While we can’t ignore the value of using a real estate professional to sell your property, we understand that there are circumstances that may prevent you from seeking out their services.
The sale of your own real estate is a completely legal transaction. The contract is binding, and both parties are expected to perform as the contract dictates. Even when you sell your own house, you will still need a title company or real estate attorney to handle the legal paperwork. However, selling your own home can save you money in real estate commissions, allowing you to keep more of the profit from the sale of your home.
There are several important questions you must answer before you begin the process of selling your home.
The first question is determining if selling “by owner” is right for you.
Bypassing a Realtor® and selling your home can potentially save you 5-6 percent of the sales price that would normally become the Realtors commission. In today’s market, where real estate prices have dropped dramatically in some areas, the cost savings on Realtor® commissions can be enticing for those looking to gain a larger profit.
Or, perhaps you need to sell your home quickly and wish to lower the asking price. Without a real estate agent, you could conceivably use that additional profit to lower your asking price by up to 6 percent to comparable listings in your community, which would help speed up the sale of your home. Other reasons for selling your house FSBO (For Sale By Owner) include:
You already have a real estate license
You can’t find an agent to handle your transaction
You simply don’t want to deal with real estate agents
You plan on selling it to a relative, friend, or neighbor
You had an agent, but he or she was unable to sell your home
A buyer has contacted you directly and asked you to sell your home
Cutting out the middle man and selling your home yourself is certainly possible. It just takes a basic understanding of marketing and a bit of “entrepreneurial spirit.”
You will need to ensure you are readily available for showings. You will also need to be available at any time to take or return phone calls from potential buyers. You should expect phone calls from strange numbers and be willing to answer them.
It’s not for everyone
Even with the financial incentive and access to online listing services, the FSBO market has been slightly trending down over the years. In 1997, approximately 19 percent of the market was FSBO, to about 13 percent in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Many homeowners still wish to employ the help of an experienced real estate agent to help them sell their home. For example, if you are unable to show your property, a Realtor® may be necessary. Also, a qualified real estate agent is experienced in financial negotiations, contracts, and properly marketing a home. So, for homeowners who are simply not comfortable selling or promoting their house or who just do not want to deal with the hassle of showings and contracts, a real estate professional is recommended.