February 15, 2022 at 8:36am | Bob Myers
When the market is hot, homeowners may be tempted to sell their home on their own.  After all, it’s completely understandable why somebody would want to do a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction. We all want to get our money’s worth — for a seller, that means getting the most money for the home you’re selling, and for a buyer, that means getting the most valuable home you can afford for the budget. If you cut out the real estate agent, who collects commission on the sale of the property, then that means more money split between the buyer and the seller, right?
Unfortunately, there are pitfalls to any FSBO transaction and without the help of a real estate agent, you may not become aware of the problems until you are ready to sign a deed.Let’s face it, a home sale is probably the biggest financial move you’ll ever make in your life. It’s not every day that you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or in some cases, millions of dollars) on something. You want professional support offering you guidance and perspective.

In short, the risks of FSBO are far greater than any benefit you could expect.
Here are some of the problems you might run into if you are buying or selling a home without a real estate agent:

1. Sellers end up having fewer potential buyers they can consider.

When you choose FSBO, you may find that many real estate agents won’t know that your home is for sale — that means they won’t be able to tell their clients about your house. Real estate agents have large networks, and you are cutting out a significant portion of potential people.
In a FSBO situation, all of the marketing efforts are the responsibility of the seller, and it is also their responsibility to greet potential buyers and show the house to them. As you can imagine, not as many people are going to know about a FSBO listing.
In addition, when you are not working with a real estate agent, you may be wasting your time with people who cannot qualify for a loan. Realtors make sure homebuyers are preapproved before they bring them to your home.

2. You might make emotional mistakes.

Selling and buying a house is an emotional decision because for the seller, that house has been a home for many years, and for the buyer, that house is a potential home. It’s easy to let your emotions carry you away.
A seller might start out by pricing their property at an amount far greater than it’s worth. Then, if a buyer makes a low-ball offer, the seller might be offended and refuse to counter appropriately. Both buyers and sellers are susceptible to giving in too easily to an offer because they’re stressed out about a deadline or just want the process to be over. A real estate agent helps buyers and sellers make rational decisions by taking the emotion out of it.

3. You don’t know what to consider when negotiating.

If you’re buying a house that’s FSBO, would you even know what legal aspects of the property you need to consider? What evaluations could affect the value of the home? Should you do every inspection, or are there any you can forgo? Because real estate agents understand how the results of these inspections or assessments can affect the value of your home in both the long term and the short term, a real estate agent’s advice is not something you want to skip.
If you’re a seller, they can also advise you as to which aspects of your home you should change to get top dollar. Real estate agents know which changes will make a difference to the bottom line and which won’t.

4. You don’t know whether everyone is being ethical.

Whether you’re the buyer or the seller in a FSBO transaction, you will be dealing with an unlicensed stranger on the other side. They might be a nice, upstanding person, but they are not a real estate agent, who has a license that holds them to a code of ethics. You could fall victim to such problems as fraudulent loan documents or improper titles. This could put you in a large mess after you think you’ve closed on the property.

We will connect you with the proper professionals you need to work with to ensure everything is handled ethically and you don’t face any legal trouble.

Please consider The Myers Team your resource for all things real estate.  We have over 35 years of real estate experience, specializing in (but not limited to) the Montgomery County area.  If you are refinancing, want a recommendation, need a service provider or just have a home related question, please give me a call at  301-910-9910 or email me at bobmyersteam@gmail.com.   
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