Can you handle being a FSBO?

Everyone is trying to save money.  You’ve probably seen a lot of people offering their homes For Sale by Owner to avoid paying a Realtor’s commission.  While this tactic works for some, it doesn’t work for everyone.  The spokesperson for even had this to say, “It’s more work to sell your home without a broker.”   AOL Real Estate posted a great article on questions to ask yourself before you attempt to sell FSBO. Before attempting this, you need to be able to answer yes. I wanted to go over some of the main ones.

1.  Can you price it competitively?  People will skip right past a showing of your home if the house is priced too high.  Even if you spent thousands of dollars renovating over the past couple years, it’s hard to recoup that in this market.  Make sure you’re priced competitively based on other comparable sales in the area with similar features to your home.  You might need to have a Realtor pull information for you from the Multiple Listing Service.

2. Can you market it?  How are you advertising your home?  Besides the red and white sign in the front yard, how will people know it’s for sale?  More than 90% of buyers search for their home on the Internet.  You need a licensed Realtor to have it listed in the Multiple Listing Service and  So make sure your home is getting the exposure it needs for people to contact you.  You need to be comfortable getting out there and spreading the word.  It’s like being your home’s own salesperson.

3. Can you be available?  If you’re gone all day at work and aren’t available to handle showings very often, going FSBO is probably not the best solution.  Many buyers still view homes during the day.  You won’t want to throw on a lockbox and give out the combination to complete strangers.  When Realtors do this, they verify the agent is licensed prior to providing that information.  You’ll want to be there to let all potential buyers in.  If this doesn’t work for your schedule, definitely consider hiring a Realtor.

4. Can you negotiate the forms?  A real estate lawyer can definitely (and should) help you with this.  You’ll also want to learn about how the process works beforehand, especially if you’ve never sold a home before.  You need to know about the different contingency periods, home inspections, and how long a buyer has to secure financing.  Before signing anything, consult with an attorney.

These questions should help you determine whether you’re capable of handling this on your own.  If you have any questions on the process or need to speak to someone, please visit me online.