I truly understand why Charles River Park condo owner would want to ell their own condo. Many home sellers have considered skipping the real estate agent to save on closing costs, but very few have actually succeeded in seeing those savings. There’s a good reason: the average homeowner doesn’t have the rigorous training and Boston downtown real estate knowledge that a licensed agent does.
But just what makes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) such a bad idea? From incessant inconveniences to costly paperwork mistakes, here are a few of the horror stories that FSBO sellers inevitably encounter.
There are many benefits to working with a Boston real estate broker when selling your Beacon Hill condo. During challenging times like the one we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner or FSBO, please consider the following:
1. Your Safety Is a Priority
During this pandemic, your family’s safety comes first. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings but your family’s health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, agents are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your family.
2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer
Recent studies have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 44% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumped to 93%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house. Have you?
3. There Are Too Many Negotiations
Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:
- The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
- The appraiser, if there is a question of value
As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.
4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage
Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As an FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress that’s being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment.
Further complicating the situation is how the current mortgage market is rapidly evolving because of the number of families out of work and in mortgage forbearance. A loan program that was there yesterday could be gone tomorrow. You need someone who is working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.
5. FSBOing Has Become More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint
The documentation involved in the selling process has increased dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.
6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between an FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:
“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”
The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place.
Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line
Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, let’s connect to discuss your options.
Marketing Your Boston Condo for Sale
It takes more than placing your Boston condo for sale to make buyers notice your Charles River Park condo for sale. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of buyers use the Internet in their home search.
This means that online marketing — starting with listing your Boston condo for sale on the local listings database, sharing your listing to dozens of social media platforms, and advertising your listing on numerous websites with a global audience — is essential to selling your home.
Marketing Your Boston Condo for Sale Isn’t Cheap
This is where it gets expensive: ads, brochures, high-quality photographs, and a professional-looking website — things Boston downtown real estate agents have at their disposal — are your responsibility to finance and maintain when you have to do your home’s marketing yourself.
Pricing You Boston Condo For Sale
Even after all that marketing, FSBO sellers don’t actually make more money. In fact, many lose money.
The research backs it up: the National Association of Realtors reports that the average home sold with an agent sells for $240,000. FSBO homes, however, sell for only $185,000. That based nationwide prices. Obviously, for downtown Boston real estate sales those prices would be much higher. What you could save in commission you lose by pricing your home incorrectly or skimping on the marketing.
Finding the Right Price for Your Boston Condo For Sale
Part of the problem with a low-dollar sale is the asking price. Boston downtown real estate agents have more tools and resources, plus an intimate knowledge of the local housing market, so they can spot a wrongly priced listing from a mile away. FSBO sellers, however, have only limited access to home value tools and resources about past sales activity.
The Mountains of Paperwork
Understanding the paperwork involved in a real estate transaction is one of the biggest challenges of selling For Sale By Owner.
After all, the contract isn’t just an agreement about the price; it also includes contingencies (like those for home inspections and financing), the closing date, and other important terms.
Without an Agent, Sellers Can Make Costly Mistake
The paperwork involved in a home sale can be complicated and full of legal jargon. An oversight could mean a costly mistake or even a lawsuit. Downtown Boston real estate agents, however, have the knowledge and understanding to take care of all the necessary disclosures.
Yes, the commission is a sizable chunk of change. But so are the hidden fees and lost profits, not to mention the added stress, that comes with selling a home by yourself. The best way to save money, save time, and save headaches is to work with an experienced real estate professional.
We’re here to help! Give us a call and let’s talk about the home selling process