Common Pitfalls of For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Listings

If you’re looking to sell your home, it may seem tempting to simply forgo working with a Realtor® and opt to sell it yourself.  After all, how hard can it be? Quite difficult, in fact. These professions wouldn’t exist if it were that easy.  These DIY type sales are commonly referred to as FSBO (For Sale by Owner) sales, and you may not like what we have to say about them at first. Hear us out, though. Our best advice to you would be to avoid FSBOs altogether, but it’s to your benefit, we can assure you.

You’re surely wondering why we say that, and it has nothing to do with agent commission. There are many reasons why this approach is a bad idea for the majority of sellers or buyers.  These types of sales have become increasingly problematic, as most individual sellers simply don’t understand how the market works, or worse, don’t want to. That’s why we have licensed Realtors®.  Great real estate agents spend quite a bit of time and resources on every transaction. They know how to navigate and avoid potential issues before they even happen.  They are problem-solvers who are there, fighting for you, for the best possible (and fairest) outcome.  A FSBO cannot do this for you.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common pitfalls of FSBO sales:

  • FSBOs often overprice homes because they don’t have the access that licensed Realtors® have to appropriate sales information.  For most of these sellers, it’s simply a guessing game based on the numbers that they want to see, not based on actual facts.
  • FSBOs tend to misrepresent the most basic material facts.  Because these sellers are not held accountable for their actions by any league, sanction or law, they are able to get away with the misrepresentation of home information, therefore misleading any interested or invested parties.
  • FSBOs don’t know the rules of real estate and therefore don’t play fair.  As these are not licensed Realtors®, they don’t have the information or knowledge to accurately represent their sale, and they don’t have to.    
  • FSBOs don’t understand real estate contracts.  This is very, very bad news for any buyer entering into a transaction with an FSBO seller, because they can make up whatever they want in your contract.  You might not have any real knowledge as to what you’re entering into once you sign.  
  • FSBOs can make it difficult to view a property.  We’ve found that these sellers often don’t provide easy access for potential buyers to come and see a given property making it very difficult to judge its value.  On the same note, if you are able to see the property, these sellers aren’t likely to give you space to roam freely, because they don’t won’t you to look too close.    
  • FSBOs won’t handle any repairs from a home inspection report.  This, again, is bad news for any potential buyer.  However, if you go through a licensed Realtor®, they will make sure that these repairs can and are handled as a part of your contract.  

When it comes down to it, if you are thinking of taking on the challenges of a FSBO property, whether as the seller or buyer, we strongly advise that you do your homework, consider all of your options and speak with a professional, first. That is, after all, why we are here.  So, when you’re ready,  give Eric Booth Realty a call.

 We’ll make sure that you don’t fall for any of these pitfalls that surround FSBO sales.   





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