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For Sale By Owner: What to Know Before Selling a Home Without an Agent

Posted by Justin Havre on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 at 12:49pm.

Everything You Need to Know About An FSBO SaleFor the home seller who loves to DIY and save money, selling a home without a real estate professional can be tempting. Still, a home owner who is thinking about putting their home on the market soon should give careful thought to whether or not a for sale by owner (FSBO) transaction is right for them. FSBO sales may bring complications that cost home sellers dearly, whether you live in North Calgary or elsewhere.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Fewer Advertising Opportunities

The MLS website is the website where the majority of real estate listings can be found. A real estate professional can list a home on the MLS website, whereas a homeowner cannot. While there are some sites that cater to FSBO properties, these websites may get less traffic, and listings from these sites may show up in fewer places on the Internet. Because fewer home buyers will see the listing, FSBO properties are often seen by fewer people and homeowners listing them for sale have fewer opportunities to sell their property.

Trouble Crafting a Listing

Creating a listing that touches the key points home buyers look for can be harder than it sounds. Home buyers look for key words when they scan listings, and if they don't find those key words, they move on. They also look for specific features in photographs, and if they don't find those features, they may develop a negative opinion of that property without ever seeing it. Homeowners who craft their own listing may find themselves struggling to write a listing that will attract home buyers. Working with a real estate agent can prevent problems.

Potential Legal Issues

There's a lot to know about filling out and signing the home buying contract, especially in the disclosures section. If the disclosures section lacks information that the seller is legally required to present to the buyer, then this could lead to legal trouble (or even a law suit) down the road. A real estate agent can help a home seller fill out the contract and other home selling paperwork to ensure that each piece of the contract is properly filled out and signed.

Difficulty Pricing the Home

Many homeowners are inclined to over estimate the value of their own home. Whether this is because of their sentimental feelings about their home, or just because they have a hard time judging the actual state of the real estate market, the effect is the same. Over pricing a house can be a serious problem, especially if the home seller is unwilling to negotiate. A home that is more expensive than it should be will not attract many buyers. If the home takes a long time to sell, buyers may start to believe that something is wrong with the property. This can make the home harder to sell, even if the price is eventually reduced.

Ultimately, trying to sell a home for much more than its market value can lead to wasted time and money. A good real estate agent will gauge the value of the home based on comparable properties in the area and other market factors. Listing the home for the right price can help it sell more quickly.

Why Should You Contact a Real Estate Professional?

Real estate agents are specially trained to help homeowners through the entire sale process, from listing their home for sale to marketing it to buyers and negotiating a good price. 

  • Documentation help. Real estate agents know how to fill out complex legal documents properly to ensure that the home seller discloses all information necessary.
  • Marketing expertise. Real estate professionals know how to market a home and make it look good for home buyers.
  • Curb appeal help. A good real estate agent can offer advice to homeowners who want to improve their home's curb appeal.
  • Negotiating expertise. Real estate professionals are experienced negotiators, and thus can help homeowners get the best price for their home.

Even after an offer has been made and the home is in the escrow period, the real estate professional stands in as a mediator between the buyer and the seller, to ensure that the seller is getting a fair deal.

If you're a home owner who is thinking about selling your property, now is the time to contact a real estate professional. Contact a reputable real estate agent in your area to avoid falling into common FSBO pitfalls.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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