The Difference Between Listing as FSBO and Hiring an Agent

    What is the difference between selling your home on your own and hiring an agent to help? Today, I’ll spell out the challenges a FSBO seller might face.

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    I was speaking with a client the other day whose neighbor was contemplating listing their home as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) as opposed to hiring an agent. The client asked me to highlight some of the key differences between the two options.

    The first point I’d like to make concerns contracts. This is typically a person’s largest financial investment, and so it involves a range of legal contracts that we as agents have been trained to deal with and actively continue our education with. It’s very easy to miss something that could become extremely costly, so if you’re listing your home as FSBO, you should hire an attorney to review your contract. This by itself could be costly as well; it could require payment to the attorney on an hourly basis, and it’s really non-negotiable.

    The second point I have is about marketing. This is a big subject in real estate. I’m not sure what a FSBO seller would intend to do, besides create a really cool flyer, but the real question is how much exposure are they going to get for their property?

    We have a whole marketing team that manages Facebook ads and targets people that might be the best fit for the house. We, as paying agents, also have access to the MLS. We pay for your house to be listed on over 500 websites that are syndicated by the MLS. If you’re not a part of the MLS, you won’t have access to many of those websites; you may only be able to get on a handful of them. We also pay for a designer to come out and consult with you in order to get your house ready for your big photo shoot. We pay for a professional photographer, as well. These are expenses that are just lining up for you if you’re not an agent.

    Do you really want to be taking phone calls, texts, and emails all day long in order to set up showings?

    Additionally, think about your time. We schedule open houses, which require a lot of time to plan. We also streamline your showings; do you really want to be taking phone calls, texts, and emails all day long in order to set up showings? It can be very time-consuming.

    We have a database of thousands of people, so we are able to deliver mass exposure. There are a lot of people on the back end that are making your house a priority. Think about how much time and money you would have to put into all of this just to get your house noticed by buyers.

    My final point is about pricing your home. If you make a mistake with pricing your home when it hits the market, it could be extremely costly. It can also cost you time by extending your home’s period on the market, which could create a stigma on your property. Don’t rely on a Zestimate or your neighbor’s opinion; call an agent and get their professional opinion

    If you’re going to list your home as FSBO, consider that buyers may attempt to lowball you. They know that you want to save on commission, so they may expect or demand a lower price. The National Association of Realtors has come out with stats year over year proving that FSBO sellers made significantly less than those that hired a real estate agent to handle the sale.

    If you or someone who know is considering selling their home, please feel free to reach out to us for help. We’d be glad to speak with you about your options.

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