April 23, 2012

To FSBO or Not to FSBO ~ That is the Question! The Disadvantages of FOR-SALE-BY-OWNER.

If you are going to sell your property, You'll be thinking about whether to work with an agent or do a For-Sale-By-Owner or FSBO. Many are trying FSBO because they think that they will be able to save money on Realtor commissions. Selling property in this manner will spare folks from paying commissions and many feel they will be more in control of the processes as well as the decision-making, but sellers should understand the disadvantages to selling their home themselves.

There are several disadvantages to trying to sell your home yourself. Selling a house takes a lot of time and attention to detail. Real estate agents are familiar with all the processes and the paperwork. They know how to prep a house for sale, deal with potential buyers, set up open houses, and how to handle financing, closing, and legal issues. Their expertise can also have a major impact on the sale.

It is important to know the drawbacks and disadvantages of FSBO to consider if you are making such a decision. Below are seven disadvantages of selling the property yourself and the advantage of working with an agent:

1.Let’s face it ~ Real estate agents are much better trained and informed than the average homeowner. There are many and frequent changes in the provisions regarding the selling of property. Even real estate agents research to stay updated!

2. The competition in the real estate market is extremely tough. This is why it is difficult to sell a property today. There are many sellers in the market and a limited number of buyers. Many sellers are lowering their prices in order to compete in the market. Many who take the FSBO route do not know how to present their property or market it well, and end up in losses. If you are competing with experienced real estate agents, your chances for success are extremely slim.

3. Selling your property is time consuming. There are many more processes involved than just putting up a For-Sale sign. The real estate agent is involved in these processes EVERY DAY and is extremely familiar with all the ins and outs of selling a home. Your property needs to be marketed properly by advertising it, making sure it reaches as many people as possible. Real estate agents have many tools at their fingertips to market your property, with a variety of methods to attract the right buyer, that are unavailable to the average FSBO home seller.

4. You have limited contacts. Marketing can be very difficult because unlike the real estate agents, you do not have access to all the different available lists. It is extremely important that you are able to contact a wide reach of people so that you can attract more buyers. Because a licensed Realtor can do this, he has a much greater opportunity than the average FSBO person to get you good and realistic offers.

5. You are emotionally attached to the property. You may overprice it because you think that it should be valued that way. The right real estate agent can make sure your home is priced right for the market. A real estate agent will be familiar with recent sales and home prices in your area, and market demand. Overpricing a property can make it languish unsold for months or even years, undermining any leverage you as a seller may have later in negotiating. 

6.  If you are selling your home yourself, it can be awkward for you to show it to buyers, and especially awkward to hear any criticisms they may make. The real estate agent can be the professional interface for this difficult process. If buyers have negative comments regarding the property, he can catalog them impartially and provide the comment to you in a manner that could turn out to be helpful, letting your make improvements that may ultimately help sell the property. Your Realtor will not take the comments personally. They could turn out to be helpful later on.

7.  The right real estate agent will know the rules. There are many and varied state laws and regulations governing fair housing, lead paint disclosure, and other requirements. Selling a home requires that you be in full compliance of these regulations. There are also rules governing offer-and-acceptance (your sale negotiations with a buyer) and sales contracts. The last thing you want is to risk a future lawsuit for not disclosing some defect on your property.

There are other benefits to working with a real estate agent. Consider choosing an agent who is a Realtor. In addition to being licensed by the state to sell real estate, Realtors, like Greg Rapp,  belong to the National Association of Realtors and must abide by a strict Code of Ethics. The National Association of Realtors has a code of ethics that will knock your socks off, and they are very strict in dealing with people who don't abide by them. Also, only Realtors have access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS) through which members share listings and have access to many more properties than non-members. When potential buyers contact a Realtor and explain what they are looking for, the Realtor may (1) already know a list of properties that meet the client’s needs, or (2) can research the MLS listings to see what matches those requirements. Your FSBO home will not be showing up on this list and will likely be overlooked!

Choose an agent who listens to your needs and takes the time to explain things you might not understand. Real estate transactions are complicated and full of confusing terminology. Greg Rapp will both know the answers to your questions and take the time to explain them. It's extremely important to find an agent whose personality you like. You want them to be bright, professional, trained, and someone who works in the business full-time, but personality is important. You are going to spend a lot of time with this person whether you are buying or selling.

The right agent will work with your time schedule. If you can only show your home on Sundays and your agent does not work that day, look elsewhere. If a listing agent does not work on weekends, consider who will be responsible for showing the house on weekends or holding open house. Whether buying or selling a house, your agent will set up appointments for you to either tour different homes, or show your home for sale. The Realtor will accompany you when you tour homes for sale. You can and should ask your agent many questions; after all, he is the expert. Many of Greg Rapp's clients have often expressed the value of his willing to work a flexible schedule that accommodated their busy lives.

Choose an agent who can and will provide other services. Greg can help arrange the house inspection, refer you to qualified lending professionals and real estate attorneys, and help you conduct a study of the property's value.

Some homeowners, faced with the prospect of selling their home, may weigh the possibility of selling the home themselves ~ without the benefit of contracting with a REALTOR. Beyond the issue of commission, many homeowners are wary that real estate brokers, for all their efforts and expertise, may not have their best interests at heart. Selling your home involves a lot of homework and homeowners making this decision must weigh their options carefully. Do you have the time to advertise and open your home for showings? Do you have what it takes to ask for an offer and negotiate a deal? Will you be able to close the deal? This is a huge undertaking for most people and not everyone has the level of expertise or training to take it on without some help. FSBO may allow you to save money because you will not be paying sales commission. However, you may lose a lot from the expenses incurred in advertising and marketing your property that show poor results. This will lead to fewer buyers and low offers. You will more than likely make the most if you work with an experienced sales agent.
Working with a real estate agent is necessary. With the right real estate agent, you are sure that your property is getting the maximum exposure and technical inputs.

If you have been thinking of selling your home all by yourself, think twice and think carefully. Homes in Salisbury/Rowan County, North Carolina deserve careful marketing and selling. With a licensed REALTOR like Greg Rapp, you are sure that selling your home will be a success! Greg Rapp DOES have your best interest at heart, knows the market, and uses the tools that WORK to sell your home! 

Need a REALTOR to avoid the FSBO pitfalls?  It's not too late to call Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846.

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