Real Estate Agent
For Sale by Owner
For more than 30 years I have to some degree been involved in many Real Estate transactions. Of course I understand the idea of becoming a For Sale by Owner can often be very enticing, I’ve had that conversation with so many people over the years.
I would not advise on whether anyone should decide to become a For Sale by Owner or not as it certainly is an option for selling your home, typically though I have found that it can be extremely difficult for most people to market and sell their own home. If you’re selling your home and do choose to act without a Real Estate Agent then you’ll need to be informed and much more prepared than what I’ve commonly experienced with most For Sale By Owner situations.
Honestly, I’ve seldom seen these deals go together smoothly… if an offer to purchase does become accepted they seem to be at much higher risk of falling apart for one reason or another. I’ve experienced a lot of frustration with FSBOs and I believe that most who attempt “act on their own behalf,” find the whole experience nothing like what they may have anticipated. You will notice that sooner or later many For Sale by Owners listings end up listed with an agent, even in a hot market… 30 days seems to be the magic number for some reason.
I’m not sure why some feel that marketing a home is easy. I’ve also heard people suggest that Realtors do too little for their commissions so they’ll decide to skip the agent and become a For Sale by Owner.
If I do get pulled into a For Sale by Owner deal with a water well issue I often end up regretting it, I seriously try to avoid them as both the For Sale by Owner and the purchaser generally have little to no knowledgeable representation… Real Estate Professionals can often make all the difference in my opinion.
Over the years I have worked with dozens of hard-working successful agents… they are focused and invest a large part of their lives actively working within their professions, there is a lot involved in a Real Estate transaction, and often even more so with rural homes and properties before a “Sold Sign” is finally displayed. Yes, some deals run smoothly but I’ve been involved in some real nightmares too, that’s when your agent will really help hold it all together for you. Unless you’re not disclosing something you generally never see the problems coming, but once they do appear it helps to have an experienced real estate agent on your side. Marketing a home as a For Sale by Owner is not nearly as easy as it may appear to the general public.
The Real Estate industry is a costly profession, with considerable overhead… today’s agent carries much responsibility, huge expenses with potential for liability. They have considerable office expenses, many employ assistants, there’s Errors and Omissions Insurance, licensing fees, MLS fees, advertising, vehicle expenses (if they’re driving newer, high-end vehicle people seem to automatically assume that they’re not successful… I’ve caught myself making that same unfair judgment) there’s car insurance, fuel, cell phones and pagers, etc…. the list is long and costs increase every year. An agent’s expenses are payable whether the Realtor has a good month/year or not. Usually the Realtor is not double-ending a sale (listing and selling of a property) so the commissions will be split with another Realtor.
Real Estate is like running any other small business there’s a high cost and time sacrifice, sometimes it takes a few years of persistence for the average agent to see a fair return on their investment. The known high producers of the industry work hard and that’s the secret to their success, they’re well connected, educated and many are learning they need to now be far more involved with online technology. The real pros are known to sustain when the market is both up and down… they’re not within same group of agents who often flee the industry because the market goes a little sour, they stay aboard no matter what the market conditions are. It seems that every community has a group of Realtors who are exceptional at what they do; they persist for many years building excellent reputations along and contributing to their communities.
Many Reasons Not to Become a For Sale by Owner…
Even with my level of knowledge within the Real Estate industry I would only have one difficult decision to make in the event that I decided to sell my home. I would not be thinking about whether I want to become a For Sale by Owner or not… instead I would do my homework and make a careful decision choosing a professional, reputable real estate agent to represent my interests. I would gladly pay them their commision too! As a For Sale by Owner you are looking to save the commission… remember, the For Sale by Owner purchaser is also looking for the sale deal. Yes, there are times that it works out but I’ve not seen a lot sales take place over the years. Most FSBOs die on the vine within 30 days.
Now, why would I contract a Real Estate agent if I could sell my own home and save the commission cost? For starters, if I become a For Sale by Owner or FSBO, I’m only getting my home in front of buyers I can attract from seeing a newspaper ads (which are costly), Craigslist or anyone who happens to drive by my home. If I go with a high-octane real estate agent, I’ll have the advantage of being exposed to their entire pool of buyers. More importantly, I’ll be in the MLS, or Multiple Listing Services database. There, I’ll immediately have thousands of potential buyers. Also many agents are actively exposing their listings online, I would be looking at how the agent is promoting online. So, who do you think will have the best chance of selling my house? Friends, market exposure is everything in the real estate game!
And think about this…
Even if you went the For Sale by Owner route every time you moved, you might do three or four of these transactions in a lifetime. A good agent closed three or four deals last week! They’ll know all the ins and outs of buying and selling a home and if you do have a water well they will guide you through that too, they’ll walk you through every step of the process. Research has shown that between basic mistakes, pricing errors, and lack of negotiation skills, you’ll cost yourself more than the agent’s commission by trying to sell it yourself.
Trust me, you’ll get a much better deal—with a lot less hassle—by using a top-flight real estate agent!
OK, so you still want to be a For Sale by Owner?
If you do have a water well on the property you may want to read a little more…