How do you decide whether to sell your home (or land, farm, ranch, etc.) on your own or use a real estate broker? There are pluses and minuses to each approach. Let’s look at some of the key ups and downs. Only you can decide which approach has the most pluses in your situation.
Why go FSBO?
“FSBO” stands for “for sale by owner” and tells buyers you are not using a realtor to represent you. The biggest upside to going FSBO is you save thousands of dollars in broker commissions when you sell the property. This may seem obvious, but the savings are very real.
The downside to going FSBO is it takes your time to market and show the property. (You’ll need to prepare your property for sale in either case, but that’s a whole separate topic.) You also need to be familiar with how the real estate sales process works in your part of the country. It isn’t necessary to be an expert; just make sure you understand what things one must generally deal with in a real estate sales transaction.
Also, it’s important to have access to the helpers you need. Examples include a lender who is willing to qualify your prospective buyers, someone qualified and willing to draw the sales contract and a person or firm qualified to close your sales transaction. Fortunately, there are many lenders and settlement offices willing to work directly with the principals to a transaction. And, for the brave and hopefully, very experienced, there are on-line, fill in the blank, sales contracts.
Why use a broker?
Does the above discussion leave you feeling insecure instead of alert, thoughtful, and excited? If so, you probably want a real estate broker to sell your home for you.
Other instances when you may want to use a broker include:
- Inexperience – If you have not had much experience buying and selling homes, a broker may be the answer.
- Local Conditions – Are you aware of the unique issues of the geographic location? If you have bought and sold in Virginia (where termites and radon are concerns) and you are now planning to sell the one home you’ve owned in Colorado (where water and mineral rights might be on the discussion table), it’s possible you may want a broker.
- Time, Time, Time – If your profession provides for you and your family very well, but takes up enormous amounts of your time, ditto.
- If you have no notions about how you’d go about marketing your home using the Internet, magazines, newspapers, bulletin boards, brochures, signs, word-of-mouth, etc., a broker can get you the marketing exposure you need. Most of them have Virtual Real Estate Assistants who do most of the marketing stuff. So, you don’t need to worry about having your property be well advertised.
The Right Choice?
There is no one right choice. Only you can decide what’s best for you. Hopefully, this look at the pros and cons will get your mental juices flowing nicely. I hope your sale goes smoothly.