For Sale by Owner vs. Realtor
By: Robert A. Hulme - Realtor - Loan Officer -Utah County, Including Provo, Orem, Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi, Highland, Alpine and Cedar Hills, Eagle Mountain, Payson, Saratoga Springs, Spanish Fork, Springville, Mortgage Xpress, Agent
When it comes time to sell your home, one big decision needs to be made. Can I sell my home by myself or should I use a Realtor? Everybody wants to make as much money as they can when it comes time to sell their home, but it is necessary to maintain realistic expectations if there is to be a successful sale transaction. The For Sale by Owner option is often perceived to be best way to make the highest profit when selling a home. In theory, that makes a lot of sense, but there are so many variables that the results usually come out the opposite. In fact, statistics from the National Association of Realtors report that only 16 % of those who listed their home For Sale by Owner, were successful in selling their home. The main drawbacks can be divided into two main categories, Buyer Perception and Seller Frustration.
Buyers often have a negative perception of a seller who is selling on their own. Some see the refusal to hire a Realtor, as cheap, and they begin to wonder how far that cheap goes. They wonder if maybe the Seller even cuts corners in maintenance, repairs, or upgrades. They think the Seller is going to be hard to work with when it comes time to negotiate terms.
There really is a lot of work involved in selling your house on your own. You have to field all the phone calls yourself and conduct all the showings. Unless you have a very flexible schedule, you will lose potential buyers simply because you are unable to accommodate their schedules. Sellers are often frustrated by the low offers they receive, but buyers realize you are not paying any commission and therefore have more room to negotiate. They want to save money too, and expect you to understand. Most frustrating to Sellers is organizing the closing and understanding the paperwork.
Does this mean that you should not ever list FSBO? There is always the chance that your house is the exact property that a buyer is looking for so they throw a sign in the yard for a few weeks and see what happens. If you have not sold by then, call a Realtor to guide and protect you, and help you through the process.