Many Boulder homeowners have astounding equity, leading some to consider selling. If you’re thinking about listing your home, be sure to avoid the pitfall of selling without an agent. Although it may be tempting to go for sale by owner (FSBO) in an attempt to save money on a Realtor’s commission, it’s far from the best option (and can even end up costing you thousands). There are many reasons to avoid selling your home without professional assistance, and here are just a few:
Thinking you’ll save some money by forgoing the help of an agent? This is almost never the case, since most homes sold by the owner sell for significantly less than homes that are presented by an agent. According to a 2015 analysis, FSBO properties sold for 16% less than comparable homes listed by an agent. This is likely because FSBO homes often sit on the market for longer, leading the homeowner to become frustrated and settle for less.
We live in a litigious society, and selling your home without an experienced realtor on your side opens yourself up to the possibility of being faced with a lawsuit. Unlike an agent who is covered by errors and omissions insurance, the liability falls on you when you represent yourself. A simple mistake like stating the home has hardwood floors when it’s actually a wood veneer leaves the door open for the buyer to sue–and who has time or energy for that?
Whether you’re buying or selling a FSBO home, you may be surprised by how common scams are. Many of today’s scammers are savvy and can con even the most in-the-know sellers. Some of the risks of listing your home as FSBO include the solicitation of your personal information, fraudulent papers, and deposit scams (in which the “buyer” sends a fake check in the incorrect amount and then requests a refund).
In addition to the increased likelihood of your FSBO home selling for less than similar properties, it’s also important to factor in hidden costs. Sellers who represent themselves will have to pay to list their home on MLS and will also be responsible for all marketing costs. Pulling a buyer’s credit report and drawing up a contract also takes more money out of your pocket that would be better spent working with a qualified agent.
Listing agents play an instrumental role in protecting the seller and navigating complex situations that arise all too often. Even if you’re sitting on a mountain of equity, you can waste thousands (and seriously stress yourself out) by passing on help from an agent.
By Jennifer Egbert. Jennifer is an award-winning, licensed Realtor® at milehimodern real estate in Boulder with more than twenty years of experience. She specializes in Luxury neighborhoods, home builders and current market conditions. Visit jenniferegbert.com, e-mail by visiting jenniferegbert.com/contact or call 720.802.3050.