3 Ways to Know if FSBO is a Valuable Option

Would you like to sell your home without a real estate agent? Many homeowners consider going the “for sale by owner” route and taking on the task of getting their property sold on their own, but this is not always the best strategy. Selling a house as a FSBO can be an incredibly arduous and time consuming, and sometimes, the best route is to hire a real estate agent so they can take this load off.

Still, there are always exceptions. Below, you’ll see the basics of what it means to sell a house FSBO, including when it might actually make sense to do so.

What does it mean to sell a house by owner?

For sale by owner, also referred to as FSBO, is when home sellers choose to list, market, and sell their home without the help of a licensed real estate agent. The rationale for doing this is almost always to save on costs, since home sellers are usually responsible for paying commission for both their own agent as well as the buyers agent.

While shrewd sellers may think FSBO is an easy way to keep more money in their pocket, most of the time FSBO ends up being a waste of money, time and energy. There can also be legal consequences due to violation of fair housing laws, disclosures, etc. that could have been avoided, if done through an agent.

But what about those times when for sale by owner makes sense? Turns out, while FSBO isn’t always the best option, sometimes it actually is a smart choice. Here are four situations where selling a house by owner is worth considering.

1. When you already have an interested and viable buyer

Sometimes you get lucky and find an interested buyer before you even list your home on the market. Many of the failures of FSBO come in the marketing stage. Real estate agents are pros at spreading the word about available homes and getting interested buyers through the door, whereas those who are selling on their own find themselves struggling to drum up interest. It’s also important to know that your potential buyer will be able to follow through. Make sure to request that they get a pre-approval for their mortgage, and start working with an attorney early on to protect yourself in case you run into problems.

2. When you’re selling in a high-demand market

If you’re selling in a major city like New York, you may be able to gather enough momentum to bring in prospective buyers without an agent. This is especially true if you’re pricing to sell, instead of pricing to make the maximum profit.

Sellers have the power in a high-demand market. With so much competition among buyers, properties don’t tend to last long, and many are even under contract in just a few days.

If you’re selling a house by owner in a hot market, your biggest objective is to show your property off in its best light. Get professional photos taken to highlight your home’s best features and get the word out to let people know it’s available.

3. When you’re not in a hurry to sell

If time isn’t of the essence when selling your home, then the slower process of FSBO could work for you. Selling a house takes time. Before you get to the contract stage, you have to effectively market your home and show it off to buyers. An agent will typically need about 3-5 days to get your home listed and then 65 days to sell it. If you’re doing it on your own without the having an on the ground marketing agent, it can possibly take longer.

For sellers who aren’t in a hurry, it may be worth it to wait a bit longer if it means saving on fees. All the same leg work will still be required, sans the urgency.

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