Think You Are Clever Enough to FSBO?

Selling a Home Yourself?

Many FSBO's mistakenly believe they will net more by selling their home on their own, however, studies have shown the average sales price of a FSBO is $184,000 and the average sales price when sold by a Realtor is $230,000.

Selling a home FSBO

I came across an article on Keeping Current Matters and though I agree with their points on the subject, I’d like to add some insights from a Realtors’ perspective.

Selling a Home: Negotiating

Their first point is that there are too many people to negotiate with. First of all, there’s the buyer hunting for the best deal, and the buyer’s agent who’s responsibility and mission it to protect and serve their client’s best interests which includes saving them money. In some areas of the country, buyers can and sometimes do employ a real estate attorney, though we don’t see much of that in Ohio.

Add to that, you have home inspectors and home inspections generally work in favor of the buyer as inspectors will almost guaranteed find something wrong with a property and add to their negotiation cause.

Consider too, appraisers. We see it all the time; appraisers will come back with a house value less than the offer price, which lenders raise a serious eyebrow too. One of a Realtor’s many skills includes knowing how to successfully argue with appraisers when it comes to house value, and can mean a substantial difference in the net.

Lastly, if the home is going to be a short sale, where the seller owes more than the home is worth, now you have to negotiate with the bank to see where they are going to draw the line with mitigating their losses.

Selling a Home: Marketing

This is a big one. Realtors have an internet marketing strategy. Many FSBO’s feel a sign in the yard and being found on Zillow will sell the home. Well, it could but don’t expect that to pan out well. First of all, over 90 percent of buyers begin their home search online, and some buyers will also check newspapers, and the vast majority of homes bought were found and introduced by buyers’ agents via the local MLS.

The MLS, unlike Zillow, is highly accurate given the strict rules and regulations governing agents and listings. Also, Zillow’s “Zestimates” are way off, being either grossly high or low in the majority of cases. I can tell you Zillow might think your home is worth tens of thousands more, or tens of thousands less. You’d think more is a good thing, but it’s not.

For instance, if a home is “Zestimated” say, $220,000, and it’s really worth $198,000, buyers looking under and close to $200,000 will never see it. Conversely, if the home is under-zestimated, buyers can also miss it, but even buyers that find the home will question the asking price because Zillow said it’s worth much less.

Smart, competent Realtors know how to price properties correctly, giving sellers a low, median and highest price range based on their frame to sell and consider comparable homes, matching feature to feature, and make their calculations based on sold prices, asking prices and expired listings which failed to sell because they were overpriced. Zillow can’t do that. Nor can other E-commerce sites because they are not purely powered by MLS’s.

Some brokerages create data feeds and provide Zillow with listing information, but they have to scrap the rest together from old outdated information, and why they will always be inaccurate. Besides, they can’t take into account recent or current renovations, neighborhood improvements, and a myriad of other factors.

My colleague Greg Hancock wrote an excellent article “Di-Zastrous” about the inaccuracies of Zillow and E-commerce sites you should check out if you’re thinking about selling, or even buying for that matter.

How Accurate are "Zestimates".

More and more, buyers are turning to local brokerage sites online like ours and also social media channels to find homes and reputable Realtors.

A FSBO needs to consider the time it takes to make and create posts for social media, and other forms of online advertising and too, if you’re not on the MLS you’ll miss out on scores of buyers agents with qualified and potentially interested buyers. Buyers agents send listings to their clients with a tool on their MLS called “Auto-Prospecting” and send listings to their buyers that match their criteria. Selling a home on your own means you don’t get the advantage of this powerful marketing strategy.

Interesting, “FSBO’ing” has dropped from 19% down to 9% over the last twenty years. Another consideration for would be FSBO’s is the sheer amount of contractual paperwork which only increases in complexity.

If you're considering selling a home anywhere in the Greater Dayton Area, let me put my considerable online marketing power and expertise to work for you. My clients keep coming back and refer to me because my clients' goals are my goals, and you can expect courtesy, compassion, patience and pro-active strategies to make your home stand head and shoulders above the rest