FSBO Charlottesville

FSBO – Is It Really Better To Sell A Home Yourself?

Here at Solutions we’ve touched on the issue of FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) quite often as we’re frequently asked by potential Sellers why they should consider having an agent versus selling their home themselves.

Selling a Charlottesville home is easy, at least that’s what some people say. All you have to do is put a “For Sale” sign in the yard and 30 days later you’re at the closing table, right?

Not so fast. When people place their most valuable asset for sale without a professional it typically ends in disaster.

Most people don’t have the time, resources, skills or technical capability to fully advertise a property as a FSBO.  Also, Sellers often have unrealistic expectations of the market value of their home.

Most home owners will buy and sell one or two homes in their lifetime.  This doesn’t compare with the experience of a qualified Charlottesville Listing Agent.

As Sellers typically are the ones offering the commission for both the listing and Buyer’s agent, it might seem like they’re putting out a great amount of money at the start, but we’ve gathered info on the pros and cons of considering a FSBO so you can determine the real costs involved, and other factors to consider.

Too Many People to Negotiate With

If you decide on a FSBO below is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate with:

*The Buyer, who wants the best deal possible

*The Buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the Buyer

*The Buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)

*The home inspection companies that work for the Buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house

*The appraiser, if there is a question of value

*Your bank, in the case of a short sale

Attracting Prospective Buyers

Recent studies have shown that 92% of Buyers search online for a home. That’s in comparison to only 28% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

Yard Sign v. Internet

Where do Buyers find the home they actually purchased?

*43% on the internet

*9% from a yard sign

*1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

FSBOing has more paperwork now

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason Buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission, and there’s a perception as well that there’s something wrong with the house. The Seller and Buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000. This doesn’t always mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home, however, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. It does show, however, that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

Using a Discount Service?

As we’ve noted, people are selling a very valuable item, their home, but when it comes to how to sell their home they often look at ways to cut costs. What happens if they want to use a discount service?

The agent will do some of the work, like adding the listing to the MLS and putting a sign in the yard, but you, the Seller, may be the one dealing with setting the price, showings, hosting Open Houses and even negotiation on any offers.

Let’s compare this to a different type of service. If you need to go to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned, would you use a discount service? They might just hand you a tooth brush and floss and tell you to get to work. This may sound silly, but it’s similar to the discount broker approach.

Hiring a Qualified Charlottesville Agent

Find a qualified Charlottesville Realtor who’s experienced in not just listing homes, but selling Charlottesville Homes. This isn’t always easy, but worth the effort. One of the best ways to find an agent is by using personal referrals, but don’t stop there.

Check their results, their online presence and their sales process.

Remember, you’re going to be working with this Charlottesville Agent over a period of time. You can set this time frame in your listing agreement, but you’ll have to have excellent communication between you and your agent. This is critical. So be sure you choose someone you feel comfortable working with.

Selling your Charlottesville Home is an important decision. So using a professional is just good common sense.

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Charles McDonaldBy Charles McDonald - Charles, and his firm, Charlottesville Solutions, are known locally and around the world for helping people relocate to the Charlottesville area. His background (running his own engineering firm for 20+ years in the Silicon Valley) has given him the skills to not only develop this site but also to manage a stellar group of agents!
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Charles McDonald, REALTOR® and Principal Broker, is Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia. 434-515-1585
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