What Is For Sale By Owners or FSBO, And Should You Do It?

What Is For Sale By Owners or FSBO, And Should You Do It?

Most people have a general idea of how to sell a house. You make a decision, put a sign out in your yard, and you cross your fingers that someone shows up to offer you a pretty penny. However, there is a lot more that goes into the process. 

Finding the right approach to listing your home is key to closing a transaction. You’ll have to decide whether to use an agent or list it yourself. 

What Does FSBO Mean?

For sale by owner, also referred to as FSBO, is an approach to selling your home without the assistance of a real estate agent. You will have to market the home yourself in order to direct hopeful buyers to your doorstep. 

People do this for various reasons. They might have sold a home before, or they might be trying to cut costs by not paying a real estate agent’s commission. However, it is completely legal to list your own home in a real estate transaction. 

Should You Do It?

This is such a weighted question that almost everyone is going to have an opinion on. Of course, anyone who has bought or sold a home is an expert. 

There is a reason that real estate agents get paid in the transaction. They do a lot of work, and they bring a lot to the table. The right real estate agent can make or break a deal. 

The first service they are going to offer you is a market analysis. This is a comparison of your home against other homes in the current market that will give you an idea of the fair market price. Often FSBOs price themselves out of the market, so an agent is key.

The second service that you are going to want to take advantage of is their marketing and clientele. They have access to other agents and their buyers that are eager to start looking at homes. Agents network together to service buyers and sellers. 

Their networks also include loan officers with various banks or lenders in the area. This provides them access to borrowers who have already made an effort to get pre-approved. Loan officers will often reach out to agents, asking them for inventory. 

There are many pros and cons to listing your home by yourself. There is plenty to be said about leveraging your own skill sets and saving money, but then you have to ask at what cost? 

Many people don’t take the time to consider the actual amount of money they are saving vs. the carrying costs spent month-over-month until the property is sold. You ultimately want to have a good understanding of what your goals are and where your motivation is. 

If you have the patience and resources to set on a home until it is sold, then listing your home yourself may be the best option for you. If you already have your eyes on another property and need the proceeds from the sale, then get an agent. You’ll be glad you did later.

They are also going to preserve your time by acting as a gatekeeper to buyers that are wanting to access your home. They can require pre-approval letters before entering the home, or they can set appointments ahead of time to avoid inconveniencing you.