sales Associates with information and insights on properties located within the region and beyond, allowing them to more quickly match properties with qualified buyers.
Dedicated Marketing: Every city and market area will undoubtedly produce special newspaper sections or specialty magazines devoted solely to real estate sales – marketing vehicles used exclusively by real estate sales professionals. Like with the MLS® system FSBO sellers do not have access to these resources – dramatically limiting their property’s exposure to the marketplace.
Accurate Pricing: How much should your home sell for? More often than not FSBO listings are not accurately priced and can therefore linger on the market far longer than correctly evaluated properties. As REALTORS® understand the local market and have access to all recent sales data, they know what price points homes of a specific type or in a select neighborhood go for. An amateur home seller will not have this information as recent sales data is not available to the public.
Legal Complexities: A home sale is a complex process with a great deal of paperwork, legal obligations and protocols to follow. A sales professional is trained and experienced in navigating and in demystifying this myriad of documents for their clients. When you go it alone this backstop is not available.
Home Showings: When a professional markets your property they will organize showings, with prospective buyers and what is even more significant, showings to other REALTORS®. Referred to as a Tour of Homes, by allowing other professionals to see your home they will dramatically improve the chances of it selling quickly as a larger pool of Sales Associates will have personal knowledge of your property.
Qualified Prospects: Before conducting a private showing of your home a sales professional will qualify the potential buyer, which separates the serious buyers from the legions of tire kickers out there who just like to view other people’s property. Pre-screening improves the chances of finding the right buyer, willing to pay the right price. A FSBO listing does not have access to that important segment of the market.
In all aspects of life, from home repairs, to car maintenance, to selling a home, there is a real difference between doing it yourself or in hiring a professional. If you decide to take the DIY approach to selling your home, and you don’t receive the results you’d expected, you can always call a REALTOR®. They’re there to help, just give them a call.