Putting your own home on the market is tough. Sure, you know your home inside and out… but is that really what sells a house?
Not necessarily. If you’re contemplating a “for sale by owner” transaction, there are a few things you need to know first.
Statistics show that working with a professional real estate agent will net you higher offers, and you’re more likely to sell at a higher profit, too (in fact, those statistics show that you’ll make enough to cover a real estate agent’s commission and then some).
According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:
- The average FSBO sale price was $174,900
- The average sale price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000
That’s more than a $40,000 difference.
Why it’s So Hard to Sell Your Own Home
Selling houses isn’t easy. You don’t have access to market data about recent sales in your area, and you may not be sure how to price your home properly (without a CMA or an appraisal, it’s nearly impossible to find out what your home is actually worth).
Getting exposure is tricky, too. A home that’s for sale by owner can’t be listed in the MLS. Without a listing in the MLS, the pool of prospective buyers turns into more of a puddle. Big websites, such as Realtor.com, won’t list FSBOs either.
Many buyer’s agents won’t show FSBO homes because there’s no contract saying they’ll get paid. While the homeowner can offer to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission, many Realtors feel it isn’t worth the hassle to take on all that work (they could end up picking up slack on the seller’s side, or have to deal with the inevitable snags that come from working with someone unfamiliar with the real estate process).
For most people, selling a home without proper representation just isn’t worth the headache. Even the founder of ForSalebyOwner.com wasted 6 months trying to sell his NYC condo with no results; then he hired a real estate agent and sold it for $150,000 over asking price.
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