We understand the temptation to list your property as “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO). If all goes well, you’ll save thousands of dollars in commission. Right?
Not so fast! Those thousands of dollars you plan on “saving” may cost you exponentially more on the other end of the deal. Or, you may find you don’t have a deal at all.
8 Reasons Your Home Sale Deserves a Real Estate Agent
There are eight solid reasons to avoid the stress of an FSBO listing and use a real estate agent when selling your Deland area home.
1. Professional marketing is essential
Posting your home on MLS and social media sites isn’t enough. Even in a seller’s market, real estate agents spend time, money, and energy getting professional-quality photos and videos of your property. They know exactly what to focus on in advertising content to hook the right prospective buyers, and real estate agents also have access to platforms viewed exclusively by other agents.
Listing properties on professional real estate sites such as Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com requires professional licensure. Your homemade sign and DIY real estate ads on basic platforms aren’t enough to get buyers through your front door. The rise of professional real estate sites directly correlates to statistical declines in FSBO home sales.
2. Forgo personal liability
Real estate agents are liable for any mistakes, errors, and omissions made throughout the transactional process. For example, failure to disclose certain items about the property, missing an unchecked box on real estate documents, misrepresentation of the property, or any violations of Florida’s real estate regulations can result in costly lawsuits or the buyer’s ability to get out of the contract.
Licensed real estate agents do their utmost to avoid any of the above and other situations leading to litigation. To protect themselves from the “just in cases,” real estate agents invest in errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies that cover these costs for their clients. Failure to use a licensed agent puts you in the direct line of fire if a mistake is made and you wind up being sued. Real estate lawsuits often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more and should be avoided at all costs.
3. Benefit from high-volume foot traffic
Most FSBO homes experience notably lower foot traffic from potential buyers. Unless your home fits a particular niche, most licensed real estate agents don’t bother to bring their clients to homes listed without an agent. Real estate agents are professionals, and they want to deal with professionals.
Buyer agents don’t want to haggle with sellers who overvalue their homes. They don’t want to do extra paperwork for sellers who aren’t well-versed in Florida’s real estate laws and protocol, And, most of all, they don’t want to put their clients at risk for potential real estate snafus due to the seller’s lack of expertise. We prioritize working with other agents who “speak our language” to provide an efficient, fluid, and satisfying experience for our clients.
4. You’ll make more money (even with commission)
Most homeowners who go the FSBO route do so for one reason; they want to avoid paying the agent’s commission. The inherent fallacy in this theory is that FSBO homes statistically sell for less than their agent-represented counterparts.
According to a study conducted by Collateral Analytics, a real estate information technology company that develops tools and products to aid in property investment decisions, homes sold using a licensed real estate agent sell for as much as 6% higher than FSBO homes with matching zip codes. This is ironic since that gap more than accounts for the commission homeowners are reticent to pay an agent.
Also, the NAR’s FSBO statistics demonstrate that an agent’s expertise, pricing acumen, and ability to sell your home faster could mean a net gain of 10-30% compared with selling the home on your own. So even at the lowest end of that spectrum, paying standard commission nets sellers thousands of more dollars in a shorter window of time.
5. Home sales require more time and energy than you think
Listing and selling a home entails far more than posting a few pictures and a captivating description on real estate platforms. It’s a full-time job, even in the hottest real estate markets.
Selling a home requires professional staging, marketing/advertising, professional networking, and scheduling and hosting open houses. Agents meet prospective buyers at the buyers’ convenience, typically evenings, weekends, and holidays, and there are countless other tasks that comprise the real estate agent experience.
Prospective buyers expect agents to have ready answers to their questions, which may require a direct understanding of real estate law and sales protocols. Failure to answer correctly or provide necessary information puts you at risk of a lawsuit (see #2) or having to address angry buyer complaints/accusations. Astute buyers and legal professionals know the risks an FSBO homeowner takes and can exploit them. Don’t put yourself at risk.
Your real estate agent works for you, so you can save your time and energy for more important things – like preparing for your life after the move.
6. Professional respect from buyers and agents
We mentioned that buyers’ agents are less likely to show an FSBO listing to clients because they don’t want the hassle of working with novices. However, real estate agents aren’t the only ones wary of FSBO homeowners. Your prospective homebuyers chose to work with a real estate agent for a reason; they trust the agent’s expertise.
Serious home buyers want to purchase a home using professionals and have more respect for homes sold using a professional listing agent. Therefore, buyers are more likely to skip or de-prioritize FSBO listings because they don’t want to risk their homebuying experience due to a seller’s lack of knowledge and experience.
7. No money paid upfront
Your agent takes care of all of the costs associated with listing your home, including the listings themselves, open houses, and related marketing costs. These expenses, as well as the agent’s time, are covered by the resulting commission. When you list a home “For Sale By Owner,” you are responsible for all of those upfront costs without any indication of when you’ll recoup them via a sale. The longer it takes to sell your home, the more those expenses add up.
Also, you may find your realtor knows exactly what to spruce up and what to leave untouched, which saves you money in well-meant investments on the wrong “curb appeal” or structural improvements.
Read, Preparing to Sell Your Florida Home? Use This 7-Point Checklist for more information about where to place your attention and your dollars.
8. Avoid low-ballers
Savvy home buyers and investors gleefully hit up FSBO listings to see if they get a taker on low-ball offers. Unfortunately, what you view as a quick sale and “enough money” means a steal for investors who do use agents and flip FSBO houses for the thousands of sellers you would have gained had you used an agent in the first place.
Ready to partner with a seller’s agent who has your best interest and net gains at heart? Schedule a consultation with Southern Exclusive Realty, and we’ll help you negotiate the best price for your property.