For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Is Not Easy As Easy As You Think

For Sale By Owner is not as easy as they make it look on TV.

How Did Founder Sell His Own Condo? He  Used A Real Estate Agent

(Time Magazine)

 Thinking of selling your house your self? Founder, Colby Sambrotto had his NYC condo on the market for months where he attempted to sell it as his own For Sale By Owner.  When his condo did not sell, he hired the services of a real estate professional.  The agent correctly assessed the property and increased the listing price 7.5%.  This resulted in multiple offers and sold in record time.

For Sale By Owner – Challenges

Sambrotto’s struggles is shared by the vast majority of home owners who attempt to sell their home on their own.  The #1 challenge reported by  For Sale By Owner(s) about selling their house  is “Getting the price right”.  The # 2 reason cited was “not having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale”. 

Why Use A Real Estate Agent?

As in any profession, experience and knowledge are key components.  A good real estate professional brings value to the process that is unmatched by any For Sale By Owner (even the founder of a For Sale By Owner company).

For Sale By Owner(s) often mistakenly overlook the fact that selling real estate is a business that requires professionals who understand the industry.  Unfortunately, looking on Zillow every evening after work for 6 months to try and assess housing prices does not replace the value that a professional who works in the field full time brings to the table.  Pictures on  Zillow do not educate the consumer about selling a home. Real estate agents are knowledgeable of the process.  Each transaction comes with it’s own unique set of challenges.  Agents know what to expect before it happens.  An experienced real estate agent  is often able to foresee complications and take appropriate measures to prevent unwanted disruptions that can potentially cause loss of time and money.  

Knowledge of the process provide agents with insight that allows them to effectively negotiate prices on behalf of their clients.  Real estate agents also come armed with a network of connections.  Utilizing established relationships with other industry professionals is essential in ensuring a smooth, worry-free transaction.   For Sale By Owner(s) ordinarily do not have these connections at their disposal. 

When hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars are on the line – in any industry – it is often advisable to retain the services of a professional.    

If you are thinking of selling your Long Island home,  contact me today.  I am a full time real estate professional, with market knowledge and experience in selling Long Island homes.

Still thinking of For Sale By Owner your house?  Here is what one homeowner who was considering using Zillow as a platform to sell his home had to say:

“We had our house appraised by ZILLOW OFFERS. They offered us a cash price 15% below the current market value, despite comparable comps. The Zillow Zestimate and RANGE feels like a bait and switch tactic, as the offer they gave us BEFORE deducting paint, carpeting, etc from the price, was not even INSIDE the Zillow Zestimate range, which was between $433k-$480k and there was nothing wrong with our house besides some minor things.

“…Zillow charges the home seller BOTH a LISTING AGENT COMMISSION AND BUYING AGENT COMMISSION. If you’re going to be charged these realty fees anyway, you might as well actually use a Listing agent and Buying agent who will present you with multiple offers and are motivated to get the highest price for your house so they can get better commissions. Why pay these fees if you’re not actually getting the best price?

We listed on Zillow as FSBO (for sale by owner), but Zillow is charging us these fees anyway, which defeats the whole purpose of avoiding agent fees as a For Sale By Owner.

Obviously the 15% below market price is a lowball offer, only good if you don’t have the energy to list with an actual agent (since you will be paying those commission fees anyway) or are in an emergency situation and need quick cash. I don’t see why any homeowner would go thru Zillow Offers. There is no benefit to being charged broker commissions, when they are not even giving you the market price.”

John of Suwanee, GA

Verified Reviewer

Original review: Dec. 9, 2018

(Consumer Affairs)

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