There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times like today, it becomes even more important to have an expert you trust to help guide you through the process. If you're considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), it's critical to consider the following items.

1. Your Safety is a Priority

Your safety should always come first, and that's more crucial than ever given the current COVID-19 pandemic. It becomes difficult to control entry into your home when you FSBO, but with a real estate professional, you will be protected by proper protocols that ensure the wellbeing of your belongings and your health. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, real estate professionals are equipped to follow the latest industry standards as recommended by the National Association of Realtors. Some agents are even facilitating virtual tours. Regardless of how you choose to show your house during the pandemic, the health of you and your potential buyers is a top priority.

2. A Powerful Online Strategy is a Must to Attract Your Buyer

Did you know 97% of homebuyers begin their housing search by going online? In addition to providing physical marketing materials such as high-quality flyers, brochures, and postcards, a real estate professional will feature your home on the most important online avenues. RE/MAX Whatcom County even provides marketing through Facebook ads, website features, personalized videos, and syndication sites to advertise your home. Effective online marketing can be difficult to do without proper access to real estate web channels. Your house deserves to be seen by the 97% of buyers searching the web for their forever home.

RE/MAX's proven marketing plan gets your home in front of interested buyers

3. There Are Too Many Negotiations

Here are just a few of the people you'll be negotiating with if you decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer's agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
  • The appraiser, if there is question of value

In their training, agents learn how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction for their client's best interest. 

Learn more about RE/MAX's professional real estate services

4. You Won't Know if Your Purchaser is Qualified for a Mortgage

Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. It's just as important to make sure they can afford to buy it. As a FSBO, it's almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions, and in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress being made toward a purchaser's mortgage commitment. To guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table, you need someone who's working with lenders everyday.

5. FSBOing is Becoming More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint

The documentation involved in the selling process is growing dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20 years.

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6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners think they'll save the real estate commission when selling on their own. The main reason a buyer would be looking at an FSBO is because they too believe they could save the real estate agent's commission, but the seller and buyer can't both save on the commission.

A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don't actually save money by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home to be an average of 6%. The biggest cause of the price difference is effective exposure:

"Properties listed with a broker who's a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property again, potentially enlarging the buyer pool."

The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place, potentially driving the price higher too.


Bottom Line

Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction yourself, which can be challenging and costly. Why do that when you can hire an agent, and net the same amount of money if not more? Before you choose to sell your house on your own, we invite you to contact us to discuss your options. 

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