In the current landscape of the real estate industry, many sellers are electing to list their own homes. Sellers listing their own homes, also known as for-sale-by-owner (FSBO), is not new. However, most sellers electing to FSBO their homes are often times misled. What most FSBO sellers overlook is the vast benefits of hiring a real estate agent. Whether they are convinced they are getting a better deal, can do the job of a trained professional, etc., these assumptions have been widely disproved.
The Case for a
Real Estate Agent
In a market where homes seem to sell regardless of condition, sellers are trying to take advantage. However, skipping out on a real estate agent can seriously hinder their ability to sell. Most FSBO homes sell for up to $40,000 less, or 3%, on average. For example, according to the statistics from Home Light, agent-assisted homes sell at a significantly higher price. Also, FSBO sellers often times forget that they are still going to pay commission to the buyer’s agent.
Typical commission rates vary from 5-7%, paid to the listing agent then split with the buyers agent. Listing a home at $250,000 would warrant a $17,000 commission check to the listing agent to be split. So, based on the statistics, listing a home FSBO to save on commissions DOES NOT actually benefit sellers as much as they would think. Saving $17,000 might sound like a steal, but remember, the agent would have, on average, sold the house for $40,000 more. Listing FSBO to save commissions often times DOES NOT relate to an overall higher net return after closing.
Real Estate Agents are…
Being a real estate agent is a full-time job that often gets overlooked in the process of selling a home. Remember, agents have fiduciary duties to always put their clients first. Whether that means putting their client’s best interests first or negotiating on their behalf based on the agents expertise, agents serve a major purpose in transactions.
In a real estate transaction, there is going to be a negotiation that happens at some point. However, the negotiation table is not for the faint of heart or non-professionals. Often times sellers listing FSBO get taken advantage of indirectly simply because they do not have the expertise and knowledge of a licensed professional. Agents are not emotionally invested in the home. Because of this, often times agents just walk away from negotiations. Remember, the point of a buyer’s agent is to help negotiate and get the buyer’s the best deal possible. The buyer’s agent has no responsibilities to the seller in this situation either.
Real Estate Agent Resources
Finally, real estate agents are professionals with resources not available to everyday folks. Agents have contacts, connections, and buyer’s list already. Not only do they have buyers already on the back burner, but they also have access to some of the best marketing resources available. Having access to the local MLS (multiple listing service) tremendously increases the ability to sell a home. The MLS puts the home in front of thousands of agents and potential buyers that would have otherwise missed the property.
FSBO homes have a negative stigma as well. This is mostly because agents realize they will not be working with a professional who has access to the resources a professional would. Often times agents will recommend to their buyers to avoid FSBO listings. Obviously if a client still wants to look at a FSBO home the agent must comply. However, the agent has the right to act in the best interest of their client. Agents are allowed to disclose the negatives of dealing with a FSBO seller.
The Bottom Line
While most FSBO sellers have motivation to sell and act with good intentions, they are often times hard to work with. FSBO listings have their place in our industry, but they should not be a first option. If you are a seller, ask yourself an honest question: Do I really know what I am doing? Sellers are more often than not going to have an emotional attachment to their home. An emotional attachment makes negotiations challenging and often times lead to no sale at all. Agents have the resources, expertise, experience, and obligation to help a seller sell their homes. If you are thinking of selling your home, seriously consider using an agent from the Premier Homes Team.