This is the first in a 5-part series on some issues to consider if you are thinking about marketing your home yourself. My intent is NOT to convince you that a REALTOR is the only way to go (even though I believe it is in the consumer's best interest, especially in a buyer's market) but to make you aware of things you should ponder before you make that final decision. Selling yourself CAN work but it does, on average, for less than 20% of those who try (and significantly less in many areas), based on recent surveys.
Asa result, you will also learn a bit more about the value a REALTOR can bring to your transaction versus doing it yourself. This is especially important to consider if you are going to be relocating and timing is short. brokering your home yourself may NOT be your best strategy. When relocating, TIME is probably your worst enemy!
Lack of Representation - FSBO, the common acronym for sellers going it alone (For-Sale-By-Owner), means that you are not working with a licensed real estate agent,. Officially this means that you are UNREPRESENTED. There may be some significant implications to not having representation:
- A major issue is that you will have no one to protect your interests and apprise you of the legal obligations and the regulations impacting a sale. Do you know what is required by law in your state in a real estate transaction?
- If you have a buyer who makes an offer and is not working with an agent, then there is no one to represent the transaction. Who is going to protect YOUR interests as opposed to the buyer's.
- There may be some buyers who will not want to work a seller directly for the simple reason that they know there is no real estate representation; their interests are not being protected, plus they have to negotiate directly with you, the seller.
Financial - a variety of studies and surveys have shown that, on average across the country, homes sold by unrepresented sellers sell for 10 - 15% LESS than those sold through a REALTOR (in some areas it can be higher or lower). Financially, what this means is that even if you are paying a commission to a licensed REALTOR you are likely to still come out ahead by approximately 10% (depending on the commission, of course, which is always negotiable). Wouldn't you like more money in YOUR pocket and avoid the hassle of going it alone? And if you don't know the market and set the wrong price to list at then you are making even a bigger financial mistake!
Stay tuned for the next installment tomorrow. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to email me.