8 Reasons To Avoid Selling Your Own Home
Selling your home yourself may seem like a great way to save thousands of dollars, and we understand why you might see it that way. When you sell your home yourself, it’s referred to as a “for sale by owner” or FSBO. The standard real estate agent commission is 5%-6% which usually translates to around $12,500 to $15,000 on a $250,000 house. This number can sidetrack people and have them thinking about other options. The commission size may make you think it’s in your best interest to act as your sellers’ agent, but we’ve got eight reasons to avoid selling your home yourself.
REALTORS® May Not Want To Show “For Sale By Owner” Homes
In a FSBO deal, the buyer’s agent knows a professional colleague won’t be on the other end of the transaction. So, even if a client insists on seeing your home, the buyer’s agent may discourage them from making an offer. The buyers’ agent will be able to recognize the risks and hassles of trying to close a deal without a professional REALTOR® representing the seller—and without a guaranteed commission. And there are some buyers’ agents who will be willing to show your property under the right conditions. However, this may mean signing an agreement with the agent upfront that states the percentage of commission you’ll pay them because, remember, you will get out of paying a seller’s agent their commission, but you still have to pay the buyer’s agent a commission.
Agents Avoid Emotional Sales
Selling your home is often an emotional process. A REALTOR® protects you and ensures mistakes aren’t made, such as refusing to counter a lower offer because you’re offended, overpricing your home, or giving in too quickly when you have a deadline for selling. When you choose not to use an agent, you’ll also have to deal directly with a buyer’s agent when they tell you that the client isn’t interested.
An agent can soften rejections and help you sort through any negative feedback. It can be more difficult for homeowners to keep their emotions out of a sale because there’s no third party to help them focus on the end goal. For instance, if a house sits on the market, a homeowner needs access to feedback from other agents to know why the home isn’t selling. A REALTOR® who is on your side and can advocate and negotiate for you can save deals from falling apart and sell your house faster.
Real Estate Is a Full-Time Job
Are you an expert in marketing homes? Can you rush home from work whenever someone wants to see your home? Do you have the energy and time to take advantage of every opportunity to market your home? Can you excuse yourself from a meeting whenever your phone rings with a potential buyer? If your answer to these questions is yes, go for it. If the answer is no, take a minute before putting your home on the market. Your agent works on your home more than you could imagine. Just because something looks simple from the outside doesn’t mean it is.
REALTORS® Access Large Networks
Yes, you can list your home on most platforms that agents use to list homes. But will that be enough? Even if you have an extensive professional or personal network, those people aren’t likely to be interested in buying or helping you sell your house. You need to have relationships with other real estate agents, clients, and a real estate brokerage to bring in many potential buyers to view your home. Fewer potential buyers mean less demand for your property, which often translates into waiting much longer to sell your house and possibly not getting what your house is worth.
Weeding Out Unqualified Buyers
An agent can determine whether a potential buyer is qualified, a dreamer, or a curious neighbor. You’ll want to limit viewings to the showings most likely to result in a sale. It’s a lot of work and a significant interruption every time you make your house look perfect, put your life on hold, and show your home.
A good REALTOR® is trained to ask qualifying questions to determine a prospect’s seriousness, qualification, and motivation. A good negotiator can move a motivated and qualified person to the point of purchase. For Sale By Owner sellers lack this training and skill set. It’s also awkward for potential buyers to have the seller present in the home rather than the seller’s agent. Nothing can make a potential buyer more uncomfortable than the owner being in the home with them. When a seller is present, most buyers rush through a house to get out quickly and don’t notice or remember much about what they saw.
Negotiations Take Skill
Even with sales experience, you must gain specialized expertise in negotiating a home sale. The REALTOR® does, making them more likely to succeed in the negotiation. You’re not only inexperienced but you’re also expected to be unemotional about the process. Without an agent to point out when you’re being irrational, you’re more likely to make poor decisions losing time and money in the process.
You Don’t See Your Home’s Flaws
REALTORS® are experts in selling homes, and they understand what makes them sell quickly and what doesn’t. They can see flaws you may not notice because you see them daily and walk through your home, pointing out changes you may need to make to attract buyers better and get the best offer. A REALTOR® can also assist you in determining which feedback to act on from potential buyers to improve your chances of selling.
Potential Legal Risks
Tons of legal paperwork is involved in the sale of a home, and an expert must complete it correctly. One of the essential items is the seller’s disclosures. A seller can be held liable for negligence, fraud, or breach of contract if they do not disclose adequately. If you’re not a real estate attorney, there’s a good chance your agent knows more about disclosure laws than you do. If you fail to disclose a nuisance, hazard, or defect and the buyer returns to you after moving in with a problem; the buyer may sue you. REALTORS® can make mistakes too. However, they have professional errors and omissions insurance to protect you and themselves.
Living Houston Has Listing Specialists
You can try selling your home to save money, but hiring a REALTOR® has many advantages. Living Houston has a proven track record regarding listings and quick sales. We bring the expertise that few For Sale By Owner sellers have to a complex transaction with potential legal and financial pitfalls. If you’d like to learn more, contact Living Houston.