Are you planning on selling your home and are considering selling FSBO (for sale by owner)? Thanks to the Internet, you may think selling your home is easier than ever before. Well, at least that is what most Internet-based real estate agents would have us believe. You may just think put a for sale by owner sign in front of the home, list it online, as there are sites who do take for sale by owner listings and sit back and wait for a buyer. There are many reasons that a for sale by owner fails. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are going to be saving in commission. Selling your home by owner can cost you thousands of dollars.
If you are asking yourself if you need a listing agent to sell your home, the answer is YES! Protect yourself from potential liability. There are some factors to consider when deciding if you are going to be selling your home on your own without a Real estate agent.
Who is Going to Qualify the Buyers?
How are you going to qualify a buyer to even view the home? Are you going to be letting unqualified people march through your home? A professional Realtor will qualify a buyer before they even see it. Qualifying a buyer means ensuring that they have the funds to be able to purchase the property. Additionally, if the buyer is going to be obtaining financing, then that buyer needs to be able to produce evidence that they are pre-approved for a mortgage.
Are You Going to Cooperate with Agents?
You better decide this upfront as to whether or not you are going to work with other agents. What this means is that you will offer a buyer’s agent a commission for bringing you a buyer. If you are going to be selling it completely on your own then you may not be offering a commission. Keep in mind a professional Realtor is always working with buyers and may have the perfect buyer for your home.
How Are You Going to Market Your Home?
There are websites that do allow you to market your home on for sale by owner sites. However, if you are not using an agent who is a member of their local board, your home will not be in the MLS. The MLS (multiple listing service) is where agents list the homes with great photos and then those listings get syndicated with third party sites such as Zillow and Redfin.
There are additional marketing tips which include spending the money you are saving on advertising since you did not hire a real estate agent.
What About the Purchase Agreement?
Unsurprisingly many of us think that we are legal experts. Selling a home does, in many ways on the surface of it, not appear to be such a “big deal”. If you have sold a home before, it is easy to assume that you know all of the ins and out. The website you have listed your home is packed with top tips on how easy it is to set up a contract and complete a for sale by owner real estate deal. But, is that the truth?
Writing up your own contract is challenging if you are not a Real Estat professional. Laws vary by state, county, and even city. Some cities require a residential building inspection. Do you know about disclosures and what a seller needs to tell the buyer about the home?
Who Is Going To Show Your Home?
Legal considerations are perhaps the biggest concern to many homeowners for choosing to go without a real estate agent. But, when it all comes down to it, it is only one of many reasons you should hire a professional selling agent to list your home.
Showing your home is also very time consuming How are you going to manage both going to work and selling your home? That is another thing you should take into consideration before you decide to sell your property on your own. A Realtor will work with the homeowner to establish showing instructions for the home.
Is Selling Your Home Yourself Going to Consume Your Time?
A real estate agent knows how to market your home in the right sort of way. Not only that, but he also has a ready-made client base. Do you have that or do you have a plan to find potential buyers of your home? To be honest, there is certainly a lot to think about when you put your house up for sale by the owner.
Most of the time, it takes longer to sell a home yourself than it does to sell a home with the help of a real estate agent. With so much at stake, this is the main reason homeowners need the advice of a professional.
Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
You also need to get your home ready to sell. It is not only about making sure the cushions on your sofa are straight. Real estate agents are an invaluable source of advice. Speak to any listing agent and they will tell you that getting your home ready to sell means going through it with a fine-tooth comb.
Homeowners often think that their homes look a million dollars, but that is seldom the case. You have probably been living in your home for a long time, and you have got used to your home’s “imperfections”. Any experienced real estate agent will pick up on obvious problems within a matter of minutes and point them out to you. Additionally, real estate agents are going to be objective.
It is a way of pre-screening your home before he accepts it as a listing. Fixing any problems will make your home easier to sell, and you are also more likely to achieve a better price.
What About the Home Inspection?
If you are going to be selling your home by owner, then the buyer will most likely want to have a home inspection. It is important to prepare your home for the home inspection. A home inspector is going to inspect all the major systems of the home including the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, check the kitchen appliances and much more. It is important to have your home in the best possible condition. If your home has obvious deferred maintenance and you are trying to sell it as-is, then this needs to be disclosed to the buyer.
There are many important factors when selling your home for sale by owner. If the buyer sees lots of repairs that may be costly, the buyer may want a big fat discount on the purchase price, or they may walk away because they think the house is a money pit! It is important for a seller to be prepared on what to negotiate on a request for repairs.What to Expect When Selling Your Home For Sale By OwnerClick To Tweet
What is a Contingency Period?
Real estate contracts are written so that all the terms of the purchase agreement are discussed and agreed upon. It is not only the purchase price, but the contract should also include the length of the escrow, earnest money deposit, down payment, financing and the contingency period. The contingency period is where the buyer performs their own due diligence on the property and also ensures their ability to obtain financing. In the purchase agreement, there is the default language for a buyer to remove their contingencies including physical inspection, reports, disclosures which are generally within 17 days. Financing contingency usually is a bit longer and the default language in California is 21 days. These are negotiable items, but it is important for a for sale by owner to be aware of the contingency period.
The Final Verdict
The final verdict is probably that it is better, and easier, to list your home with a local real estate agent. They will guide with the basics as well as the more advanced stuff such as negotiating the sale. Real estate agents will know the market in your area and help you to navigate the mountain of paperwork. In all likelihood, your home will sell faster and you will get more money. A for sale by owner sign may look great on the front lawn, but once you learn how much work is involved in the sales process, most homeowners think twice about it. If you need to move quickly and achieve the best price, letting a real estate agent sell your home is still the best way to go.
About the Author
The above real estate article “What to Expect When Selling FSBO (For Sale By Owner)” was written by Sharon Paxson at Newport Beach Real Estate. We have experience since 2005 representing sellers, buyers, and landlords with their real estate transactions and we welcome the opportunity to share our expertise and guide you through the home buying or selling process.
We service the following Orange County CA areas: Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Santa Ana, Sunset Beach, Tustin and more! If you are considering selling your home, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.