Real Estate Articles - FSBO - The Hidden Costs!
For sale by owner (FSBO) on the surface seems like an attractive strategy with what looks like an
obvious 3-6% savings by not paying 1 or 2 professional realtors‘ commissions. However with
missteps in pricing, negotiating, possibly a slower sale, even lawsuits later on can actually cost you
a lot more in the long run.
The best advice my grandpa ever gave me when I stayed with him was, “Don’t fall in the hole.” The
first time he said it to me I was walking out his kitchen door for a little exploration around his property.
I didn’t know what he was talking about, so I asked what he meant believing he might have a pit
somewhere which would present a danger to me. He just smiled and said, “what ever you do in life,
you are sure to encounter holes; those pitfalls which appear before us when we least expect them
and trap us in muck and mire bogging us down with minutiae until we think we will drown. It became
a joke after a while and soon we always parted from one another with the words of wisdom.
Selling a home by yourself can be one of those pitfalls. If you aren’t savvy in the real estate industry
get ready for a potential dangerous fall. It takes more than an ad in a newspaper, a sign in your yard,
or even networking through your friends. There is a truckload of research to do if you expect to get a
quick sale and the price you are hoping for.
For example, do you know what the fair market value of your home is? Over and under pricing are
common mistakes with FSBO sellers. Do you know where to look on the internet for this
information? Do you know which of those sources are accurate?
Are you going to be able to get other realtors to show your home? Or, for that matter will anyone look
at your home if there is no confidence in your ability to navigate the complexities of the sale?
Do you really have the time and energy to handle the staging, packing up for your move, and all the
legalities of your home sale?
Are you ready to find your own Title Company, lender, appraiser? There are myriad availabilities, but
who to trust? A professional realtor already has companies they work closely with and sometimes,
when needed, attorneys. Or, are you going to tire out trying to wear all the hats in a home sale?
These questions are easily settled if you allow a professional realtor to list and handle your sale.
They are in a network of other realtors and have a respect and trust in one another. Attempting to
save the three to six percent commissions received by realtors also means forfeiting experience,
network, and reputation, all of which could spell a quick and clean sale for the homeowner. Not to
mention the ridding yourself of the stress.
My best suggestion to you is to get the help of a respected professional realtor to sell your home.
You will acquire a tireless helper, savvy salesperson, and get the highest dollar for your property. So
when you get ready to sell your house, remember the sage advice of my grandpa, “Don’t fall in the
And if you are still not convinced (because it is easy to see the commission numbers but all the other
pitfalls you will never know or see an exact number), here is what really happened to us in our earlier,
less experienced years regarding FSBO.
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