Don't Sell It Yourself
By Steve Gillman - 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
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
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!