When it comes time to sell a home, many people consider the idea of doing it themselves. The reasoning usually comes down to money because a 6% realtor commission seems like a lot. It is true that a $300,000 house has a commission of $18,000. The idea of saving $18,000 is definitely a reason to look at your options.
The problem is that selling a home is hard work and takes some very professional knowledge that the average homeowner simply doesn’t have. That is why only about 10% of FSBO homes sell. The rest of the FSBO sellers, a full 90%, either give up or eventually sign with a realtor.
There are many things you can do to increase your odds, but these include hiring professionals to help you in areas you may have deficiencies. The more of these you consider, the more likely you are to succeed.
Let’s take a look at a FSBO home to see the costs associated with success. Our example home is selling for $300,000. During the time on the market, our seller will have to deal with the following:
- 40 phone calls from prospective buyers
- 10 showings
- 24 realtors who want to list the house
Additionally, we are going to assume that the seller’s time is worth $25 per hour. Keep in mind that these numbers can vary greatly, but they do represent a typical FSBO sale.
Will You Need Experts?
The answer to this question is usually yes. At the very least, you will want to hire an attorney and a home stager. Here’s why.
The legal end of selling a home has gotten very complex. Texas has their own rules and regulations to follow. There are certain things you have to disclose to potential buyers including anything that will affect the value or desirability of the property. When it is time to create the contract and go through closing, there are even more legal requirements. Getting any of this wrong can lead to not just the loss of the sale but to court costs.
A home stager will be essential to help you see your home as a buyer will see it. They will be able to point out items that may be issues when trying to sell your home, as well as give your home a quick facelift using strategies that make it feel more open, spacious, and inviting. Finally, listening to a home stager’s opinion will help you price your home correctly.
Marketing Is Not Free
Marketing your home is key to selling it quickly. Online marketing is essential since 95% of buyers search online for homes to purchase. Although free sources are available, such as your own social media and free classified sites, the traffic for an actual buyer can be slim. There are many FSBO services that offer online marketing packages. Those wanting to sell their home would be wise to consider signing up for a service. Doing so usually takes about 3 hours of research and sign up time.
You will need to include good photos of your home, both inside and out. How your home looks in your marketing material creates a first impression. You’ll want to be sure to get the right angles of your rooms and the right lighting. Photos should be crisp, clear, and inviting. Taking photos of your home will take approximately two hours of your time. Since photos are so important with 90% of buyers seeing your home for the first time online, you may want to consider hiring a photographer. Even if you do this, you will spend about an hour on the photo shoot and about an hour choosing which pictures to post.
Online marketing via a website isn’t the only kind of marketing you will need. There are classified ads, social media ads, leaflets, and signs to attend to as well. Creating and buying what you need will take approximately 3 hours.
Time Spent on with Buyers, Paperwork, and Phone Calls
Selling your home will take a lot of time. Our example house has 40 phone calls from potential buyers. If you spend 30 minutes on each call, you will have 20 hours invested in phone calls. Of those phone calls, 10 will make an appointment to see your house. You can assume that each person will take one hour for a total of 10 hours. Once you have a potential buyer, you should plan on at least 4 hours of paperwork and negotiations. In the midst of all of this, you will need to respond to the agents wishing to show your property. If you give each agent 15 minutes, you will spend 6 hours.