Should You Go Fsbo?

by Molly Hinges on March 6, 2012

FSBO, or For Sale by Owner, means you are selling your house sans agent, thus saving a lot of moolah otherwise spent on realtor commissions. But this is not an option everybody should take or even consider – let me tell you why in the next few paragraphs.

No Joke at All

Selling your home yourself is demanding. What if you spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and concentration in your business or profession? What if your job demands that you travel a lot? Entertain a lot? Invest long hours? You somebody who has to do research on a daily basis simply to ensure that your work tomorrow and moving forward is of nonpareil quality? If you are somebody who fits any of the above descriptions, then brother/sister, you don’t need more distractions in your life right now.

You would be better off seeking the help of a Realtor if you work in a profession that is either one or more of the following – fast-paced, difficult, stressful, exciting, never-a-dull-moment, time-consuming – you get the idea. Take the time when you first put your home on the market to interview an agent or two. Find out how their listings are marketed. Ask if they keep their clients informed about the status of their property’s marketing. Do not just ask for, but INSIST on references – no references, then tough. And once you have found somebody who leaves you no doubt about his/her skills and experience, then sign that listing agreement. A good agent can give you sound advice and save you a ton of time.

About Being a Novitiate Home Buyer

If you are new to buying a home or selling one, then the likelihood of your needing an agent would be greater than others. If you haven’t sold a home or bought one in a good number of years, then copy-paste the last statement onto this one. And if you have not bought or sold a home in your part of the county, then you guessed it right – an agent it is. But of course, there will be exceptions to the rule, and you can certainly go whole-hog FSBO if you work for a lender or settlement agent. This would allow you to glean some valuable experience in the industry even if you do not buy or sell homes regularly.

Older people are usually better off working with an agent. A typical situation is that they have owned their home for a number of years. And the owner would not realize how much their home has appreciated over the past few years. And at this point, the owner wants something more – let us assume he/she wants to buy more property, this time in a community setting where they need not do any maintenance or upkeep for the home’s exterior, instead having a third party do the task. In order to do this, they need to sell their home. The homeowner’s most basic option would be to increase their savings generated from the sale, which would make the operating costs to run the new home lower than that of the old. The words “change” can send shivers down most anybody’s spine, and it is easy to be flummoxed by the superfluity of issues to deal with. You would really want to hire the best agent possible to handle these convoluted tasks.

If this sounds like you (whether it may be the first or second situation), then I would advise against your going FSBO.

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