It seems like a straightforward process but selling your home is actually more complex (and complicated) than expected. Paperwork, repairs, ads, and pricing are just some of the concerns that need to be addressed before and during a sale, which is why many homeowners hire real estate agents to do the work for them. However, there are others who prefer to do all the work on their own, choosing the For Sale by Owner route.
The term “for sale by owner” (or FSBO) refers to the act by which a home or property is being sold directly by the owner. Owners choose this option when they want to put their home on the market without the help of a listing agent. Many homeowners prefer this route because it allows them to manage the process from beginning to end.
When you decide to sell your property yourself, you enjoy a number of advantages, such as:
Selling your house the way you want it to sell: Homeowners are arguably the best marketers of their own property because they are the ones who know it best. You can present your property the way you want and set it up according to your own preferences. You can even choose the kind of potential home buyers you want for your house.
Focusing your time and attention: Real estate agents often work with multiple clients and may see numerous buyers for several different properties. Homeowners who choose to sell on their own can devote the amount of time and attention that the property needs to be marketed effectively.
Owning the process and the results: You simply take care of everything that happens and can control the results, at least to a certain extent.
Making more money: The full sale price of the property goes to the owner and no commission is paid to the agent. This could potentially save the homeowner several thousand dollars on the sale.
Of course, there are limitations that homeowners can expect, such as:
Homeowners may not earn as much as they expect. Established and experienced real estate agents are well-versed at marketing a property to buyers who can pay for a competitive price.
Without a network, homeowners may have to work harder in selling the property if they choose the For Sale by Owner option. They may not do well at marketing and potential home buyers may fail to notice the listing.
Homeowners may not be as good at qualifying the buyer. The paperwork required in property sales go beyond the mortgage letter and the number of documents that are required for a smooth transaction may be overwhelming. Furthermore, inexperienced sellers may be exposed to fraudulent transactions, scams, and identity theft if they are not careful.
For Sale by Owner can be the right choice for someone who understands the process and knows what to expect. There are always risks but as long as the seller knows how to minimize or avoid these risks entirely, he/she may have a good chance at selling without an agent. It is also important that the seller can devote enough time and resources to market the property to the right buyers at the right price.