Over the past few years, many potential home sellers have contemplated selling their home themselves to maximize their profits. This may seem like a practical option in to- day’s vibrant market. However, the pros and cons of this process should be evaluated carefully before deciding on the best course of action.
The primary benefit of selling your home without a realtor is the broker or agent fees that are averted. Depending on the fee structure and price of the home, this could translate into a significant saving. This certainly can be an attractive option. However, selling your home is not as simple as it may appear. Last year, approximately fifty per cent of the For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) said they would hire a professional next time, and thirty per cent said they were unhappy with the results they achieved! Why?
Many FSBOs felt that the time involvement, the paperwork and the everyday responsibilities were not worth the real estate commissions saved. Many others felt that the financial savings also were a disappointment, as the many up-front fees eroded their perceived profits. These fees included monies paid to consultants, inspectors, appraisers and marketing/advertising costs. Interestingly, studies demonstrate that many potential buyers wanted the commission savings to be passed on to them. In essence, the real estate fees saved in these instances were not retained by the seller.
It is important to recognize that selling a home requires a very comprehensive understanding of the real estate market. As I have discussed in many previous articles, if the property is priced too high it becomes a “stale” listing and activity will be limited. If it is priced too low the seller runs the risk of costing themselves significant money. In many instances, under-pricing the property can cost the seller more than the commissions saved by selling privately.
In summary, selling your home has obvious dollar saving advantages and if you have the ability and know-how, it may be a viable option to consider. However, it is important not to underestimate the responsibilities involved in taking on a project of this magnitude.