January 25, 2010

7 FSBO Myths Exposed

Some For Sale By Owner sites, or FSBO (pronounced Fizz-Bo) as it's called in the real estate world, love to show you how "easy" it is for you to sell your home yourself.  Hey, it's their job, after all, to convince you to list with them (that's what they're doing, you know) vs. listing with a REALTOR®.  That's the only way that they get paid is to get you to advertise with them.  However, the reasons that they give for someone to go FSBO vs. listing with a REALTOR® are flawed, at best.
1. Less hassles and frustrations
Somehow, having to maintain all the advertising (not to mention the cost of that advertising), schedule showings, preview buyers, show your property, getting your property ready to show, contacting attorneys, appraisers, contractors, inspectors, etc and a whole host of other "behind the scenes" things that go on when your property is on the market is supposed to be less hassle and frustrating than simply letting a professional, knowledgeable and experienced REALTOR® take care of it for you.  Of course, if you believe that you don't have to keep your house clean and "ready to show" and that you can make appointments when it suits you, then they may have a point.
2. You can sell your home better than anyone else
The simple truth here is...it ain't true. The fact is BECAUSE it's your home, you'll have a harder time selling it than a neutral third-party (that includes a REALTOR® or your next door neighbor). Why? Because you have an emotional attachment to the property. It is practically impossible for you to separate you from your home and "sell" it to a potential buyer. Even I, as a REALTOR® prefer to list my personal home with another agent because they will be better at selling it than I will.  
3. Sell for a price on your terms; you're in control
Well, you can choose to price your home for whatever you want.  However, it's the market that will ultimately decide what that property sales for.  So, you can decide to price your home within the current market prices, or you can simply wait for the market to "catch up" to your price.  If you're ready to sell, which would you prefer?  An agent can help you in setting an accurate price based on current market conditions, not simply guessing. 
4. More $$$ in your pocket
This is "save the commission" argument. The facts are that, on average, agent-assisted home sell for 32% MORE than FSBO sales. Now, would you lose 32% in order to "save" 5 to 6%?  Furthermore, the majority of buyers that do seriously look at FSBOS (truth is, most are just "lookers") are expecting a DISCOUNT on the purchase of a FSBO by the usual commission fee for your market.  Both buyer and seller can't get the "savings."  Guess who wins if you want to sell?
5. Sell your home fast
Supposedly, because you don't "up" the price to include a commission, your home will sale faster.  Truth is, as stated above, buyers looking at your home will deduct the commission from your asking price, so if you've already reduced your price, you're getting hit TWICE, (that's assuming that it's priced right in the first place).  Also, almost 90% of all home buyers use an agent to find property.  If yours isn't listed, it's not "on the market" to those buyers.  Can you really sell your home faster AND for more money by ONLY marketing it to 10% of the active buyers in the market? 
6. Less uncertainty
You'll have less uncertainty because you'll get to interview the buyer and will know the "serious" ones.  I ask, how exactly?  Do you have a lot of experience dealing with home buyers to determine how serious they are?  How would you know if they are even qualified for the price of your home?  Sure, they'll say they are, but what if they're lying (buyers DO do that sometimes)?  Furthermore, for buyers who didn't like the property, you'd like to know why.  However, most buyers wouldn't be truthful with this either when dealing with the seller directly, as most don't want to say anything negative about your home to you.  They will to an agent, though and you can use that to help you sell.  An experienced professional REALTOR® will have a system in place for you, as the seller, to get good feedback on showings.
7. It's easy...as selling a car
Seriously, this is just a complete myth. That is the definition of comparing apples and oranges there. They say that a lender or an attorney will "take over" the process of the sale once you get a contract on the home. That, too, is simply not true. A lender is going to make sure that the buyer gets the loan (assuming that they're qualified). They are not going to do anything about the sale other than that. An attorney is going to make sure that the documents provided to HIM (if you forget something, that's your problem) are legal and valid for your state, that's all. They're not going to make sure everything is moving forward as it should and don't care if it does. Furthermore, in many states (NC for example), the closing attorney works for the BUYER.
If you'd like more information on listing and selling your home, visit my website at www.RogerAJohnson.com
Hickory Home SearchForeclosure Hunter

Roger Johnson is a Realtor with CENTURY 21 American Homes in Hickory, NC.
I service the Catawba and surrounding counties, and the Hickory, Newton, Conover, Taylorsville, Claremont, Statesville and Charlotte, NC real estate markets.
You can contact me via Email or give me a call at 828-270-9330 or 828-568-2121 ext 310
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