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FSBO Home Sales: The Risks

FSBO Home Sales: The Risks

By Kyle Spearin

When it comes to selling a home, the majority of us look to real estate agents. These trained professionals know how to navigate the real estate market, but do you really need them? In truth, you can make the decision to sell your own home. It is called for sale by owner and more people are becoming interested in this process. Technically, you can sell your home by yourself, and many people see it as a way to save on the cost of working with a real estate agent, but is it worth it? In this article, we are going to explore selling a home yourself and the potential risks that can come with it.

Low Visibility

Real estate marketplaces are what allow you to present your home to the general public. Since you won’t catch any bites by simply putting a for sale sign in your yard, it makes sense that you need a way to reach potential buyers. Marketplaces are the obvious solution, and some of them even allow everyday individuals to enter them. Unfortunately, the reality is that only some of the available markets allow this.

In general, the majority of marketplaces are only available to or known by licensed real estate professionals. This means that you will be limited by a lot when it comes to visibility. Since real estate agents have access to more markets, they have the ability to get your home in front of more people. The more people that see your home, the more likely that you are to find a potential buyer. More potential buyers also mean that you have a better chance of getting a really great offer.

Emotional Attachment

When you make the decision to sell your own home, you will find yourself going through a lot emotionally. Real estate agents can help you to navigate the process professionally and will help you to keep the emotional attachment out of it. They will spearhead the process so that you can focus more on preparing yourself for the big move.

Emotional attachment can also influence a potential sale because you run the risk of becoming overly sentimental. While you might love your house, that doesn’t automatically add value to it for another person. When you are viewing your home more emotionally, you might ask for too much money, or even become frustrated with potential buyers. Sometimes you might pass on a sale just because you don’t want a certain person to own your home, and that can cause a lot of problems. Real estate agents help everyone to operate professionally and will treat it like the business transaction that it is.

Time Management

Selling a home isn’t a simple process, which is why real estate professionals exist. To effectively make a home sale, there is a lot of work that goes into the process. While you might save on the cost of a real estate agent’s fee, you will pay for it in time. You will have a lot to do in order to make a sale even possible. If you don’t do it in a timely fashion, you run the risk of entering a bad market. Worse, if you can’t manage to handle all of the duties, you might lose a sale completely because the buyer doesn’t want to wait.

Buyers and Dreamers Screening

Not every person that is looking at a home actually has the intent to purchase it. While real estate agents know this, as an individual, you will struggle to know the difference between a real buyer and a dreamer. Real estate agents know potential buyers well enough to know when a sale likely won’t work out. As a FSBO seller, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

The reality is that being able to spot these individuals can save you a lot of heartache. You might believe that someone has full intent to buy a home when they actually won’t be able to afford it. Some people reach for homes that are more than they can afford and haven’t realized it yet. Many sellers get frustrated because they take people at their word and don’t have the knowledge to see the issue in advance.

Tricky Negotiation

Negotiating a sale is a huge part of your job as a real estate agent—and it is an important one. As an everyday seller, you will struggle to negotiate the true value of your home. It makes it very easy to get taken advantage of and might result in you making less than you could have. In most cases, the person looking to buy the home will have a real estate professional with them and they will know how to talk you down.

Preparing for Inspection

Real estate agents have a full checklist and know exactly what home inspectors look for. While you might be able to find some of this content available online, you likely don’t have the knowledge base to know what really matters. Sometimes inspectors look for something that is fairly obscure. If you don’t know how to prepare for the inspection, you might receive a poor review. When this happens, it is even more difficult to sell a home. Worse, you might end up selling your house for even less because of the poor evaluation.

Legal Complexities

Selling a home is a fairly complicated legal process. While anyone can learn how to sell a home, the reality is that it can be difficult to navigate. If you don’t know about local real estate laws, you will run the risk of potentially breaking them. Unfortunately, this could land you in a bit of trouble. It is even possible for you to end up getting ripped off or force you to receive a fine depending on what goes wrong. It is your job to know what is and is not legal.


Brian Burds

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