For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

Are you thinking about selling you own home? After all, it is done all the time, right? Right. Many people who have tried to sell their homes themselves usually only wish they had not tried. Here are some of the reasons why:

It's Not As Simple As It Seems

If you have had training and experience in sales, psychology, diplomacy, law, finance, property values, are a skilled negotiator and are not intimidated by lots of paperwork, maybe you can do it successfully. You might even save yourself some money. But then again, you might not. The odds are against you. There are just too many pitfalls that the do-it-yourselfer needs to be aware of and avoid. That is why most property transfers in this country are handled by REALTORS®.

What IsYour Home Worth?

Do you really know? Without a professional appraisal, you are almost certain to price it either too high or too low. One way can be just as bad for you as the other.

REALTORS® are involved with property valuation every day. They are trained to recognize all the visible and hidden factors that may affect your property value and can guide you in arriving at a fair and reasonable price. This will help to sell your property in a more timely manner, rather than become stale on the market because of improper pricing.

Come One, Come All

Now that you have arrived at an asking price, be it right or wrong, it is time to let the world know about it. Start with a "For Sale By Owner" sign. It will let everybody that drives by your house assume that it is available to been seen any time day or night, seven days a week. Never mind that most are "just looking" without any real thought of buying. If you like company you are sure to be in for a great time, assuming that all people who come in are the type of people you want to entertain. Please keep in mind there are some negative factors, too, when selling your own home. Are you sure that you want just anybody in your home?

Then, too, the buyer you are looking for may never drive by. So how do you reach qualified buyers? By advertising. That gets expensive, of course, and unless you are a skilled ad writer, you may not interest many good prospects. Even so, you'll probably get enough phone calls at all hours to thoroughly disrupt your routine. Oh by the way, don't plan any weekend trips. You can not sell your home if you are not there, can you?

If a REALTOR® was selling your home for you, you'd miss all this "fun". You see, REALTOR's® only bring buyers to your home that are qualified and are looking for a home like yours. Even better, since having the homeowner present during the showing only inhibits the buyer from freely looking at and discussing the home with their agent you are encouraged not to be home during the showing. Now just how much more convenient can that be for you?. As for advertising, a REALTOR® has access to the Multiple Listing Service as well as other real estate publications which will get your property the maximum advertising exposure. Your REALTOR®, not you, will pay for the advertising. Your home will be advertised to all other REALTORS® so they can match your home with their buyer's needs.

Talking Turkey

If you finally do find a serious prospect for your home, you willl also need to sharpen your negotiating skills. You see, there is likely to be several thousand dollars between your asking price and an offer. Should you stick to your guns? If you do you may lose the sale. If you do not you may cheat yourself. This is likely to be a time of compromise, or give and take.  But knowing how much to give or whether to give at all, demands knowledge and negotiating skills. The fact is that you, the owner, are in an awkward position to best advance your own interests.

At this point, the advice of your REALTOR® is invaluable. As a third party, his or her objective viewpoint will be reassuring to you. You will have an experienced professional in your corner to bargain for you. No one can handle this difficult part of the transaction more effectively than a REALTOR®.

Closing The Deal

How good of a salesperson are you? Getting an indecisive buyer to make a decision will be the test. Saying just the right thing, and knowing when not to say anything can make the big difference in getting or not getting an offer on your home. Successful selling is an art and a science. Since buying a home is the biggest investment most of us will ever make, highly sophisticated sales techniques are a must. This is where the specialized training and experience of your REALTOR® will really pay off.

And Now For The Paperwork

The many frustrations of selling your home reach their climax at this point. First, your buyer will probably need to get a mortgage. Can you help him or her through the maze of mortgage financing, points and interest rates? Your contract will not be worth much if the buyer can't get the money to pay you. There could be other complications. Your buyer will want satisfactory title evidence, lead base paint and seller's residential property disclosures, a satisfactory termite inspection, and there are property taxes to consider. Actually there are dozens of other details to keep you busy before you will be ready to go to the closing. Once again, a REALTOR® will handle all of these burdens for you. Everything will be done properly, legally, ethically, and with a minimum amount of bother on your part.

Still Want To Go It Alone?

After all, you will save the REALTOR® professional service fee, right?  Not necessarily. Most people who respond to "For Sale By Owner" ads or signs expect to buy at a lower price. If you sell your home for less than its market value, you could lose far more than the professional service fee that you are trying to save. 

It's your decision. Think carefully about all that is involved in time, skill and money. Then consider the advantages of having a REALTOR® to do the job for you from beginning to end. Thus offering you less pain and more safety.  It is your decision and it is your money. 

If you have any questions, I would be glad to help you see the value in working with a REALTOR®.

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