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Top Mistakes Made by For Sale by Owners

Top Mistakes Made by Sellers Who Try to Sell Without an Agent

By Inna Shapiro

  1. Believing They Will Save Money on Commission.

Many homeowners believe that they will save the commission by selling on their own. The main reason buyers look at For Sale By Owners (FSBO) is because they also believe they can save the agent’s commission, so they will typically reduce their offer by what they think sellers are saving. The typical home sold by an agent sells for more money, and faster, than a home that is sold as a For Sale by Owner.

  1. Pricing the Home Incorrectly

Most homeowners don’t have the tools or knowledge for correctly pricing their home. Many factors go into doing a Comparative Market Analysis, and homes priced too high languish on the market, eventually going for much less than had they been priced correctly in the first place.

3.Not Properly Preparing a Home for the Market

There are many steps to preparing a home for sale, including decluttering, painting, updating, staging, and repairs. Don’t assume that you can leave your home as is, letting the new owners make the changes as they see fit. You’ll never have a second chance to make a good first impression! Do you know which repairs and improvements will net the highest return on the dollar? I do!

4.FSBOs Don’t Know How To Screen buyers

FSBOs often waste countless hours having unqualified buyers walking through their home because they don’t know how to ensure they are pre-approved and are financially capable of buying their home. Real estate professionals have relationships with lenders, who can easily prequalify potential buyers.


5.FSBOs Aren’t Able To Be Available

Homeowners often don’t have the time or availability to handle inquiries on their home or time to show it. Home buyers and agents want quick responses on their inquiries, otherwise they will often move onto the next potential property.


6.Negotiation Failures

Here is just a sampling of some of the people with whom you’ll have to negotiate with: Buyers who want the best deal possible, buyers’ agents who solely represent the best interest of the buyer, buyer’s attorney, home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find problems with your house, and the appraiser if there is a question of value. How confident are you in your negotiation skills, to get the best deals and also to keep the transaction on track toward closing?


7.FSBOs Home Is Lacking Exposure

89% of buyers search on line for a home. Your Realtor will have a on-line strategy to expose your home to the highest number of buyers. My company syndicates our listings to over 1000 websites, in addition to the Multiple List Serve (MLS) that all agents use to help their buyers find a home. FSBO’s can’t place their home on the MLS without an agent. As a FSBO, can your internet strategy compete?

8.Lack of Knowledge

The paperwork involved in buying and selling a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. The standard Offer to Purchase contract alone is 12 pages long! This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped form 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years. Even once a house goes under contract, there are inspections, loans, repair negotiations, earnest money and due diligence deposits, and many rules about who is responsible for what and when. Not knowing the rules and making mistakes can cost you more in the long run.

Bottom Line: Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling a home on your own, let’s meet up so we can discuss the difference having an agent can make.


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