When it comes to selling your home on your own many families struggle. While initially the idea of saving yourself the commissions sounds like it may be worth it the effort, it ends up being more of a task than initially thought. Take a look at the top 5 most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers.
#5 Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale. Usually selling your home doesn’t fall during a time where you can take weeks off of work. Cleaning, repairing, staging, photographing, answering calls, scheduling showings, following up with potential buyers, and getting all the paperwork in order all take a long time. So, while juggling all these tasks and your regular life of work, activities, and family time; important tasks fall through the cracks.
#4 Selling within the planned length of time – Depending on the market and your area you can probably guess about how long it will take to sell your home. However, count on your FSBO taking longer because selling on your own means that you are in charge of all your marketing. An agent, who is usually already well connected in the area, will list your home on the MLS which will allow other agents in the area to know your home is available. Also, they aggressively market your home via various avenues, making sure your home gets maximum exposure and sells quickly.
#3 Understanding and performing paperwork – a real estate transaction will typically consist of 10-50 pages before any addendums and mandated disclosures. Without a professional to help you sort through all of this you can count on spending hours reading documents and trying to sort out what it all means. Having an agent there to help you with questions and to make adjustments to the terms on your behalf can save you time and money.
#2 Preparing/fixing up the home for sale: Most homeowners don’t know the best fixes for their time and money. A savvy real estate agent will be able to tell you what repairs or upgrades will give you the biggest bang for your buck. (They also tend to have all the connections needed to hire out the job for you!) So instead of adding a bedroom or bathroom you would know that just updating your entry way could yield a greater return. (See infographic here.)
#1 Pricing – The number one most difficult task for most FSBO sellers is getting the right price. Believe it or not most online home estimates are off by up to 35%. This discrepancy could happen because they are determined from tax records and data that could be 6-12 months old! Could you imagine selling your home for 35% off? Also, this could go the other way and you could grossly overprice your home. Which means it will sit on the market for longer and you will have a harder time even getting buyers to look at your property.
Considering these factors, and others, FSBO sellers might not save as much money as they originally thought. Over 80% of FSBO sellers eventually end up choosing to sell their homes using an agent. Once the seller decides to work with an agent they can average netting 11% more on the sale. (Source)