The Risky Side of Selling a Home on Your Own

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Real Estate

The vast majority of sellers list their home with a real estate agent, but some individuals choose to go through the selling process on their own. Selling a home "For Sale By Owner", while entirely possible, does come with a list of hurdles and some significant risks.

Un-represented sellers are motivated to save the cost of the agent's commission. In many cases, however, selling without assistance can result in a lower closing price that negates such gains. In a survey of more than 7,800 buyers and sellers from around the country, the 2005 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that the median price for homes sold directly by the owner was 16 percent lower than homes sold with the assistance of a real estate professional.

FSBO vs. Direct Sales
In 2005, only 13 percent of home sellers conducted transactions without the help of a real estate professional. However, of these transactions 39 percent were "closely held", meaning that the two parties knew each other in advance and the home was not fully placed on the open market.

So just what are the potential downfalls of selling your home by yourself?

Setting the Wrong Price - In the world of real estate, setting a good asking price is absolutely critical. Owners frequently have a difficult time setting a realistic sales price, even if they have paid for an independent appraisal. Impartially evaluating your home and all it's shortcomings (and selling points) is a lot to ask. An overpriced listing can linger on the market and necessitate later price drops. An under priced listing can either scare off wary buyers or can result in a closing price significantly below market value.

Under Exposure - Attracting serious buyers requires much more than a classified ad and a sign in the front yard. Many of the marketing avenues that agents utilize are costly or require resources that the average homeowner just doesn't possess. Between 75 and 80 percent of buyers use the Internet during their home search. Savvy agents come equipped with a strong Internet presence that draws online buyers to your listing.

Lack of Marketing Experience - Most of us are not practiced in the art of promotion, and don't possess a great deal of knowledge or perspective when it comes to marketing real estate. A skilled real estate professional knows the techniques to make your home competitive with comparable properties in the local marketplace.

Buyer Wariness - Some buyers will avoid a FSBO listing for fear either there is "something wrong" with the property or that the asking price will not be based on current market trends.

Buyer Haggling - A FSBO listing can attract buyers out to find a "deal". These individuals are more likely to see the listing price of a FSBO property as merely a starting point.

Failure to Disclose - Failing to disclose or fully disclose any defects in your home is huge liability for any seller. Improper disclosure or nondisclosure usually results in lawsuits, an unpleasant prospect for all parties. Licensed real estate agents are required to stay up to date on all mandatory local, state and national disclosure requirements.

Commission to Buyer's Agents - Nine out of ten homebuyers use a real estate agent in the search process. If a potential buyer is using the services of an agent, their commission will generally be taken out of the selling price.

Lack of Negotiating Experience - One of the most important services real estate agents provide is the negotiation a sale. Working without an intermediary makes it much more difficult to keep emotion out of the process. Sellers without representation can employ the help of a real estate attorney, but their primary function is to ensure that the contract is not marked by errors or omissions.

If you need hel in selling your home in the Atlanta Ga Real Estate market just call Dwayne West with Solid Source Realty-Atlanta.


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Dwayne West

Canton Georgia Real Estate
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