FSBO or Real Estate Professional?

Dated: July 29 2021

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The great debate today is whether I should sell my house myself as a for sale by owner or I should use a Realtor. I'm going to break down the pros and cons of each. So let’s start off with the number one pro about doing for sale by the owner is you avoid the 3% commission. It's only three percent because more than likely the buyer that comes to purchase your property has a realtor so it's assumed that you're going to pay that buyer's agent a commission to get your property sold. Second thing is it's probably easier to sell to a friend or a friend of the families or someone in the family. It's easier for a person to get together, negotiate a price, probably don't have any representation, and you can go ahead and get that house sold as quickly as possible. The third thing for the pro is you control the process of the sale of the house. You control the entire process for title, lien search, everything - there's nothing left for anyone else to do, it's all controlled by you.

Yet according to the National Association of Realtors, for sale by owners sell their house for 6% percent less by themselves than they do with a realtor. So there's six percent of that purchase price that you are leaving on the table that you could have in your pocket. The next thing is terms of the contract - do you know all the terms of that contract? Are you well versed in the contract? Do you understand all the disclosures, all the definitions, everything that goes on in this 11 page document they're asking you to sign.  Things such as closing time, contingencies, and financing? The third issue is multiple offers - currently, we definitely are in a seller's market and on average most homes are getting on average 10 to 15 offers on the property. So are you going to want to deal with 10 to 15 offers on your property trying to figure out who's giving you the best deal, who's got the best terms, and trying to put all that together to make the best decision for you and your family? These are all major drawbacks when you are trying to do a for sale by owner, especially in today's market. 

Lastly, let's talk about negotiation. As I said previously, more than likely, the buyer is going to have a professional realtor that they bring to the table to help to negotiate and make sure they get the best deal possible. Are you going to be well versed in being able to negotiate that contract and to know the ways and parameters that you can ensure that you get the best deal for yourself and you protect the money in your pocket? You don't have a realtor that comes in who's the expert that negotiates the money out of your pocket because they're acting on the best interest of the buyer so you, as a seller, should have the best someone acting on yours on your side. The last con is showings. With properties getting at least 15 offers, the amount of showings is probably double that so you're talking at least 30 showings on a great property. Are you going to have the time to show your property 4-6 times a day in the current market? If you do, great! If you don't, you might want to think about hiring an agent because as soon as your house hits the market, whether it be for sale by owner, it's not agents going on a beat are going to be on that property because they need to get their property under contract for their client. So as a seller take these things into consideration, take the good and take the back and always make the best decision for yourself. 

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Maurice Murphy

Hi, I'm Maurice Murphy, a retired veteran, and a licensed Florida Realtor; I'd love to assist you. Whether you're just in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exa....

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