“For Sale by Owner” – Does It Make Sense for Your Fort Bend County Home?

You pay a doctor to take care of your health; you pay a financial advisor to take care of your portfolio; you pay a tradesman to take care of your automotive, plumbing and electrical needs… does it really make sense for you to sell your own Fort Bend County home (the single largest investment most people make in their lives)?

Sure, the Internet is chockfull of information for FSBOs – for sale by owner. Certainly, it can give you an indication of what’s on the market and property values in particular areas… all good information. But the knowledge to properly price a home, to prepare it (inside and outside) for sale, to structure and execute a sale and take care of the legal paperwork that is part of that sale is not the “one-click purchase” of the online world.

Not dissuaded? In addition to the above issues, there are other tasks FSBOs need to address:

Attracting potential buyers. Most homebuyers work with buyers’ agents, and most buyers’ agents work solely with listing agents. Similarly, homebuyers and real estate agents use multiple listing service (MLS) listings to find homes to tour… and without an agent, you can’t list your home on the MLS. Plain and simple… if you’re not on the MLS, you’re virtually invisible.

Helping potential buyers obtain financing. You might not think that helping potential buyers find financing is your concern, but anything that facilitates the sale of your home is important. Not every potential buyer has been preapproved (different than prequalified… with a prequalification, the lender relies on information provided by the buyer to estimate how much the borrower could qualify for; with a preapproval, the lender verifies the borrower’s information and documentation to determine exactly how much it would be willing to lend to that borrower). According to data provided by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, less than 10 percent of buyers who bought a home in 2012 got loan preapprovals.

Having enough time to devote to the sale. You have a life… you probably have a job; you possibly have a spouse and/or kids; and you most likely have social commitments. Once you FSBO, though, you add to that the responsibility of being a part-time real estate agent. You’ll have to be an attentive seller… fielding phone calls and setting up tours, keeping the house spotless for drop-ins who notice the sign in your yard, and (if you make changes to your home or listing) calling back the people who first inquired about your home to tell them about your listing changes.

Still not convinced FSBO can be “penny wise and dollar foolish”? According to a 2013 study by the National Association of Realtors, FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013. The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home (studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points); however, the 25% difference in sale price more than covers the average sales commission and leaves a nice profit.

If you want a Fort Bend County home-selling experience that minimizes stress and maximizes profits, visit my website SugarLandLiving.com and let’s discuss the strategy that will work best for you and your family.