For Sale By Owner - Pros and Cons

You own a home and considering "for sale by owner", here are some pros and cons. You know first hand the sacrifice it took to get you here and the rewards it brings. It was probably the single biggest decision you ever made and one of the largest purchase of your life, it is now your largest asset and, if you've owned it for more than a few years, its value has increased far faster than any other asset you own. Before you attempt to sell it you need to know "the rest of the story".

The National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers survey, discovered that the median price for homes sold with the help of a real estate professional was 21% higher than for those sold For Sale By Owner without professional assistance.

The survey also revealed that 72% of homeowners selling For Sale By Owner used yard signs to market their homes while 61% used newspaper ads and 41% used open houses as their principal marketing tools. On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of buyers, 86% nationally, relied on real estate agents to buy a home.

A smaller percentage of homeowners selling For Sale By Owner relied on the Internet to sell their homes. Those who promote this as a good idea fail to note, as the survey does clearly, that nearly 8 of 10 buyers who initially used the Internet to search for a home ultimately employed a real estate professional to complete their purchase. Knowing how and where to market your property is a very important part of what professional agents provide their clients. Not fully understanding how to best reach the market can lead to costly mistakes.

Properly pricing your home may be even more important. Price it too high and you lose many potential buyers; price it too low and you may be given away a portion of its value. Correctly pricing your home for sale, from the beginning, may be the single most important decision a seller has to make. Real estate professionals value properties every day with clear, complete, firsthand knowledge. They monitor the public's reaction to your offering price, report these reactions to you on a timely basis and advise you on the best course of action for a sale when you want it and for the best possible price. They advise, you decide.

Open houses and showings that sellers do without assistance can expose them to personal and property risks as well as waste their valuable time because the prospective buyer may not be qualified to buy their home. Professional agents help avoid these problems by pre-qualifying buyers and accompanying them to the home.

The survey also found that the paperwork required for real estate transactions these days could be complex and often very confusing to both buyers and sellers. For Sale By Owner Sellers find it the most troubling part of selling without professional help. Real estate professionals and your attorney are important to completing a transaction safely and efficiently.

After signing a Purchase and Sale Agreement, scheduling and accompanying inspections, insuring that contingencies have been satisfied, tracking the mortgage process and getting to the closing can be complicated and time consuming. Real estate professionals understand the process, are experienced at efficiently directing it every day and, by helping you through it, allow you to concentrate on your normal routine.

From properly pricing and intelligently marketing your property to getting through the negotiations, paperwork, inspections, contingencies and the closing, a real estate professional is the choice of 91% of sellers in Florida. Realtors® are trained to sell your home on your schedule and at its highest possible price and treat the sale of your single most valuable asset with great care. Why would you settle for less?

Primary Benefits of Using a Realtor® to Sell a Home

1) Pricing - Setting a fair market asking price. With access to voluminous data on recent market activity, real estate agents will prepare a comparative market analysis on a home to ensure the home is priced properly and sold at the best price, in a timely manner with minimum hassle. Setting a fair market price is critical especially for those who need to sell their home quickly for job relocation purposes or some other reason. Real estate agents have access to up-to-date information on market activity regarding prices, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties to avoid the dangers of overpricing a home. If you are selling your house "For Sale By Owner" and would like a source for homes pricing here is a link to house values.

2) Marketing - Realtors® work with the widest audience of buyers to sell the home and can offer helpful tips to prepare the home for sale. Realtors® act as the marketing coordinator for the property, disbursing information about the home to other real estate agents through the Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses, and other means. Essentially this means multiple agents are working at the same time to find a buyer to help sell the home.
In many markets, over 50 percent of real estate sales are cooperative sales.
Real estate professionals also understand how best to show a home and can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability and/or sale price of the property.
Realtors® understand the importance of different advertising mediums and will pay for all advertising costs to market the home. The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market.
One common mistake sellers can make is overexposing the home. Overexposure of a property in any media may give a buyer the impression the property is distressed or the seller is desperate. Realtors® know best when, where and how to advertise residential properties.
There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate, however NAR studies show that 83 percent of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, personal contacts, or family and friends.

3) Disclosures and limiting your liability. Very few "For Sale By Owner" sellers know the real estate disclosures associated with their state laws. All real estate agents licensed in Florida receive on-going education on relevant state and federal law and regulations related to property rights, fair housing issues, and contract and environmental laws to name a few. By meeting state-mandate continuing education requirements for licensure, real estate agents will be familiar with the proper disclosures that must be made to buyers when selling a home. Without the use of a licensed real estate practitioner home sellers can expose themselves unnecessarily to legal liability.

4) Negotiations. With no emotional attachment to the property, real estate professionals are better positioned to objectively evaluate each buyer's proposal without compromising the homeowner's marketing position. This includes not only addressing the initial agreement or offer to purchase, but how best to respond to buyer contingencies, timetables for appraisals, inspections, financing, etc.

5) Security issues with For Sale By Owner. Real estate agents and brokers are trained to properly screen buyers to deliver only qualified buyers to view your home. By meeting beforehand with buyers to ensure they are serious buyers who possess the financial resources necessary to purchase the home, real estate professionals have the unique ability to protect your privacy and limit the likelihood of strangers entering your home for motives other than viewing the home for a potential purchase.

These are just a few of the Pros and Cons when selling "For Sale By Owner".

If you are trying to sell your house For Sale By Owner and would like assistance from a professional Realtor, you cen get started by letting me know about your house. I will prepare a CMA and schedule an appointment to meet with you.

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