Selling your home can seem like a complicated and overwhelming task. The standard, most well-known process would include leveraging a local real estate agent while you sit back and see the offers roll in. And the extent of your involvement, apart from ensuring the house is staged and set to show properly, would be to accept or decline offers. And the costs? A hefty percentage of the selling amount.
In this day and age, especially given the market conditions and the level of demand, you may feel underwhelmed at the amount you pay your agent for the amount of work that’s put in. Meaning in a hot neighborhood, the agent may just have to set the price, show a house for a weekend, and boom! You have an offer with tens of thousands in commission headed to the agent. Is there a way to avoid this hefty commission rate?
For sale by owner is an option to consider, but there are factors that need to be accounted for when making this decision. FSBO (For sale by owner) is an effective way to save some of that money while still being able to market and advertise to a similar size audience. In the past, it used to be that the seller had limited access to the marketing vehicles agents did. The seller did not have the network or system access that a typical agent did. However, in this day and age all that has changed, and if you’re willing to spend some money (but still fractional compared to an agent’s commission).
For sale by owner listers now have access to website such as Zillow, Forsalebyowner.com and FSBO.com just to name a few. There is also the possibility to get it listed on MLS for a flat fee and of course if you’re attune to website creation and development, create your own listing page. These digital activities, combined with the analog activities of yore such as word of mouth and distributing self-made brochures, could garner that audience you need to find that buyer.
Keep in mind though, researching the market and following the correct legal process to properly sell your home are a requirement to ensure that you for sale by owner listing closing holds up to your legal and personal expectations. From a market standpoint, make sure pull your comparables to understand what has sold in your area that is most like your house and use that as a bellwether to price appropriately. If you have limited insight into the condition of key elements of your house (roof age, basement moisture, radon, etc..) that impact pricing, then it may be wise to pay for a professional inspection so you have a complete view of issues that may impact the price of your house.
As far as the rules go for selling, make sure you engage a real estate lawyer and seek the professional advice to help guide you through the necessary documentation for a for sale by owner listing.
According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2020 approximately 7% of homes were for sale by owner. While clearly not a large portion of home sales are FSBO, it is a significant enough number that had made its way as a mainstream option.
And remember, selling your home is just half the battle! Once you have identified the buyer and signed your papers, there’s still the actual process of moving. As we always recommend, research your moving company and ensure they have the reviews and experience to provide a move that meets and exceeds your expectations.