Selling your home as a FSBO (for sale by owner) puts you at a huge disadvantage from the starting gate. I’ve seen that many times over the past 30 years. I don’t do any cold calling of FSBO’s. I’m pretty darn busy just working with buyers, and I don’t have the time. Keith Sorem, an agent in Glendale, California, wrote a concise article on FSBO’s, and with his permission I’ve reprinted it here.
Given the current market condition I suggest that you think long and hard about your decision [to sell on your own]. A couple of helpful facts:
In a “normal” market about 10% of homes sell without professional representation. This is not a normal market.
There have been significant changes in how appraisals are conducted since May 1st causing major problems in valuation. so buyers who finance their purchase are having to cancel escrows, sellers are having to lower prices.
In August there are new underwriting guidelines coming out, which are going to make it even harder for buyers to qualify.
According to a recent survey buyers have a Realtor represent them about 90% of the time. From the buyer’s perspective they get a “free agent”, so it is a good deal for them, In most markets there is a lot of inventory, so the problem by selling on your own is that the Realtors are not looking on other websites for their buyer’s homes. Your listing basically does not exist.
My suggestion is that you should interview a few Realtors, have them analyze your property and situation, then if you want to try it on your own, go ahead, you might get luck.
Know that 76% of sellers eventually list with a Realtor. 5% sell to someone they know, 5% sell to someone they don’t know. When they sell they, on average, sell for 16% less than the average sold by Realtors.
For a full discussion of the two multiple listing services and how marketing real estate compares, including the FSBO issues, see the Sequim MLS and the NWMLS.
Last Updated on August 18, 2009 by Chuck Marunde
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