Should You Sell Your Home “For Sale By Owner?”


Tim Lucas
Military VA Loan editor
For Sale by Owner

Joe Belanger/photos.com

by Ed Kunkel, Jr., U.S. military veteran and Realtor®

Should you sell your home “For Sale By Owner” or hire a real estate agent? Sure, you can save some money on real estate commissions by going FSBO, but could it backfire?

As a full time, dedicated Realtor®, here are some reasons you might want to hire a great real estate agent instead of doing it For Sale By Owner.

How Many Homes have you Sold?

Because you probably haven’t sold many homes in your life, you should consider yourself a novice home seller.

Don’t take offense at this. If you’re a computer programmer, and I walked into your office claiming I’m going to sit down and write a great computer program, you’d probably laugh.

Well, that’s a little bit how professional real estate agents feel when people say they are going to sell their home For Sale By Owner. It’s harder than it looks.

We are Experts in the Field, like You are in Yours

We know it all!!  I know that sounds conceited, but that’s what makes us experts!  We’ve seen it, inspected it, swept it up, learned from it, and grew from it.

To me, someone selling their own home makes as much sense as doing their own dentistry, operating on themselves, or representing themselves in front of a judge and jury.

Selling a home may be a new experience for you, but we already have a plan for your home to get sold by the time we walk through the door.  Don’t let that intimidate you. Just accept the fact that we know our job.  You’re an expert in your field. So are we.

Knowing the Market

You can really cash in on the expertise of a professional.

As a home seller, your opinion of the value of your own home is going to be clouded by your personal interests. A real estate agent can help you interpret what the specific market conditions are for your area, with your list price being part of a strategy to not only help you be successful in the sale of your home, but to use the current market conditions – good or bad – to give you the best value for your home.

The market doesn’t care if you need to net a certain value.  If you try to sell your home too high, nobody is going to pay a dime more than what it’s worth – period!

If you sell your home too low, you will obviously leave money on the table that you could have put in your pocket.

Think about selling real estate like selling stocks in the stock market – since they both follow the laws of supply and demand.  If you want to sell shares of a stock you own, are you going to try to sell your stock for more than it’s worth?  You could, but no one would buy.

Screening Potential Buyers

A real estate professional can tell how serious a prospective buyer is about buying your home. Do you? Having a Real Estate Agent screen your showings so only pre-approved buyers are looking at your home will save you time and grief!

And there’s a safety issue with going FSBO. As you’re taking potential buyers through your home, are they interested in buying your home, or robbing you later?

Interpreting Market Conditions

Agents can use past trends to help them determine where the market is going now, and with years of experience with practical application, can usually hit the nail on the head when it comes to determining best price and buyer demand.

Trends in the market can change frequently, so as a consumer or a seller, don’t get comfortable or used to the trends you’re working in now.  And remember, agents don’t determine the market forces, we only interpret them!

Networking

Even if you decide to sell your home For Sale By Owner, you will need to keep your full time job. You don’t have time to scour touring groups, to leads groups, and personal groups for potential buyers. Real estate agents do.

Anywhere and everywhere, a productive agent is always seeking the opportunity to find a buyer for you.  It doesn’t matter where the buyer for your home comes from, as long as they are bona fide and ready to do business. Networking is one of the most important tools an agent uses to do business! And a tool that a FSBO seller probably doesn’t have time to do.

Negotiation Skills

At the start, a good agent will prepare their client for how negotiations are going to pan out.  Agents who know how to negotiate will explain the best-cased scenario versus the worst-case, and how to work through in either case to get the best deal.  We take the time to do our homework to gather an understanding of the motivations of all parties involved to facilitate the best approach, and a win-win result.

Convinced?

I know I’m a little biased when I advise you to hire a real estate agent. But if you don’t believe me, contact a friend or relative who sold – or tried to sell – their home For Sale By Owner in a tough market. How did it go for them?

After you talk to them, you’ll probably want to give me a call!

Ed Kunkel, Jr. is a Managing Broker/Realtor® at Keller Williams Realty in Olympia, Washington. Visit Ed here. Ed’s Military History: Veteran – U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve; Highest rank, E5; 11 years combined military service.