I am noticing more and more FSBO (for sale by owner) signs on homes. I cannot urge more strenuously than to state: Do Not Sell Your Home Without a Listing Agent. Yes I’m a Realtor and I do make a living buying and selling homes for my clients.

I have had individuals in my office asking to help with problems that have arisen from homeowners looking to save a few bucks by selling without a listing agent. In reality a homeowner will fall out of escrow at least 75 % of the time, they will obtain less than an agent can get them and often times consent to terms they didn’t understand. Listing Agents understand the paperwork and are familiar with the process and know what to expect.

The buyer has an agent and they are there to look out for their clients and not you as a homeowner. Their fiduciary responsibility is toward the buyer. Is it the fault of an agent that the seller had been unprepared or unskilled while selling their home?

Reasons to Hire a Listing Agent

Saving on Commissions

A FSBO is already offering a commission to a buyer’s agent which brings an offer, so the seller is trying to save a few percentage points of money by symbolizing themselves. It has been proven that an experienced agent can attain a better offer than a homeowner. Plus, you will have a highly skilled negotiator representing you. A listing agent will have multiple buyers fighting over your property to get you a higher selling price and favorable terms. In California there is a tremendous mountain of documents that if not filled out correctly will cost you a significant sum of money or a lawsuit. Is it worth it? Trying to and save a few dollars that you really aren’t saving?

Unqualified Buyers

Homeowners simply have no way of knowing who is qualified to buy their home. Every FSBO has “lookers” trudging through the house who couldn’t meet the requirements to open an auto loan (let alone a attain a home loan). Homeowners don’t have the training or experience in qualifying buyers to determine their economic ability to buy a home. All your time and effort has been wasted, while bills continue to mount.

Inexperience in Handling Objections

Most purchasers are reluctant to voice questions about the home to the owner since there is a personal element involved. To handle objections effectively is probably one of the most difficult skills to learn in selling. When objections are raised most people do not know how to proceed. Often the buyer won’t even tell the owner of their concerns not wanting to injure their feelings. Listing Agents know how to handle these objections and guide everyone with a satisfactory conclusion.

Time Sensitive Situations

Often taking so much time trying to sell their home themselves, they then seek a professional to help them sell the home. Sometimes it very well could be too late to get the best price on the property. The homeowner may have to move on with their home unsold and a vacant house does not always fetch the best value.

Problems Financing

a buyer really should secure their own lending and it is normally arranged by the buyers agent. They have access to several lending institutions exposing the buyer to the best and most favorable loans. You may find out halfway through escrow that the buyers aren’t qualified or need help with financing to conclude the sale. This results in more wasted time and an added cost to the seller. Should the seller decide not to close the deal. The buyer right back on the market and starting all over again.

Lack of Prospects

Most owners have a limited source of prospects. The convey a sign in the yard there are also neighbors and friends. Listing agents have a large and always renewing source of potential customers via advertising, MLS, and also websites or in conversing with all of the agents in their office and in different brokerages. Brokers can even advise potential buyers of your home even when they didn’t know it existed. Greater exposure for a home brings competent buyers, that are more likely to end in a favorable sale.

Lack of Home Selling Experiences

Many consumers today are shoppers and want to see many houses before making a decision. This puts the actual homeowner at a disadvantage since home selling has become a occupation with a high degree of expertise and experience. It also requires understanding how to show a home and closing techniques that most owners merely don’t possess. These occurrences result in dropped opportunities to sell the house. There could also be a potential buyer that needs to sell their home and this is a seemingly hopeless situation for the homeowner, but a listing agent can usually manage the situation out amicably for all parties.

Buyer’s Reluctance to Examine Details

While buyer’s are inspecting a home they could feel reluctant to look in wardrobes, cupboards and medicine cupboards as they feel they are intruding for the privacy of the owner. This does not exist with a real estate agent, they show the house without the buyer feeling like they’re trampling on the personal items of the owner.

Not Home All Day

A listing agent will meet them essentially anytime. Buyer’s that drive through will take down the phone number off of the sign and call his or her agent who will arrange for a showing. Where you would have to take time off work to let strangers view your house and attempt to close them on pulling out the checkbook.

The Loan Problem

Once in escrow a lengthy complicated process starts which results in the exchange in home ownership. Loan processing is the largest issue in which serious problems can arise. Also legal aspects, inspection, easements issues can all be become overwhelming issues that listing agents are trained to overcome because of their client’s needs. A homeowner just isn’t equipped to handle these problems and increases the risk for property to slip out of escrow.

Giving Strangers Access to your Home

If you place your FSBO sign out front it is an invitation for anyone to ask to see the home. While bad occurrences might be rare you wouldn’t want undesirables asking to see the house while your wife is home alone. Furthermore, crafty thieves will pose as potential buyers and case your home for a robbery later. If you selectively put your sign up once you are home, you will most likely miss good advertising. Realtors pre-select buyers and find out who they are and if they’re qualified to be described as a legitimate home buyer. Thieves will not take the risk of being with a real estate agent who could be a witness in court.

If you decide to proceed anyways call me for additional support. I have additional tips for those looking to go it alone. (916) 672-1690