Selling a home by owner is certainly appealing. The biggest draw for FSBOs --for sale by owner--is that the seller saves on paying a commission to a realtor but is it worth it?
So, should you try to sell your house yourself or leave it to a real estate professional? In this article, we break down the pros and cons of selling a home by owner.
What Is A FSBO?
Every aspect of preparing the house for sale and seeing to it that the buyer fulfills their part falls to the seller.
What are the Pros of Selling a Home by Owner?
You’re also in charge of scheduling tours of your home for prospective buyers as well as scheduling open houses.
What are the Disadvantages of Selling a Home by Owner?
Why? The reasons are many. In Virginia, before individuals can work in the real estate market, the Virginia Real Estate Board requires them to become licensed. To obtain a license, the following must be completed:
- Complete a 60-hour approved pre-licensed course
- Pass the course exam
- Submit to fingerprinting
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass the Virginia Real Estate License exam
- Find a sponsoring broker to work under
- Complete the licensing application
Requiring a higher standard of professionalism for real estate agents helps both buyer and seller navigate a highly regulated industry with confidence.
Besides training and negotiation experience, licensed realtors have:
- Local expertise
- Networking connections
- Marketing strategies
FSBO Marketing: You’re in Charge
You’ll also want to print flyers and brochures. The key is to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible.
You’ll also need to answer all calls about the listing, schedule showings, and coordinate the open houses.
Also consider hiring a professional photographer. Remember, your home is competing with others online. A professionally photographed home will stand out and grab the attention of a would-be buyer.
While good photos are important for generating interest, what you say about your home is equally important. That’s why you want to create an engaging listing description detailing the many features and benefits of your home.
A well-written description should encourage a buyer to get in touch with you. So how do you do that? Keywords.
Buyers search by keywords, especially if they are looking for specific features. You’ll want to include strategic keywords so that your listing gets the attention it deserves.
Include basic information such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as your home’s best features.
Buyers will also want to know about the area. Are there local parks nearby? Public transportation? Include all the amenities that your home and neighborhood have to offer.
Of course, every homeowner wants top dollar for their home, but be careful about overpricing; it’s never a good idea. Overpricing can lead to a stale listing, a home that’s been on the market a long time.
This can lead buyers to make erroneous assumptions about the home.
Zillow research found that 57% of homes for sale in the US were sold at the listing price or above when an offer was accepted in the first week the home was on the market.
The second week a home is on the market, that percentage drops to 50%. The trend spirals downward the longer the house is on the market.
So how do you know what is the right price for your house? Run a comparative analysis.
The Benefit of a Comparative Market Analysis
Use public records of houses sold and check the Recently Sold filter on real estate listing platforms like Zillowor Trulia.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing your CMA:
- Choose homes that are similar, or comparable, to yours as much as possible. This includes size, quality, and similar location.
- Try to pull comps that are from an area that is as close to your neighborhood as possible. If you can get comps in your own neighborhood, that would be ideal.
- Focus on homes that have sold within the last three to six months, but no longer than that.
- If you’re searching on a real estate listing platform, don’t use the asking price of homes actively listed on the market. These only tell you what the seller thinks it’s worth. Instead, search for homes that have recently sold for an accurate reflection of the home’s current value.
The Best Approach: Get an Appraisal
Remain Flexible with Showings
The more you can show your house, the higher the likelihood you’ll get a buyer. So, it’s advantageous to be available.
Work It Like the Pros
Unless you have the real estate expertise and the time needed to be available to the public, for most people, choosing a realtor is the best way to sell a home.
Realtors handle real estate transactions every day. They’ve been trained for the job and they understand the process. This allows for a smoother transaction in a difficult legal world.
If you choose to go it alone, just make sure you understand the legal responsibility you’re taking on.
When you’re ready to close on your new home, Lilly Title & Settlement in Staunton, Virginia, can get you to the closing table quickly and efficiently. Learn more about us here.