For Sale by Owner
Listing on your own is a daunting task
Let’s reiterate what I just wrote: Listing on your own is a daunting task. Would you represent yourself in court without a lawyer when you had ‘x’ (place anything valuable in your life; house, job, freedom) on the line? No. It does not make sense. So why list a house, with all the legal disclosure requirements and strict deadlines and everything else, on your own? There is no good reason to do so unless your a real-estate agent yourself (and even then you might want to list with someone else). It is not wise, and the purpose of this page is to shed light on the murky depths below in the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) world.
Dangerous waters ahead
Selling real estate may not be rocket science; do you look at real estate agents and think to yourself “wow that must
be an easy job”? You probably do, since you are thinking about listing without the help of an agent. However, it is extremely complicated and you could be actively setting yourself up to fall into a hidden trap, or get taken advantage of by the buyers agent, or worse: ending up getting sued because you didn’t follow a Equal Housing Opportunity law or you failed to do something within a tight guideline. All of which could have been easily avoidable if you listed with a real estate agent.
Myth: Real Estate Agents charge WAY too much
Reality: Real Estate agents typically work on commission. And yes, 3% of 250k is a lot of money. But think about it this way. The agent has to market your house. They have to write legal contracts. They need to perform open houses and showings, sometimes in a moments notice. And they have to continually receive continuing education to keep up with the ever changing laws and guidelines that are set forth each and every year by various State and Local agencies. “But I can keep up with this”, you say. Well the reality is that no you can’t. Anyone can read a statute book and kinda figure what will and won’t get you in trouble, but sometimes you won’t know when some of these laws or guidelines apply. This is where Real Estate training comes into action. A Real Estate agent will know when a guideline or law applies in different situations whereas you might not.
No Credible Listing Syndication
Chances are if you are listing FSBO, you will not be receiving any love from MLS (Multiple Listing Service) syndicates or being in local MLS. Why is this bad? Well many reasons. MLS is like “free” advertising for your listing. Chances are there will be more people flocking to view/potentially put an offer on your house if you are listing with an agent simply because of the power of MLS. Yes, Craigslist is a great way to attract buyers, but I’m sure you’ve run into a lot of spam on there too. Would you list a 250K car for someone to buy on Craigslist. No, you wouldn’t. It does not make sense.
One of my favorite TV shows is South Park, and I figured that this would lend some perspective as to why FSBO is not a wise choice when selling a house. This particular excerpt is making fun of the OJ Simpson case and his lawyer. Go ahead, watch it by clicking on the link below (this will take you to Hulu)
Let’s pretend your house is Chewbacca, the Wookie, and the idea of selling as a FSBO is Endor. The Wookie belongs on Kashyyyk, above the clouds with the rest of the market. Because an eight foot Wookie does not belong on Endor. It does not make sense…