Why You Shouldn’t FSBO (Especially in a Hot Housing Market)

In a housing market as hot as ours is right now in Greater Lafayette, when we have a fraction of the homes on the market that we normally do, it’s tempting to think about selling your home on your own.

After all, if you put a sign in your yard, how hard can it be to sell your home yourself when there’s such high demand and such low inventory? Well, there are some good reasons why you shouldn’t FSBO your home, especially in a hot housing market.

Agents Have a Huge, Local Network

When you work with a real estate agent, you get access to an extensive network. Real estate agents have a large sphere of people they work with day in and day out, including other real estate agents, potential sellers, and potential buyers. They may know just the right buyer for your home. In today’s market, agents are talking with other agents so they know exactly when homes are coming on the market, and it can pay off to have access to those conversations through your agent.

On the other hand, if you list yourself, you’re responsible for getting the word out. Even if you have a large network, those people probably don’t care much about helping you sell your home. This can make it harder to find the right buyer, and your home may sit longer than it needs to.

Agents Help Your Home Get Exposure Online

Speaking of finding the right buyer for your home, online exposure is everything these days. Real estate agents list homes on the MLS, which feeds to other sites that carry home listings. However, agents work primarily in the MLS, and it takes time for information about home listings to update on the other sites.

If you list on your own, you have to get the listing up and decide which sites to put it on. Plus, you don’t have access to the MLS, which is the primary way your home gets exposure to buyers and agents who are actively looking. Your best bet for a smooth home sale is to have your home on the MLS.

Agents Know How to Market Your Home

Do you know how to market your home to appeal to possible buyers? Do you know what they’re looking for and how much to price your home for? Do you have a professional photographer, videographer, home stager, and copywriter at your beck and call?

Finding professionals to do these things can cost a lot of money. And having people who aren’t professionals do these things can be even worse. Showing your home in its best possible light is really important for getting top dollar. That’s proven to be even more important during the pandemic when so many people are shopping for homes online.

Agents Price Your Home Correctly

One of the biggest risks of selling a home on your own, especially in a hot market, is that you won’t pick the right price. Pricing a home correctly is an art, and it takes years and years of experience to do it right. (And no, an estimate from a site like Zillow is NOT a good substitute.)

Price a home too high, and you’ll miss out on a lot of interest. The house will languish on the market and buyers will start to wonder what’s wrong with it. On the other hand, pricing a home too low could mean that you lose thousands of dollars. Homes sold by agents sell for more, on average, than homes listed by owners.

In a hot market, when home prices go up quickly, it’s especially important to have an agent help get the price just right.

Agents Negotiate on Your Behalf

Do you know how to pick the best offer if you receive multiple offers for your home? Is It the all-cash offer? Is it the buyer who’s already been looked at by a lender? Someone else in the sea of offers on your desk?

Sorting through offers can be stressful. Sometimes, buyers look good on paper but it turns out they can’t actually get a loan or they don’t have the cash. An agent will spot these red flags and help you avoid problem buyers, saving you time, stress, and money.

And when it comes time for an inspection, do you know how to negotiate the repair process or money for any problems that come up with the home? Not knowing the law can really cost you.

Agents Protect You from Liability

Selling a home comes with a lot of complex legal paperwork, and it needs to be filled out correctly, or you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in the future.  If you don’t have the representation of a licensed agent and you list your home with hardwood floors and it turns out they aren’t actually hardwood, you may have to pay for the mistake. 

Legal paperwork you need includes disclosures, a sales contract, and other important documents. Depending on the transaction, the documents. may need to be customized. This is one time when you really want to leave it to the pros because trying to save money could end up costing a lot in the end.

Agents Save You Time

If you’re selling your home on your own, you’ll have to be around to show your home whenever somebody wants to see it. That may mean missing work or other important activities to be around to show the home. Let an agent take on that stressful task, as well as other time-consuming tasks like negotiating offers, filling out contracts, and marketing your home listing.

Agents are Skilled at the Job of Selling Homes

There’s a reason you don’t clean your own teeth or take your own family pictures. You want someone who’s an expert doing those things.

Real estate agents work in your market day in and day out. They understand the nuances of your area and how to best position a home for sale in that market. That’s especially true in a challenging, hot market like ours. Homes move fast, but that quick pace comes with challenges of its own because you have to be ready to move fast, too. Trust an expert to help you sell your home as quickly as possible for the best price possible and most favorable terms for you. We suggest you work with a local expert, or give us a call at (765) 543-5947.

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Lauren Alexander

Greater Lafayette area realtor, ready to help you with all your relocation needs!

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