For Sale By Owner Assessment

In order to successfully sell your property without a real estate company or broker involved, you’ll need to be able to juggle multiple priorities, skill-sets, and tasks in the transaction. This self-assessment tool will allow you to highlight where you have a high competency, and will also allow you to quickly assess where you might need help in the process.

Tips

Learn the best practices when it comes to selling your home. 

Risk Assessment

Calculate the risk associated with selling your home by owner before you make the wrong decision. 

Savings Calculator

Calculate how much money you will save when selling by owner. 



The top 10 problems you will encounter when selling by owner

With over 30 years of combined experience in real estate, our team has developed a proven plan to sell your property.

1. Scams happen

Everyone makes mistakes. A seller (or buyer) who doesn’t have the representation of a licensed agent pays for those mistakes. Attorneys can close a real estate transaction, but they don’t carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. So if homeowner Sandy lists “hardwood floors” as a feature and the buyer discovers it’s just a wood veneer, chances are Sandy is going to pay for that mistake. An agent would have either caught the mistake or covered it with E&O insurance. Let’s face it: this is a litigious society, so what homeowner wants to be a target for lawsuits? This is a litigious society, so what homeowner wants to be a target for lawsuits?

3. Paperwork is daunting

The 2015 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that understanding paperwork was one of the most difficult tasks for FSBOs. Depending on the state, there are a variety of legal forms that are needed, including but not limited to a sales contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and lead paint records. Sure, ready-made contracts can be downloaded easily enough. But does an untrained seller understand what all that means? Would the seller know how to customize that one-size-fits-all contract? Understanding paperwork was one of the most difficult tasks for FSBOs.

4. Sellers can get stuck in a bad deal

Like Frank, FSBOs who sign on the dotted line and then realize an error are stuck. They have to pay the buyer (if they’re willing) to get out of or just take the deal. Let potential clients know you can save them from that headache.

5. FSBOs sell for less

In 2015, FSBOs lost about 16 percent of the sales price with a median selling price of $210,000 (agent-assisted homes sold for $249,000). Homeowners selling by themselves simply don’t have the time to devote to the process, don’t know the market value, don’t understand market reports and don’t properly market the property. If the FSBO seller sold to someone he or she knew, the median dropped to $151,900 (because cousin Sue is doing them a favor and expects a deal). If the 2015 FSBOs sold to someone they knew, the median dropped from $210,000 to $151,900.

6. FSBOs spend more time on the market

Unless the seller knows someone who wants to buy the home, FSBOs take longer to sell than homes listed with an agent. For the same reasons, they can’t get the right selling price. No one is “behind the curtain” running the marketing show. On average, 18 percent of FSBOs were unable to sell within their chosen time frame last year. On average, 18 percent of FSBOs were unable to sell within their chosen timeframe last year.

7. FSBOs lack representation

There’s no one looking out for the homeowners who sell on their own. They have no one to call if they have a problem or a question. Dave found this out when he sold his Morrison, Colorado, home himself. Studying for his real estate license,Dave felt confident he could handle the contracts. Then the unexpected happened. When his house was under contract, a state patrol car pursuing a speeding motorist crashed into a downstairs bedroom. Repairs threatened to push back closing, and suddenly, the buyer was asking for a storage unit, the cost of temporary housing and more. He was lucky enough to have an agent friend who could step in, but a homeowner with no representation could have been out thousands of dollars unnecessarily.

8. Inspections are problematic

Sellers who don’t know the rules can get stuck with unnecessary and costly repairs. When Sue sold her 10-year-old Highlands Ranch, Colorado, home, after the inspection, the inspector said she needed to change the stairs from the garage to the house because the code had changed. He listed other code changes, and the buyer began to demand these be done. Surprisingly, the inspector didn’t know that because these items were to code when the house was built, the seller wasn’t responsible for these changes.


9. Marketing is limited

FSBOs have limited resources to market their home. The 2015 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed 42 percent rely on a yard sign, 32 percent rely on friends and family, and about 15 percent use social media. Relying on the neighbors and Uncle Bob’s second cousin has its limitations. Even paying for the MLS listing won’t be enough because there’s no incentive for an agent to bring a buyer to on the neighbors and Uncle Bob’s second cousin has its limitations. Even paying for the MLS listing won’t be enough because there’s no incentive for an agent to bring a buyer to an FSBO.

10. Hidden costs add up

The mindset for most FSBOs is saving money. Chances are, these sellers are being nickeled and dimed into a pretty big chunk of change.They’re paying for a lot of extras: signage, flyers, photography, MLS listing, attorney (required in multiple states for FSBOs), home warranty (optional but hard to sell without one), home inspection, a wood destroying pest inspection, credit report for buyers (if applicable), contracts and the list goes on.

11. Time costs the seller money

The biggest cost to a homeowner is their time. You might hear the argument that it doesn’t take an agent that much time to sell a house. And honestly, given the technology at our disposal, that’s true — to an extent.