Many home owners feel they can save the real estate commission and sell their own home.
When I was first licensed in 1985 we had a one page sales contract. Legalities and the protections of participants rights have expanded that document to 20 pages, plus numerous disclosures and legal notices which have to be signed by both parties.
The purpose of these voluminous documents is not to make the transaction more complicated, but to bind legally both parties to their respective responsibilities and duties, at the same time protecting the interests of each party.
If a home owner feels they have the expertise to secure all these documents, explain them to the buyer and represent themselves I'm all for it.
What most Home Owners do not realize is that under Pa Law there is one document they must supply the buyer, and it must be truthful. This is the only document a seller can be sued for. Years after the sale, the buyer can take the seller to court if they failed to disclose pertinent and material facts about their home.
People Dislike Negotiating
There’s one thing that’s truly indispensable about real estate professionals and why we’ll always be needed: our negotiating abilities. Most people hate negotiating. Many also assume that a FSBO won’t allow the buyer to have a real estate professional negotiating on their behalf, so they won’t even want to make an offer, even though they’re interested in the home. They would rather look at homes where they can have a professional doing the negotiating for them.
A FSBO’s Legal Liability
When the buyer and seller are acting alone, they usually won’t have a lawyer. So they both subject themselves to legal issues and liability. FSBO sellers nor their buyers usually don’t know a sound legal contract from a bad one. One party may take advantage of the other, getting them to sign to conditions they don’t understand and will regret later. For instance, some real estate investors can be very savvy in putting clauses into the contract that are unfair to the seller but which can be easily overlooked. But when FSBOs work with real estate professionals work they seldom face these sorts of problems.