As Realtors, we encounter many people who put a “for sale by owner” sign in their yard, also known as FSBOs. Typically a FSBO wants to sell their home without paying a commission to a real estate agent. At first glance, it makes perfect sense, if you don’t have to pay a commission that’s more money in your pocket.
There are a few things to consider, however, before you head to the store to pick out a sign. First, marketing. In most cases, the entire expense of marketing your house comes out of the pocket of the real estate agent. Ads in magazines, signage on your street, an open house, these are expenses you will have to shell out up front, whether or not you ever successfully sell your house. Marketing also includes the multiple listing service (MLS). The MLS provides the listings used by all buyer’s agents in the market as well as web sites like Zillow and Trulia. If your home is not on the MLS it will be invisible to the majority of potential buyers.
FSBOs don’t get any of the services provided by Realtors. You may have an idea of what your home is worth but a Realtor has access to data about what similar homes have sold in your area. A comparative market analysis (CMA) is invaluable in pricing your home appropriately. An underpriced home means you won’t get the full value when you sell. An overpriced home will sit on the market, becoming “shop worn” and seeing interest from buyers dwindle. Our appointment desk allows quick scheduling of houses we list. Buyers will skip over houses that they can’t easily schedule to view. Some buyers will avoid FSBOs because it will mean a more difficult transaction if their agent must deal with a novice instead of another professional. The 2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reveals that the typical FSBO home sold for 81.3% of the price of an agent-assisted home.
These are just a few of the ways that a Realtor can make your home sales experience smoother. Realtor.com has a more extensive resource here. I’m always glad to discuss my strategy for selling your home, call me 615-504-7425 or email me today.
Drop me a note if you think of a question that would be helpful for me to answer online.