If you think this is going to be yet another blog post from a real estate agent telling you how dim-witted you are for trying to sell your home by yourself, think again. There are some dirty little secrets about FSBOs that the real estate industry likes to keep well hidden and I’m about to shine the light of day on them.
If you work with an agent will you sell your home for more? Probably not, according to a Stanford University Economics Department study. Will it sell faster? Yes, studies show that one of the benefits of using an agent is that homes sell demonstrably faster than when you don’t work with an agent.
So, there are benefits to listing your home with a real estate agent. But I get that most FSBO sellers are trying to save money and who am I to poo-poo that idea?
So, if you insist on going it alone, at least be aware of some of the mistakes commonly made by homeowners in your position.
1. Incorrect Pricing
Incorrect pricing is the number one problem I see among FSBO sellers. I have seen some crazy prices out there and can’t help but wonder where the homeowners came up with them.
Market value is determined by what willing buyers will pay for a home during any particular time period. The only way to know what they’re willing to pay is to look at what other buyers have, indeed paid, and that means looking at the sales prices of homes in your area.
It’s not just the prices, however. You’ll need to be brutally honest with yourself when comparing your home to those that have sold. Is yours smaller, older, in worse condition or in a less desirable area? If so, it’s worth less than the homes you’re using as comps. The opposite is true as well. If your home is in better condition, is newer, larger or offers amenities the others lack, it’s worth more.
How much more? I wish I could tell you. Pricing homes takes much research and there’s no set dollar amount for any of the criteria when comparing homes.
Check back with us in two weeks to learn about the second biggest mistake FSBOs make.