[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="http://4salebydonna.com" name="Real Estate Agent Donna Baker" description="Real Estate Agent showing homes for sale and available real estate in Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California." city="Monrovia" state="Ca" postalcode="91016" email="donna@4salebydonna.com " phone="(626) 408-7766 "]

Selling Without an Agent

The National Association of Realtors reports that fewer than 20% of residence sales do not involve a real estate agent. These do-it-yourself home sales are called “for sale by owner.” Among realty agents, they are known as “fizzbos.”

Although a few fizzbo sales are among friends and relatives, most are not. The primary reason a homeowner wants to sell without an agent, of course, is to save the sales commission. Perhaps a better statement is that the seller wants to “earn” the sales commission by doing the work normally performed by a professional agent.

Statistically, most for-sale-by-owner transactions fail. Within 30 to 60 days, most sellers hire an agent. Many naïve homeowners think it’s easy to sell a home. Just rant a few newspaper ads, put a “for sale by owner” sign on the front lawn, and hold a few open houses.

The do-it-yourself seller’s major disadvantage is competing against local agents who have hundreds of homes to show prospective buyers. Through the local multiple listing service and the huge nationwide www.realtor.com website, agents can expose listed homes to thousands of local and out-of-area potential buyers.

If you are considering selling your home alone, here four key self-test questions to ask yourself:

How will I comply with the legal requirements and obtain a legally binding sales contract from a buyer?

Most do-it-yourself sellers are not aware of today’s complicated state and federal legal requirements and disclosures regarding home sales. Locally, state law requires a printed purchase contract, a transfer disclosure statement, pest control and termite inspection report, natural hazard zone disclosures, lead-based paint disclosures, water heater strapping, and smoke detector installation.

How will I market my home?

Running ads, installing a lawn sign and holding open houses are usually not enough to sell a home. If you overprice your home, savvy buyers won’t waste their time looking at it. If you under-price your home, you’ll lose thousands of dollars.

Who will handle the details of the sale closing?

Finding a buyer and signing a legally binding purchase contract are just half the work of a home sale. The other half involves overcoming problems, such as the appraisal, professional inspections, and arranging a successful closing, including title insurance issues. These obstacles can test even the best professional real estate agents.

Most sellers, after considering the pros and cons of selling their homes alone without a professional agent realize expert help is usually needed to sell their home for top dollar in today’s market while encountering the least problems in the process.


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.