When spring is in the air it means that not only is summer right around the corner but that the real estate market is about to pick up, and a serious amount of houses are going to be bought and sold over the next few months. The first question that is usually going to come up when someone starts to think about selling their home is if they should use a real estate agent or if they should try to sell the for sale by owner. In this article we will talk about what for sale by owner really is all about and if it is the right pick for your situation.
What Does FSBO Mean?
A for sale by owner sale is any type of sale that the owner is going to be handling the process by themselves. The home is not being handled by any type of real estate professional during the sales process. In the US it is not required to have a real estate agent during the home sale process, however some states do require a real estate attorney to be involved to make sure that everything is done legally.
The FSBO route can be done through a variety of methods. The majority of homeowners in the U.S. use the traditional for sale by owner process in which they mimic the process of an agent but become the agent of their own home. However, that is not the only method. FSBO sellers can sell their home during a home sale auction, trade the home with another owner, or sell directly to an investor.
The Advantages of FSBO
The most enticing advantage of FSBO is the savings of a real estate commission fee. When working with a real estate professional, they usually charge between 5 to 8 percent of the purchase of a home upon closing. This can be quite a significant amount for many homeowners. For example, if your home sold for $300,000 using a real estate agent, that would mean that you would forgo $15,000 to a real estate agent at the conservative percentage of 5 percent. That is thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands for many owners, that is taken out of the profit of selling a home that could be used for a vacation, college funds, and retirement savings. So why use a real estate agent if you don’t have to?
The Disadvantages of FSBO
The reasons that most people choose to sell through an agent is because the process of selling a home can be very complicated, time consuming, and tedious. If you are selling privately you are going to be responsible for listing, marketing, showings, negotiations, and the closing all by yourself. A buyer may ask you questions about the home or the home sale process that you are not sure of the answer.
Those wanting to sell in this way must put in the time and effort to be well-versed in the real estate process themselves and willing to do what it takes to get their home sold. Sellers that are unable to commit the time may have a house that stays on the market for months before the owner breaks down and uses a real estate agent. Thus, if you have full time job or business, a huge family, or an otherwise full life or going through a large life change, it will be difficult to sell your home on your own–not impossible, just difficult.
What FSBO Doesn’t Mean
Just because you are selling your home on your own does not mean that you have to do each step of the process on your own. There is more to the real estate world than just buyers, sellers, and agents. For a flat fee, a listing agent can help you list your home. A home appraiser can evaluate your home for the best selling price. A real estate attorney can walk you through the details of any offer right up until closing. Thus, you can still have professional help in parts of the sale that you are not comfortable handling.