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Why Buyers Don't Want To Deal With
For Sale By Owners (FSBO's) !

Some Questions To Consider

     Many homeowners believe that to maximize their profit on a home sale they should sell it themselves.  At first glance, it seems as though selling a home is simple.  Why pay a broker's fee for something they can do themselves ?

     However, many For Sale By Owners (FSBO’s), after one experience of selling a home by themselves, say that they would hire a professional the next time.  Many say they weren't happy with the results they achieved by choosing the FSBO route.   Why?

     Many FSBO’s feel that the time, paperwork and day to day responsibilities just were not worth the money they saved in commissions.  For others, the savings they had expected were largely offset by the fees they paid for advertising and to outside inspectors, appraisers, title lawyers, escrow and loan officers.  They feel they would have been better off paying a broker’s fee which would have included many of these costs and charges.

     Selling a home requires an intimate understanding of the real estate market and its dynamics.  If a home is priced too high, it will sit on the market and become "stale" and, rightly or wrongly, develop a reputation for being a "problem property."  But, if the home is priced too low, then you cost yourself serious money that should have been yours.  Some FSBO’s discover that the money lost as a result of poor pricing decisions and their lack of experience at price negotiation more than offset the commission they would have paid.

     And don't forget your potential buyers.  They tend to distrust FSBOs for a number of reasons.  First of all, it is common knowledge that many FSBO homes on the market are badly overpriced.  Why would a buyer want to negotiate price without any concrete knowledge of what comparable properties have sold for in the recent past.  They can easily determine that with the help of a Realtor®   Without a Realtor® a potential buyer is forced to do that price negotiation directly with the Seller with little or no comparative knowledge.  And, haggling over price is not something most people like to do, especially over something as personal as your home.  With a Realtor®, they know they've got a professional negotiator working for them. Finally, what assurance does the buyer have that all the myriad details are going to be taken care of.  The FSBO seller may think he knows all the steps required but how about the buyer.  On what basis should he or she trust that the FSBO seller will "cover all the bases" and always "do the right thing."  After all, the FSBO seller certainly isn't looking out for the buyer

     Before you decide to sell it by yourself, consider these questions and weigh the risks of assuming all of the responsibility versus the simplicity of employing a professional.

Questions To Consider

Do I have the time and energy to devote to selling a home?

     One of the keys to selling your home efficiently and profitably is "complete accessibility" -- the readiness and willingness to "show" the home at anytime, days, evenings, weekends and holidays.  Many homes remain on the market much longer than necessary because the owner was unwilling or unavailable to show the property when a prospective Buyer "wanted to see it -- now."

Am I prepared to deal with all the buyers who see FSBO’s as easy targets for low-balling?

     One of the challenges of selling a home is screening unqualified prospects and dealing with the professional low-ballers, not to mention those unsavory characters who may be just casing your home for a future break-in.  The time, effort and expertise it takes to spot these problem prospects and screen them out is not something you learn overnight. Realtors® have spent years learning how to recognize and screen them out.

Am I offering the right financing options?   Can I answer questions about the different financing options?

     Another key to selling, whether a home, or anything, is to have all the information the prospective buyer needs and to offer them a variety of options to suit their individual needs or priorities.  Think about the last time you purchased something of value, like a new car.  Did you make a decision before you had all the financing options in front of you?  By offering financing options, you give the home buyer the ability to pick one and buy your home quickly.   Without it, they may wander off and see another home almost as nice as yours except that it came with a professional Realtor® who offered a complete set of easy-to-understand financing options.  A professional Realtor® has a complete team, from lenders to title companies and inspectors at their disposal.

Do I fully understand the legal ramifications and necessary steps required to sell a home?

     Many home sales have been lost due to incomplete paperwork, lack of or poorly done inspections or failure to meet your states Disclosure Laws.  Are you sure you know all the steps necessary to sell real estate?   Unless you are, a professional real estate agent would be a wise choice for this reason alone.

Am I capable of handling a legally-binding contract on my own and can I handle any buyer disputes before or after an offer is presented?

     Are you well versed in real estate legalese and are you prepared to handle all the myriad kinds of buyer/seller disputes that can occur between an offer and a successful closing.  Many home sales have been lost due to disagreements over what one party or the other "thought" had been agreed to.  There's an old real estate saying that's worth remembering: "If it ain't in writing; it never happened !"

     If these questions have raised some concerns, you need to speak with a licensed and professional listing agent Realtor®.   Call or E-Mail me today.

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  mary bernas, Florida luxury real estate expert
Mary Bernas
Cell: 941-376-8396
Fax: 941-387-9254
Michael Saunders & Co.
330 John Ringling Blvd
Sarasota, FL 34236
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