What is FSBO?
FSBO is shorthand for "For Sale By Owner." The term is used to identify
property, usually homes, which are sold by the owner without help from a real
estate agent. Typically, owners advertise their properties by way of websites,
classified ads, word of mouth, and other means. Selling a home is hard work.
Without denying real estate agents their due, selling a house can be accomplished
by a determined, organized seller aided by key professionals – appraiser, inspector,
and a real estate attorney – who will charge you by the hour or a flat fee
Reasons Why Listing Your Home "FSBO" Makes Sense
One of the major advantages of selling a home for sale by owner is that you
can set your schedule. You know when potential buyers will be coming to check
out the place, and can allot time to prepare accordingly. There is no need
to leave your own home every time an agent wants to show it. You no longer
have to make sure the house looks in "show condition" at all times.
Even better, when a prospective buyer makes an offer, there is no back-and-forth
between agents. An agreement can usually be reached quickly and easily between
the FSBO seller and the buyer.
You're the ideal agent
Who knows your home better than you? When showcasing your house to a prospective buyer, you know what the highlights are, whether it's the perfectly finished basement or the beautiful landscaping in the backyard. You also know what needs to be downplayed much more than an agent who is not so familiar with the place. Most agents can only go off a spec sheet with the dry facts to recite. Remember, a well maintained, fairly priced home will virtually sell itself.
You're in charge
Selling FSBO means there is no agent telling you what to do. You're in control of all major decisions, including where and how to advertise, scheduling showings at your convenience, and even taking your home off the market for a time if necessary. Most importantly, you can deal with potential buyers yourself. There is none of the frustration that can result when a seller feels that the agent is "not doing enough."
Save 1000's $$$$$$
There's no way around it: whenever you work with an agent they get a cut of your profits. Calculate 6% of what you think your property is worth. Now, is it worth paying this much to have someone else show your property? If the answer is NO, then selling for sale by owner is the way to go. Divide the commission by the hours you put in. You may find that your time is worth the money. Check out the equity calculator to find out your savings.
If you decide to list your home with a real estate agent, chances are you will inflate your asking price to cover the cost of the commission. Within a few months, you'll realize that no one is going to pay that much for your home. At this point, you'll either have to reduce your asking price or accept an offer equal to the original amount you would have asked if selling it fsbo—and you would still have to pay the agent's commission! Do it right from the beginning, and avoid taking the loss.
You have great access to out-of-town buyers!
The power of the internet gives you tremendous nationwide exposure that you don't normally get on a local level. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 88% of all home buyers now use the Internet to search for homes. If your house isn't on the internet, it should be.
Because you meet the prospective buyers, you have a much better idea how interested people are, how serious they are about buying, and what their timeframe and situation is. The direct feedback is easier to live with than wondering how things are going, or worse, why no one has made an offer yet. You can also find out first-hand what they don't like about the house – and then do something to remedy it.
Don't be intimidated by paperwork. Most transactions are trouble-free. Hire a competent real estate attorney for peace of mind. The secret is that there is no secret. Homes sell themselves. Will you buy a home because you liked the agent? Attractively present your home, price it fairly, advertise it, and sell.