Top 5 Reasons NOT to Sell Your Home FSBO

This New Orleans Real Estate Blog post discusses the negatives about selling your home For Sale By Owner.

I know, many of you are thinking, “How is he going to be objective? After all, he is adversely affected when a New Orleans property is sold via FSBO.”  Well, the answer is that the following five reasons are based in fact.  These are not my opinions (which obviously would be biased!).  A person completely in favor of FSBO cannot argue that these 5 reasons are not factual, rather the only argument can be if they believe that these reasons are strong enough reasons to use an agent.  I believe that they are. One more item to note, I have written this post based on the fact that around 50% of all FSBOs choose to so so to avoid paying any commissions or fees.  This post is directed to those FSBOs that do NOT want to pay commissions or fees.

  1. You will not be able to market your home on the MLS - Only licensed real estate brokers and agents are able to post their listings on the MLS.  According to Realtor.org, around 90% of all home buyers start their search online.  All of the large real estate search engines obtain their listing information directly from local MLS branches.  So if you are not on the MLS you will not only be invisible to buyers agents who use the MLS, but you will also not have a significant web presence on third party websites.  Sure you can find FSBO websites with listings…but those sites may have only tens of thousands of listings, while Realtor.com has nearly 4 million.
  2. You will sell your house for more $$$ with a Realtor – It’s true.  A Realtor will generate a higher sale price on your home…Around 16% more!  According to the National Association of Realtors, the median selling price for an open market home in 2009 was $185,000.  The median selling price for an agent-assisted home was $215,000.
  3. Buyers agents will typically not show your home – Many agents do not show FSBO listings.  Why? When an agent shows a home listed by a broker, they know that a commission will be paid at the act of sale.  There is no guarantee that a FSBO will compensate a buyers agent.
  4. Have to face the facts (statistics) - If you analyze all the home sales in 2009 you will find that the vast majority of homes were sold with some sort of professional representation.  Open market sales (arms length transactions) that did not have professional representation only amounted to 6 percent of all home sales. Source NAR.
  5. You have no financial protection – Realtors are required to have a professional liability policy.  If you make an honest mistake during the transaction and get sued by your potential buyer your personal assets will be at risk!  Most likely your homeowners policy will not cover you.  Hiring a Realtor can effectively move this risk away from you and your assets.
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