Realtors across the country dread the For Sale By Owner (FSBO). It’s a four letter word where sellers play dress-up and pretend to be real estate agents. All sorts of problems and hiccups can happen when you don’t hire a professional, and here are five of them:
A FSBO is the owner of the home that they want to sell. They are not a licensed real estate agent and they are not bound by the Code of Ethics that real estate agents follow. A lot of the time they will do and say whatever they want to get their home sold. They don’t care about you, your desire to have anything fixed, or your need to have help with closing costs. Dealing with someone who only cares about getting the price they desire will usually result in mayhem.
It is required by law for disclosures to be provided about the condition of the home and any repairs that have been made on the home being sold. Sellers have other responsibilities too: like paying for title work, outstanding utilities, or back-taxes owed on the property. A real estate agent will have access to the database of required paperwork and know how to pull records to verify there are not any outstanding fines. A FSBO may not even know this documentation is required and possibly may try to cover things up. This can cost you time and money and result in further delays and headaches.
Real estate transactions have so many back and forth negotiations that you’d think it was a courtroom. There are complexities involved with the offer price, closing date, financial terms, comps, appraisal report, inspection report, daily occupancy rate, and more… It is best to let the professionals handle it all. Judging by their awful photos on Zillow, FSBO’s don’t even know how to operate a camera properly… so you think you can trust them to negotiate?
4. House Condition
You have to ask yourself why a FSBO didn’t hire an agent. Did they not want to pay an agent because of their financial situation? If the seller is broke then what happens if the home doesn’t appraise or the inspection report reveals that the furnace and roof are on their last leg? Do you really want to buy a house from someone who has cut corners the entire time they lived there? Did they ever pay a professional to fix the plumbing or electrical or did they just Google it and attempt it themselves? These questions must be asked.
- Sense of Urgency
Anyone who wants to sell their home quickly should hire a real estate agent to get the job done. You won’t find as much urgency with a FSBO because they usually have no clue where they are moving or when. Sellers that hire agents usually have a REASON they want to move out quickly. Also, you could have some serious issues getting FSBO’s to actually move out of their house after closing. A closing, that by the way, could take many extensions and months to actually close on!
So, again we ask the question: Why do some people think they are qualified real estate agents and decide to go FSBO? We will never know… but statistics show that an overwhelming 90% of those that tried to go FSBO end up listing with a real estate agent eventually. As for the 10% that don’t…well, they will probably die trying!
Written by Sarah D’Hondt!
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