For Sale By Owner…Is it REALLY Worth It?

When it comes time to sell your home, perhaps the thought of placing a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the front yard and doing the job yourself may seem appealing. The most appealing being the money you may save if you cut out the real estate broker. However, there’s a lot more to the job than just sticking a sign out on the lawn and for some, the headache, potential liability, and the work/time involved may not be worth the “perceived” savings.  Below is a great infographic (courtesy of Keeping Current Matters) outlining some significant statistics, as well as some key factors to consider when thinking about selling your home on your own:


Negotiating Ability
This may be the most oft-overlooked part of the do-it-yourself (DIY) process, and one that should not be considered lightly. Do you possess the skill set necessary to successfully negotiate the sale of one of your most valuable possessions? Can you effectively manage the process through to a close against a seasoned broker or real estate lawyer?
Remember that you may be up against professionals who are keep negotiators and know the sale process very well. As such, they may suggest all sorts of terms and conditions that sound reasonable but really aren’t in your best interest.

Legal Issues
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the home selling process involves contracts and closings, for which you will require the services of an expert who understands contracts and can steer the process to a legally sound conclusion. Many closings have been marred by legal niceties that led to unexpected outcomes or, worse, lawsuits, and ultimately a failure to sell at a price and time of your own choosing. 

The Eccentricity Factor
Are you reducing the number of potential buyers because you haven’t listed with a reputable real estate broker? Some buyers will be apprehensive about engaging a “for sale by owner” simply because it’s not the norm.  For a lot of buyers, an established brand name and a sales professional with polish are more palatable. Ask yourself whether your decision takes you outside the real estate “mainstream.”

Your Time
There is little doubt that you can fill an agent’s shoes and sell your own home – but it will take preparation to do it successfully. How much time do you have? And what’s your time worth? In the end, you need to determine whether your investment of time and energy will be repaid by the commission you save.

If you’d like more information on my strategies to successfully selling your home, please feel free to drop me a line!


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