Studies have shown that buyers spend less time in a for-sale home and do feel intimidated if the owner is present during the showing. They are shy about discussing its pros and cons with their own agent if the owner is within earshot. Buyers are less inclined to make an offer if they know they will be negotiating directly with the seller. Having an agent on each of the two sides creates an effective emotional buffer between the seller and buyer.
I have noticed that FSBOs are more likely to stumble into legal trouble. Real estate transactions are fraught with potential liability for unwary sellers, particularly in states that have extensive disclosure requirements. A FSBO who overlooks even one required form or legally mandated disclosure could face a protracted and expensive buyer lawsuit after the transaction closes.
FSBOs typically overprice their home. Like most homeowners, most FSBOs honestly believe their own home is worth more than comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Usually, they're wrong. A real estate agent can provide an update on market conditions, an assessment of the likely selling price of the home and tips for improving the home's buyer appeal. Overpricing a for-sale home is a sure way to deter potential buyers.
The array of problems that can occur is as varied as the people that participate in the real estate market, some are reasonable and easy to fix and some are anything but. One of the most important things to know about selling your home is that in order to sell it you must get people in to see it, remember your home is competing with all other homes on the local market. The biggest challenge to selling your home is getting people in the door. Doing that is mostly a function of competitive pricing, timely price adjustments and advertising and if you do all these things properly then they should come. If your home presents as well as or better than the others the buyers have seen then you have a fighting chance.
After all of the concerns of dealing with or without an agent are resolved, you must consider things like who will know what papers are required for a sale, what laws, such as disclosures requirements need to be observed, how is a settlement agent contracted, what papers do they need, the list goes on and on. In truth many of these questions are not difficult, but fear of the unknown is what gives people pause.
Don't take a chance hire an expert!
Isabel Elsesser, Realtor
First United Realty
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