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Don't Sell It Yourself

By - 2006

Don't sell it yourself! Sometimes a house "for sale by owner" (or "FSBO") can sell fast, and for as much as it would have if listed with a real estate agent. Sometimes. Before you try it though, consider the following ten points.

1. Most buyers work through agents. They look at MLS listings. If you aren't listed with an agent, most buyers will never see or hear about your home. It's difficult to find the "right" buyer or get top dollar when your invisible to most of the market.

2. Buyers offer less for FSBOs. It's logical. The buyer thinks you'll take less, since you're saving the commission! Save $10,000, then get $10,000 less - where's the advantage?

3. You pay advertising costs. The costs the real estate office normally pays are yours if you sell it yourself. How much will you spend on advertising if it takes a year to sell your home?

4. You don't have the same resources. An agent has books listing sold homes to look at, for example, to determine the best price for your home. You could get that information digging through county records, but you value your time too, right?

5. You might not know the market. What's the target market for your home? Young couples or retirees? What features are hot now? You need to know these things before you write your ads. An experienced real estate salesperson deals with these things daily.

6. You might not know the laws. How about written disclosures - and who pays the real estate transfer tax? Just because you sell it yourself doesn't mean you can ignore the laws.

7. You might not be a good salesman. Can you develop rapport and properly answer objections? Will your defensiveness scare off buyers who criticize your home? You know a good salesperson makes a difference.

8. A real estate agent handles paperwork. Will you help the buyer properly fill out an offer to purchase? Can you? Do you have other closing documents ready?

9. Real estate agents negotiate. When is the last time you learned negotiating skills? Do you know how to counter-offer and negotiate without angering a buyer? A good salesperson is trained for this.

10. You might not save a penny. Documents, newspaper advertising, signs for the yard - it's all your expense when you sell it yourself. Then you work hard, get low offers, and maybe negotiate poorly? Actually, sellers often net less money when they try to save the commission.

You can see why most "FSBO" sellers eventually turn to a real estate agent to help them sell. You can learn some of the things an agent does, but why spend all that time and maybe not even save any money? Don't sell it yourself unless you know what you're doing.

Another page to check out:

How to Sell a House - Free e-book now on the pages of this site!


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Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Don't Sell It Yourself