“I Can Do it Myself!” 8 Reasons You May Want to Rethink Doing a For Sale by Owner

You’ve probably seen a sign before saying “For Sale by Owner” outside a home in your area. Though not the most popular way of selling a house, "For Sale By Owner" (or "FSBO") is a method many homeowners choose to sell their property.

Most people choose to go the FSBO route because they think it will “save” them money – that by eliminating the middleman (a real estate agent) they can keep that commission check and put it back in their own pockets or bank account.

The truth is, many homes sell for tens of thousands more with an agent than when listed by an owner – and that’s a lot more than an agent’s commission would be when all is said and done. Sadly, many homeowners still try to use this method today, and, aside from losing money, they also find themselves inundated with extra work, a lot of hassle and a difficult, long sale.

Are you considering selling your home on your own? Here are a few reasons you may want to reconsider:

1.  It’s a lot of work. 

First off, selling a home is no easy task. You can’t just list your property and expect the bids to come rolling in. You have to actively market your home, craft a great listing, take great photos, create a video tour, and do all sorts of other marketing activities in order to get your home noticed. You also have to schedule tours with buyers, negotiate with bidders and do so many other tasks. So think to yourself: Do you really have the time to devote to FSBO? With prepping for a move, caring for your home, and working a full-time job, do you have the resources necessary to sell your home on your own? Or will the sale suffer (or experience huge delays) if you take it on?

2.  You don’t know the market. 

Knowing the local real estate market plays a huge role in how quickly and successfully a home is sold. For one, you need to be in tune with recent sales in the area: how much they sold for, what condition they were in, how long they were on the market, etc. And, unfortunately, it's hard to understand fully what the Boerne housing market is doing by only understanding paying attention to the national housing market news.  Without this local information, it’s impossible to properly price your home to sell. Sadly, this data isn’t readily available to the general public. You have to work in the real estate industry to have access to MLS listings, and most people who try a for-sale-by-owner simply don’t have this. 

On top of knowing recent sales info, it’s also important you’re aware of local market trends. What are buyers looking for when they search for "homes for sale in Boerne"? What amenities are out or in vogue? What types of properties are trending locally? This helps you better stage your home and position it to sell. Sadly, unless you work with buyers and sellers every day, it can be hard to come by this information. You really need a real estate pro if you want to know this stuff!

3.  There’s a lot of negotiation. 

How good of a negotiator are you? Negotiations are a huge chunk of the home sales process. You’ll need to negotiate and work with buyers, real estate agents, attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, banks and so many other parties along the way. Do you really have the chops to do that? More importantly, do you have the skills to do it right, and come out on top? You don’t want to lose out on money or get a bad deal because your negotiating skills weren't up to snuff.

4.  It can take longer.

 Are you looking to move soon? Then a for-sale-by-owner is definitely not the route you want to take. Listing prices are regularly off-target on FSBO homes, and that means homes take much longer to sell than agent-listed ones. Typically, you’ll have to adjust your price many, many times before your FSBO gets noticed, and even then, you’re adjusting your price blindly, not based on any recent Boerne home sales data or information. You could be cutting yourself a bad deal without even knowing it!

5.  You’ll get less exposure. 

Most real estate publications and sites won’t list for-sale-by-owner homes. That means you don’t have the benefit of being on Zillow, Trulia, and all those other popular real estate sites that buyers use today, and your listing is essentially invisible to the general public. You also don’t get your home listed on any agency or real estate firm sites or publications – and these are popular ways for buyers to find local properties. In reality, the only way to get your home noticed as an FSBO is to get out there and hit the pavement: hand out fliers, set up an open house, etc. It can be a much harder and longer road because of this.

6.  The process can be confusing. 

Buying real estate isn’t like purchasing a shirt off the rack. There are a lot of nuances involved in it, and there are many, many, many steps to get from point A to point B. You have to know all the right terminology, be familiar with all the legalities and paperwork that are required, and you have to know how to work with dozens of real estate professionals along the way. How confident are you that you can handle all those tasks and more? Can you do them better than a real estate agent can? If not, your sale will likely suffer.

7.  You don’t have the connections. 

Real estate agents have a lot of connections in the local industry. They know buyers who are in the market for homes in Boerne, they know other agents who are looking for certain types of properties, and they can often pull from those resources to find potential buyers for your home quickly – sometimes immediately after it hits the market! Most homeowners selling on their own simply don’t have these type of local connections, and it’s just one more way the sales process gets held back and delayed in the long run.

8.  You don’t know (or have access to) the right marketing techniques. 

In today’s market, 43 percent of all home sales come from the internet. Do you know how to get your home noticed on the web? With Trulia, Zillow, and other sites out of the picture, what techniques would you use to give your property an internet presence? Sure you could post it to your Facebook page, but unless your friend from high school is in the market to buy a home in Boerne, what good will that really do? The best way to take advantage of the web and all it has to offer is to work with an experienced agent- one who has a robust web presence and lots of online connections.

In general, for sale by owners aren’t the best idea if you want your home sold quickly or for the most amount of money possible. They’re time-consuming, difficult, and long, and they likely won’t deliver the end results you are looking for.

If you’re considering selling your home and live in the Boerne area, be sure to contact an agent at Keller Williams Boerne today. Our expert agents can handle the entire sales process for you, making sure your home is sold quickly, easily, and for the right price. Contact us now to learn more or to get started!