Why For Sale By Owner Homes Sell For Less

Posted by Liliana Sorescu on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 at 10:43pm.

If you have a home in Vancouver to sell, you might be toying with the idea of selling it "For Sale by Owner." After all, if you list with an agent you'll have to pay a commission, and you'd rather keep that money for yourself.
That's tempting, of course, but there are many reasons to list your home instead:
  • Getting the price right is difficult. You don't have access to actual sold prices, or the seller concessions that might have been granted, and you haven't actually seen inside the houses you might be using as a comparison when pricing your own home. 
  • "By owner" sellers quickly learn that being available every time someone wants to see the house isn't all that much fun. They can't even take a week-end off and go out of town, because they might miss that buyer.
  • Paperwork is another issue. Today's purchase agreements are complicated, and the number of disclosures required by law is intimidating.
  • Then there's the safety factor. Letting unknown strangers into your home is dangerous.
But most importantly, home buyer surveys show that For Sale by Owner (FSBO) homes sell for less.
Why do they sell for less?
One reason is that buyers want that commission money just as much as you do. They expect you to share it with them, so they negotiate harder.
The second reason is that the longer a home is on the market, the more buyers begin to think there's "something wrong" with it. Just as over-priced homes become "stale on the market" and eventually sell for less, so do FSBO homes.
Why are they usually on the market longer?
Simply because fewer potential buyers see them. For one thing, unless you can stay home all day every day, you'll miss a few potential buyers.
But more importantly…
Today 90% of home buyers search the Internet to find a home. Many of them have narrowed the choices and possibly even chosen the home before they contact an agent.
That makes it vitally important for listing agents to post professional quality photos and write descriptions that tell more than the basic facts about a home. Then they publish that information on their Multiple Listing Service, their company site, their personal site, and about 40 or so other real estate sites. They do all in their power to put their listings in front of every possible web-surfing buyer.
You, as a FSBO seller, don't have access to all those sites. And here's the most startling news of all: A 2012 survey of home buyers reported that only 10% ever visited a For Sale by Owner website. The rest didn't even bother to check what might be available.
So when you're ready to sell that Vancouver home, call me! I'll do all the things that are difficult for you – and get that home sold quickly and for top dollar. 

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