In every market and every economy, there are always home-owners that opt to market their homes "for sale by owner." As a real estate agent, I pay close attention to the market, including these homes.
In my opinion, I think owners should explore the option of selling their home by owner. The main reason owners try to sell on their own, is to save money on the commission. I understand that this can be an expense someone would like to avoid, but on the average, homes sold by owner sell for more than 10% less than a home sold by a Realtor. Successful home sales by owner make up a very small piece of the entire sales market, so you should know the facts before taking this endeavor head-on.
Here are some statistics for the National Association of Realtors:
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics
FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2010. The typical FSBO home sold for $140,000 compared to $199,300 for agent-assisted home sales.
FSBO Methods Used to Market Home:
â€¢ Listing on Internet . . . 27%
â€¢ For-sale-by-owner Web site . . . 11%
â€¢ Yard sign . . . 46%
â€¢ Friends/neighbors . . . 39%
â€¢ Newspaper ad . . . 12%
â€¢ Open house . . . 14%
Most Difficult Tasks for FSBO Sellers:
â€¢ Getting the right price . . . 23%
â€¢ Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 18%
â€¢ Selling within the planned length of time: 14%
â€¢ Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 13%
â€¢ Understanding and performing paperwork: 10%
Of that 9% of national home sales, approximately half of those sales are made to a family member or friend. So, unless you know someone close to you that already wants your home, you have your work cut out for you. In fact, even the Founder of ForSaleByOwner.com recently sold his home with a real estate agent.
I don't know how accurate these statistics are on a local level, but from my experience, homes sold without an agent involved are very few and far between. If you do move forward with selling your home by owner, here some tips, insights and advice to give you the best chance of success.
Price your home correctly for the market from the start. Research home sales within a 1-mile radius that are the most similar to yours. Look at your home as a buyer, not as the owner, and give an honest evaluation. It will save you a lot of time and money. Buyers looking at homes in the area, learn the values quickly. If you're over-priced, home-buyers will simply choose another home to purchase.
Advertise! The internet is your biggest source for buyers. Over 90% of home-buyers use the internet to find their home and 87% use a Realtor. That said, you may want to get your home into the MLS. In addition, use as many home sales sites as possible. My real estate team and I advertise on nearly 600 sites! Choosing the right sites, will bring the right kind of inquiries. Newspaper ads produce low response rates for the expense.
Make yourself available to have your home shown at anytime. Turning down a showing could lose a sale and extend the time you'll have to market your home. There are a lot of homes for sale, and buyers will typically just move on to other options.
Pre-qualify your potential buyers. Before you schedule an appointment to show your home, make sure they're approved to finance your home. This will save you time, in addition to ensuring you're working with an actual buyer, and not just letting some stranger into your home with no intent or ability to buy.
Complete the required Residential Property Disclosures and have them ready for buyers to review.
Contact a local title agency and/or real estate attorney to draw up the proper paperwork and complete the transaction. It is imperative you have the proper paperwork to write up the final agreement and account for all aspects of the deal's contingencies. Making a paperwork error can be very costly!
Kevin Rathburn, Realtor
239-269-4575 Direct Line