Many homeowners contemplate their options when deciding to list including employing a real estate agent or going it alone and listing for sale by owner (FSBO). Both scenarios have their benefits and challenges. It all comes down to getting the most bang for your buck.
In fact, the National Association for Realtors reports that an agent could sell your house for 13 percent more than you could. It is true that the average selling price in 2014 for FSBO was $208,700 compared to $235,000 for agent-assisted home sales. However, roughly nine percent of FSBO homes are mobile or manufactured homes which have a lower selling price point regardless of agent status.
So what is a seller to do? Evaluate what exactly a realtor brings to the table and then decide if you can manage all of what they do on your own. Ask yourself:
- Can I do all of the negotiating?
At first glance you might be thinking, “What’s so great about that? I can negotiate just as well. I got the salesman down $1,500 on the price of my car.” But many don’t realize how many people are involved in the real estate transaction process. If you decide to list FSBO, you can expect to work with all potential buyers, all of their agents, in some state’s the buyers’ attorneys, home inspection companies, appraisers and banks. For some, paying the agent’s small commission ends up pays for itself right here.
- Can I ensure exposure for my home and listing?
There’s no denying that the internet gets results. You can’t afford not to have a solid strategy ready to promote your new listing when 92 percent of buyers search online listings. The days when putting up a sign and listing in the paper would work are over. Real estate professionals use multiple listing services and employ numerous marketing strategies to get your listing the exposure it needs.
- Can I handle all of the paperwork aiding in a smooth sale process?
Minus a lot of signatures of course. The paperwork involved in a real estate transaction has increased over the years as industry regulations and disclosures have become mandatory. An experienced agent will not only know what paper work you need but can act according to ensure an error-free, successful and smooth closing.
- What about buyers’ perceptions?
Oftentimes buyers see FSBO as the chance to get a steal-of-a-deal. You could get taken advantage of unless you have the necessary skills needed in selling your home. Another consideration, the majority of buyers will be represented by an agent of their own. This means that if you are saddled with paying the buyer’s agents commission you are only saving 3 percent.
- Can I afford not to have an expert in my corner?
All of those people mentioned earlier that you might have to deal with are on the buyer’s side. They are looking out for the buyer’s best interest. Can you afford not to have someone looking out for your best interest?