Two Things to Know Before You Try FSBO


Have you ever considered selling your own home? A recent Chicago Tribune article covered area families taking the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) approach. While these families reported generally positive experiences, it’s critical to understand the risks of the FSBO strategy before trying it for yourself. After all, there’s a reason that only 7 percent of 2018 home sales were FSBOs.

You may think the FSBO approach will save you money and time, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Make sure you have a complete understanding of what’s at stake before taking a gamble on FSBO.

The FSBO approach will not always save you money.

Are you attracted to the idea of selling your home without help because you want to save money? Consider the potential lost value in an inaccurately appraised household or a poorly negotiated contract. These mistakes can add up in the long run, and end up costing far more than it would have to work with a REALTOR®.

Here are a few ways working with a REALTOR® can be a better move financially:

  • A REALTOR® who’s an expert in your area will guide you to list your home at the appropriate value for your neighborhood, type of home and so forth. If you try to price your home yourself, you run the risk of pricing too high or too low. If you set a selling price that is too high, your home will sit on the market and buyers may question why the home hasn’t been purchased yet. If you ask for too little, you may be cutting your own profit.
  • A REALTOR® has the skills and experience to negotiate your home’s contract so you get the best deal. Contracts include many granular details that, if overlooked, can wind up hurting your sale and costing you in the long run. Working with a REALTOR® will help you get these details right the first time. 

The FSBO approach will not always save you time.

Some FSBO sellers say they have more flexibility and control throughout the process, and save time because of it. But any time saved on interviewing REALTORS® and coordinating showings with a REALTOR® can just end up costing more time down the road. Without a REALTOR®, you alone are responsible for:

  • Navigating the logistics, from getting needed renovations done to scheduling viewings. These pieces of the sale process add up, and may take more time to complete than you assume.
  • Coordinating the appraisal. If you work with a REALTOR®, they’ll be able to connect you to an appraiser they trust quickly and easily. If you go it alone, you’ll need to find an appraiser and coordinate the needed appraisal inspections yourself.
  • Developing a marketing strategy. Are you prepared to take attractive photos of each room, write effective sales descriptions, create promotional flyers and post the home to various websites? You’d be surprised how quickly the hours add up.
  • Negotiating the contract. Without counsel from a REALTOR® or lawyer, you’re responsible for reviewing deadlines, contingencies, stipulations and the rest of the complicated jargon in the contract on your own. Miss something, and it could come back to bite you.

While it may seem attractive to go it alone in your home sale, the best way to save time and money is to work with a REALTOR®. Hire a Mainstreet REALTOR® today.