FSBO (FIZ-bo), or For-Sale-by-Owner: is when a homeowner sells a property without the assistance of a Realtor; usually to avoid paying a commission. It is understandable to want to avoid commissions. Who doesn't want to save money? But, the question is, Are you really saving money?
Let me say this right off the bat.If you are considering selling your home FSBO, I will help advise you. As a client, or even a potential client, I would always help guide you in any way that you choose to sell your home - even without a commission. I don't want to see anyone fail in real estate and that is more important to me than earning a commission.
But, let me make a strong case here for using a licensed Realtor.
You'll Net More Money with a Realtor
Even with the commission, it's a statistical fact that properties sell for more money with the professional guidance of a Realtor, and when the home is exposed to the entire "active” buyer pool. And by active buyer pool, I don't mean the internet.
The Internet and the Wrong Kind of Buyer
Anybody can put a house on the internet. But, the internet is heavily populated with potential buyers who are not yet pre-approved for a loan and haven't even chosen one Realtor to work with because they are still in information-gathering mode and just not ready to commit. They want to remain as free agents until they are ready and quite serious about buying. They call several Realtors at once just to get information and they drift through public open houses. They have not even committed to one community; instead they are still considering several towns. And there is nothing wrong with any of that. They are entitled to take their time. But you don't want to expend energy showing your home to tire-kickers while not tapping directly into the segment of buyers who are actually motivated and ready.
The Right Kind of Buyer
This is the profile of the buyer you want coming into your home. The best buyer :
- Has moved beyond the online drifting and "free agent" information-gathering mode and has committed to working with a Realtor to help him/her find the right house.
- Often communicates with their Realtor daily and is usually among the first buyers to eagerly schedule showings as soon as a new home comes on the market.
- Has chosen a lender, submitted documents, and has gotten a real loan pre-approval.
- Really knows the market and understands value because he/she has seen enough homes, through private showings with Realtor guidance.
- Is actually getting concerned about not finding the right home and is, quite frankly, growing weary of spending weekends looking at properties.
- Has utter confidence in his/her decisions when the right property does present itself and therefore, is much more likely to make it all he way to the closing table without major problems.
Selling a Property Without a Realtor is Not Easy
If it were easy, everybody would do it. It really is a Herculean effort that is mentally and physically exhausting if you do not have training and real estate experience. It includes marketing, advertising, staging, photography, managing private showings, open houses, negotiations, inspections, executing contracts, appraisals, insurance, walkthrough and closing. It's a lot, but aside from the work, each and every one of these tasks must be done perfectly. It's not enough to do one or two well; it's the whole package that nets you a strong price and gets you all the way to the closing table.