The growth and popularity of real estate related websites has sparked the popularity of many DIY services including FSBOs (for sale by owners). However, the fact remains that approximately 93% of homes are still being sold by Realtors®, according to the National Association of Realtors®. This means that most FSBOs will need the services of a licensed real estate agent to sell their home.
Understanding the FSBO market
Many FSBOs mistakenly believe that simply listing a home in the MLS is all it takes for it to sell. And since it appears so easy why pay an agent a commission for something they can do themselves. Sometimes the homeowner becomes frustrated when their property didn’t sell with a real estate agent and venture on their own or they don’t think they can afford to pay a commission. But, most are finding out that real estate doesn’t really work that way and while it may appear easy on the surface, many Realtors® put a lot of time, money and effort into selling client properties.
Since many FSBOs are not actually getting the exposure they are expecting to receive, the best way to find them is while farming your neighborhoods. The reality is whether or not you make contact with a FSBO a Realtor® sign often eventually appears in the yard.
When making contact with a FSBO, it is important to be professional and courteous at all times. Focus on what makes you uniquely positioned to sell their property. Remind them that they don’t have access to proprietary real estate tools that licensed agents have. Also be sure to highlight the specialized services you will be providing including the marketing, navigating changing disclosure rules, scheduling showing appointments, qualifying buyers and making sure their home is priced right for current market conditions, among others.
It is important to explain to FSBOs that it could actually be costing more to sell the property themselves than with a Realtor®. That’s because it generally takes significantly longer to sell by owner, if at all, than it does with a real estate agent. Also, FSBOs have to pay for all of the marketing and other real estate related expenses, up-front whether or not their home sells. Considering the time and costs to sell a property, most FSBOs are better served with a professional real estate agent that has their best interest in mind.