So, you’re thinking about selling your house, and you think you may want to do it on your own. You are not alone. Many sellers wanting to put their house on the market wish to save the fees from a real estate agent and feel they can sell their home by themselves just as easily.

Although this is possible, the most current data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), shows that only about 10% of FSBO homes actually sell. Everyone else eventually turns to a realtor. Not only that, but FSBO sales have been declining steadily for the past 12 years.

Why such a low number? There are many things that Recadia agents do for their fee that FSBO sellers don’t consider before taking the plunge. Here are 4 things to consider before choosing the FSBO route to sell yourself to improve your chances.

1. Are You Able to Set the Right Price For Your Home?

Selling your home quickly is very dependent upon pricing it correctly. This can be tricky because you have to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Even using an online home valuation tool will be of little use because they are highly inaccurate. The purpose of most of these tools is to lead you to purchase a product or service, not to help you price your home.

Even the most accurate online valuation tool, Zillow’s Zestimate, has an average error rate of over 6% per property. If your home is worth $400,000, that could be a $24,000 error in either direction, meaning your pricing error could be as high as $48,000.
Why are these tools so inaccurate?

  • It takes more than an address to determine the value of a home.
  • Property sales information is not public information in Texas. Even though some people disclose these amounts, not everyone does. This means that sometimes the computer algorithm pulls from a listing price rather than the actual sales price.
  • These sites do not always use comparable properties. Instead of focusing on comparable homes, they focus on a geographic region, often including homes that should not be included.
  • An algorithm does not look at a home and its unique qualities and issues. Everything about a home, including special features, flaws, presentation, and aura help determine the value of a home.
  • The sales price does not take into account the market as it was when the home sold. A home selling during a hot market will have a different listing price than a home selling during a depressed market.

What To Do: Consider having your home professionally appraised at a cost of about $350 to give you an accurate market value. You can also request a free CMA from Recadia that is far more accurate than online valuations.

2. Can You Provide Immediate Contact?

When someone drives by your home and decides they want to have a closer look, they typically want to do so right away. They expect to be able to make a call and set up an appointment quickly and easily. This means that as a FSBO seller, you will need to be available to answer your phone and show your home during most days and evenings.

If you work outside the home, how will you handle this desire on the part of your buyer? Will you be able to rush home from work or take a sick day? Will you be able to answer personal calls while at the office or on the job site? What about on weekends? Are you willing to cancel your plans to go out with friends, go out to eat, or see a movie in order to show your home?
Recadia realtors can do this because it is their full-time job. They have arranged their lives to be able to show a home when it is convenient for the buyer. Because of this, buyers have come to expect being catered to in this way and won’t like working around your schedule.

What To Do: If you can’t always answer your phone, you might want a dedicated phone line for home buyer calls. Create a message that gives many more details about the house as well as the availability for it to be shown. Be sure to check these messages often. You will also need to remain very flexible during your nights and weekends. While being your own realtor, you will need to forgo making plans that can’t be changed quickly and easily.

3. How Do You Feel About Marketing?

Marketing your home, getting the word out to prospective buyers, is another big key to selling your home quickly. If buyers can’t find your home, they won’t be able to buy it. Therefore, you need to have a strategy to get your home seen by those that are actively looking to purchase a new home.

In today’s real estate world, putting your home online is a necessity. The Digital House Hunt, a joint study between the NAR and Google, shows that 95% of buyers begin their search online. We no longer live in a world where a sign in the yard or an ad in the paper will bring people running to your door. Unfortunately, many FSBO sellers use these methods almost exclusively.

Those FSBO sellers that do use the Internet often do so in a way that isn’t very effective. For instance, placing your home on Facebook may sound high-tech, but the likelihood that one of your friends will buy your house is pretty slim. Realistically speaking, few people other than friends will see your Facebook post. Craigslist is another free way to post online, along with other free classified sites. These sites, however, are a breeding ground for scams and criminals.

At Recadia, we are experts at digital marketing. We are very pointed in our approach. We use a specific combination of the MLS, syndicated real estate websites, home-specific website, social media, email marketing, digital ads, and automated information to put your home in front of buyers.

What To Do: You can find FSBO marketing programs that will give you online space to list your home with built-in traffic. Do your research before paying for such a company to be sure that they give you what you need and have a good success rate.

4. Do You Understand the Legal Paperwork Side of the Sale?

The legal paperwork involved in selling a home has increased in the last 20 years due to regulations and disclosures. If you accidentally neglect to give your buyer a mandatory disclosure or report, you can lose the sale or even find yourself in court. If you don’t have the papers signed correctly or filed correctly, the sale can be found invalid, and you could end up owning the house again after you have already moved on.

As the seller, you are obligated to disclose any known issue with your home. If your windows leak or you know that a major road will be cutting through your neighborhood, you are legally bound to inform the buyers. In fact, you must tell the buyer about anything that could negatively affect the value, usefulness, or enjoyment of the property.

Additionally, there are other disclosures specifically mandated by the government. For instance, if your home was built before 1978, you have to disclose any lead-based paint in the house and give the buyers an opportunity to test for lead. Recadia knows the legal rules that govern disclosures and real estate transfers in Texas, so you won’t have to worry about the legality of your home’s sale.

What To Do: You will need to search for information online, talk to those with expertise, or hire a real estate lawyer to be sure that your sale is legal. It may be wise to hire an experienced lawyer because the paperwork can be tricky and a mistake can be costly.

If after assessing these four points, you still feel good about your decision to be your own real estate agent, then you may be one of the 10% that sells their home in this manner. If at any time you find that FSBO is not working for you, feel free to call Recadia at (214) 281-8500. We would love to discuss how our flat fee, full service real estate model can help you sell your home quickly, hassle free, and save you thousands of dollars in the process.