Six-percent of national home sales are FSO (for sale by owner). That may come as a surprise to some, especially given how technology has made homes more accessible. How people buy homes has gotten easier, this is true.
Selling a home isn't like putting an item on OfferUp or Let Go. The real estate market is very competitive and to sell your home by owner, you need to think like a realtor. That means listing, marketing, and presenting your home like a professional.
We'll break down everything you need to know before listing your own home. First, let's examine the pros and cons that come with FSBO.
The Best FSBO Pros
The main motivation for deciding against using a real estate agent is the cost of commission. You're looking at paying 3-6% of the total value of your home. This is huge, especially if you're trying to upgrade to a bigger and better home.
You're also placing your faith into the agent's ability to evaluate your home and how much it can sell for. You might be better off setting your list price based on your own market research. Some realtors list homes at such a high volume that they price properties based on broad trends, rather than neighborhood position.
Another overlooked pro of FSBO listing is deciding your own schedule. Agents may not have the flexibility to show your home at opportune times. When you control the home buying process, you can make adjustments to fit your needs.
A Few FSBO Cons
Without proper market knowledge, FSBO sellers net a lower sale price on average. This is due to a couple of reasons. FSBO sellers may not have the connections to help find qualified buyers.
There's also the fact that buyers may prefer to only buy homes from real estate agents only. Marketing capabilities can also play a factor here. If you as a seller do not invest time and money in getting your home seen, it's going to sit.
The longer it takes to sell, the more likely FSBO sellers will drop their price. Real estate agents already have everything in place to get homes listed online, in print ads, and anywhere else as budget permits.
Responding to inquiries on your listing is also a full-time job. Your phone is going to constantly ring with serious and non-serious inquiries. You'll need to keep track of dates and times for showings and meetings.
All of this creates a big headache without professional guidance. Is it worth saving 3% commission? Maybe. Remember, you'll still have to pay the buyer's agent fee of 3%.
If the pros outweigh the cons for you, then proceed below. Get things started off on the right foot with our FSBO tips.
Show Buyers that You're the Realtor
FSBO sellers are stigmatized as unprofessional or easy to exploit. You can break that stigma and absolutely impress potential buyers and their agents. Come prepared, have the paperwork ready, and know the language.
As soon as their agent realizes you know your stuff, they'll cut to the chase.
Accommodate Buyer's Time
Being a professional means catering to interested buyers as much as possible. That means being available on weekends and late evenings. People are often actively shopping for homes after a busy day at home.
That late-night call at 9 p.m. on a Saturday may be the one most serious about purchasing your home. The same goes for your open house and private showings. You'll want to provide as many of them as possible and during times when people are off work.
FSBO is like taking out a second job, which is why many sellers won't or can't cut it. With that said, there are some real estate apps that make things a lot more streamlined and accessible for buyers and sellers.
Own Your Mistakes and Adjust
Part of the learning curb of doing FSBO is knowing what the buyer wants. Your own biases could hold you back and hurt your listing. Listen to any buyer or agent feedback that comes your way.
People are probably going to ask for you to lower your listing price, but do they have a good reason? Does your price match your local market's features, curb appeal, and overall condition? It's important to stay neutral on price negotiations and look at things from the buyer's perspective.
Avoid Idle Time and Missed Opportunities
The worst thing you can do as an FSBO seller is allow your home to sit on the market for too long. After a few weeks, you should start looking at lowering your price. You can avoid premature lowering of your home value by keeping tabs on local real estate trends.
Is there also a loss of interest in open houses during this time? If you haven't made any major changes in your marketing strategy, then you probably should lower the price. Don't allow your stubbornness to cause missed opportunities.
Sell Your Home By Owner Successfully
To sell your home by owner is to take control of your own success. It feels good to have people looking at your home with the same enthusiasm you have. Unfortunately, the process of attracting the right buyers without experience isn't always straightforward.
Do things by-the-book as an FSBO seller. Document all serious buyers and get their personal information to protect yourself from scammers. Don't let real estate agents try to bully you because your asking price is the same as homes with agents.
Filter out non-serious buyers who will waste your time by requiring a mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds. Tap into professional resources right here on Homify. Sell your home with confidence and expertise that you are the real estate agent.