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For Sale By Owner - A Good Idea?

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FSBO (pronounced fizz-bo), or For Sale By Owner, is a way of selling your home without the use of a professional real estate agent or broker. The idea behind FSBO is that by selling your home yourself, you save the approximate 6% that would be the agents’ commission. We have all heard of someone who sold their own home, got exactly what they were asking, and closed the house without a hitch.

But before you run off and decide to sell your home FSBO, you must remember that to get a savings like that, there must be a cost. So what’s the catch? Selling your home yourself is harder; a lot harder.

Only about 10% of sellers that decide to go FSBO are successful at it. And not all of them end up saving themselves money. FSBO sellers often end up accepting a lower price for their home than they would with an agent. Buyers know that since you are selling it yourself, you are not paying realtor commissions, and so they expect to save that money also.

There are of course other issues as well.

  • Can you afford to make selling your home your full-time job? Because for a lot of FSBO sellers, that’s exactly what it is.
  • Do you have the time and capital to spend on:
    • Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Inspections
    • Paperwork
    • Phone calls
    • Showings
    • And problems that come up when any home is sold?
  • What do you do when someone knocks on your door and wants to see your house in the middle of dinner, or when you are walking out the door to go to an appointment?
  • How do you know they are qualified buyers, and not just out touring the neighborhood?
  • They maybe real buyers, but how will you know if they are qualified to purchase YOUR home?

Selling with a professional Realtor has advantages.

  • A professional Realtor will list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and other popular websites where it can be easily found by homebuyers and other agents.
  • Professional Realtors also have an extensive network that allows them to more easily find a buyer.
  • Professional Realtors will make sure a buyer is qualified to purchase your home.
  • Professional Realtors will negotiate to get the best price, and terms, for your home.

So before you decide to sell your home yourself, thoughtfully consider just how much time and effort you can spare for selling your home, as well as how important it is that your home sell sooner, rather than later.

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