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Is "For sale by Owner" worth it in a Seller's market?

Friday, November 29, 2019   /   by Sara Koenig

Is "For sale by Owner" worth it in a Seller's market?

Do you like to live on the edge and take risks?  Putting your home up as a "For Sale by Owner" is definitely a risk, and a risk many home seller's will take in a hot seller's market. But, is it really saving you money??

Let's take a look at some statistics....

Statistics show that selling your home with a professional Realtor can actually net you a higher profit. According to the National Association of Realtor®'s 2016 the average FSBO sales price was $185,000, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $245,000. That's a difference of $60,000!

I haver personally helped client's who listed FSBO and in the end their offer was way below market value had they hired a professional.  I have also seen agents take advantage of FSBO unfortunately.  This happens because you just don't know the in's and out's of the contract and also what is a "typical" contract offer.

I have also had client's try to sell FSBO and after several weeks, we listed it and they got multiple offers within a weekend.  Now, this isn't the case for everyone, believe me.  You can do this successfully in a market like we are seeing, I just want to provide you with some caution and advice before you decide or think this will make you more money.

Here are some ways you can avoid the headache of selling by yourself and what a professional can actually offer you.

1. Marketing

90% of home buyers are searching for homes online, and "for sale by owner" sellers are unlikely to get the exposure they need on a number of listings websites to reach their audience.  Placing a little sign in your front yard and then trying to do your own social media marketing hardly has the same effect.

By hiring a professional they will be able to market your home on the MLS and to other agents (This is where most agents are finding homes for their clients) and sydicate your listing to several different sites!  The more views = THE BETTER!!

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2. Pricing wrong will cost you $$$

While there are plenty of online resources like your Zestimate a For sale by owner can look at to establish a price this is not ever going to be the most accurate way to determine market value. 

Hiring a real estate professional will give you, as the seller a much more robust vision of the current market value based on what has actually sold, what the market has rejected, and what is currently available for sale that's is similar to your home. The goal is to make sure you’re pricing your home in the sweet spot—not too high which will turn away potential buyers, and not too low so you are leaving money on the table.

3. Unwanted attention....

When listing as a For sale by owner you're instantly going to be getting calls from agents trying to list your home...not necessarily bring a potential buyer. 

Also, without the technology that we have as agents like lockboxes, you will have to be available to open the home every time for a showing and this could limit the amount of showings you are available to accommodate based on your own schedule.  As a seller if you are planning on being present during showings this can also be extremely uncomfortable for a potential buyer.  Buyer's want to have the ability to talk with their agent about the home and what they like/don't like without a seller being around.

4. Nitty-Gritty Paperwork....

Realtors are licensed in the limited practice of Real Estate law and are authorized to draft documents used in a Real estate transaction.  If you have never been educated on these forms or what they protect both you as the seller and the buyer from, you could be opening yourself up to a lot of risk, and potentially a lawsuit....

What about lead based paint?  What about carbon monoxide detectors?  What about inspection of the home?  Mold remediation? L&I inspections? What about Earnest money?  These are all extremely important aspects of a legal contract.

These are just a few reasons why it does actually "Pay" to hire a professional to work along side you while selling your home. 

Please post any comments below and let me know what other questions you have!



Sara Koenig | Broker


  spokane real estate, selling home

Haven Real Estate Group
Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201

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