FOR SALE BY OWNER?
Everyone knows the market is slowly recovering. The Fed has even hiked interest rates (well, hiked may be a bit of an exaggeration) as an indicator that the US housing market, among other economic factors, is on the mend. As a result, some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, a phenomena known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are a lot of on-line marketing schemes which have been set up to help FSBO participants. All you need is to put a sign out front and an ad on a FSBO website and you are good to go, right? How hard can it be?
Well, Tom Ferry, a well known Real Estate guru recently tweeted, “Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for less than when it’s sold by an agent
It’s a great article I would encourage anyone thinking of selling by themselves to read it. I want to emphasize a couple key items. This is not like selling your car. You cannot pull out the registration, flip it over and sign it over to the new owner. It doesn’t work that way. Especially when there is a mortgage in place which must be paid off and the buyer is getting a new mortgage.
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home is quite extensive. I counted the number of times one of my buyers had to sign his name during a closing ceremony and he signed it 68 times. Now granted, some of those forms were copies, but the majority of them were unique documents. I closed on a cash purchase home and although there were not 68 signatures required, there were still more than 31.
The Real Estate contracts and forms are designed to protect both the seller and the buyer, so you want to use good ones. Most Real Estate Agents have access to good contracts. I recommend you find one that is member of the Georgia Association of REALTORS®, as the GAR has some of the best copyrighted contracts available. A non-member can also pay a fee to have access to the forms.
And really! Why do most people want to sell their homes themselves? They don’t want to pay a commission to an agent. Think of your agent as a temp hire – you are the boss. You are hiring them to represent you and assist in completing a complex task. If they do a good job, you are likely to make more money from the sale of your home than you would if you didn’t use them, so where is the risk?