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Though real estate is moving in some areas, for sellers, the sad fact is that is that prices are still weak. At this point, the buyers have the upper hand. Once sellers realize that they must price for the market, they seek to maximize the amount of money they will realize when they sell their home. If they have high mortgages in comparison to selling prices in the neighborhood, they may need to clear a certain amount. Saving real estate commissions by selling their house For Sale By Owner or FSBO is a way they see to lop off a big selling expense. As a seller this may sound great, but is FSBO right for you?
Commissions are costly
With the rising popularity of the internet as a real estate tool, buyers can see homes online, rule out ones they don’t like, and narrow down to a few they want to see. Since this process does not require real estate agents in the initial stages, you may feel that agent commissions are steep, averaging 5-7% for full service agents and 3-4% for discount agents. You can put a sign in your yard for free or pay a small fee to advertise your home on a FSBO site on the web and in the local paper for far less than a real estate commission.
If real estate agents did nothing but show houses, you could minimize their value. Or so you think. To assure that everything necessary to sell your home is put in motion, the agent promotes the home in many venues and on many websites; if she is working with a major real estate franchise, he leverages the power of the company name for you. He also pre-screens and pre-qualifies potential buyers, plus works with you to make sure that home is priced and staged to sell.
All through the process, the agent does the legwork for you. In comparison to the average seller, agents offer so much more in terms of market knowledge, negotiation skills, neighborhood expertise, and experience. In a smooth sale, the agent processes the necessary paperwork; in more difficult ones, the agent troubleshoots and helps work out the problem.
If are you trying to decide whether FSBO is right for you when selling your home, you need to think beyond the out-of-pocket expenses and the check you will receive at closing. Over 80 percent of sellers that try to sell their homes For Sale By Owner end up turning to a Realtor® or a company that buys houses for cash. Ask yourself whether you can acquire the knowledge needed to prepare, price, market, and carry through on the sale of your home? How much time do you have to use for showing the home or to wait for a buyer to appear. Hint: The old adage “time is money” applies to real estate sales too.
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