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When the Internet began gaining momentum as an advertising medium for real estate, many people (real estate agents included) thought that more houses would be sold as For Sale By Owners(also known as FSBO) as a result. The opposite has happened. In 2003, nearly 14% of all homes sold were FSBO. Last year (2011), that number had decreased to 10%. Only 6% of those sales were transactions where the seller and the buyer did not know each other.
Most people who decide to sell their homes themselves do it to “save” the real estate commission. They see it as extra money they can keep in their pocket, rather than pay someone else to “fill our a few forms”. However, the truth is most For Sale By Owner homes sell for 20% less on average than sellers who listed with a Realtor.
Consider these factors:
1. Print advertising is on the decline. A 3 line ad in the local newspaper has little chance of competing with the full listing information available online, color photos, virtual tours, etc.
2. Buyers want instant gratification. If you have no way of capturing someone’s interest and attention within 15-30 seconds, they will leave your website. Monster real estate search engines such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com offer buyers the ability to search ALL homes on the market. Buyers prefer to browse sites such as these, find several homes they want to preview, and then find an agent to take them.
3. Buyers want the savings. As mentioned above, most For Sale By Owner homes sell for 20% less than those listed with a real estate agent. Why? Because when buyers see the sign that says “For Sale By Owner” they automatically deduct about 6% from the sales price. They want the savings passed on to them, not put in the seller’s pocket.
4. Needle in the haystack effect. Similar to number 2. If you are advertising your home online, how are you doing so? There are millions of real estate websites–from the massive search sites to franchise sites to company sites to agent sites. Without search engine optimization, knowledge of meta tags, and other Web placement help, the likelihood of a buyer finding your home online is slim. Even if you are using sites such as ForSaleByOwner.com (and others) to market your property, unless a buyer is specifically wanting to purchase a FSBO, they probably aren’t going to visit those types of sites.
5. Reluctance to share information. Most Web visitors are reluctant to share their information with a stranger, especially during the “looking” stage.
6. Availability for showings. For Sale By Owner’s need to be present for every showing. There are numerous challenges with this, the two biggest being scheduling and safety. How do you know potential buyers are legitimate? Do they really have the financing and/or funds necessary to purchase your home?
7. Further proof. Colby Sambrotto, founder of ForSaleByOwner.com, one of the most popular FSBO websites out there, ended up listing his home with an agent and paying full commission. If he couldn’t get the job done for himself on his website, how effective do you think this approach is in trying to get top dollar for your home.
Listing your home with a real estate agent WILL help you sell your home for more money and in a shorter period of time. At United Country Clinch Mountain Realty & Auction, we have the systems in place to help market your home and get it SOLD! For a no obligation consultation, please fill in the form below and I will be in touch with you within 24 hours.