Last week, we started the discussion of selling your home privately. This week, we want to share the cons and dangers of taking such a route.
Selling your home is not as easy as it may look. In fact, it’s a lot of hard work. However, as Rob Mischler has proven in our last article, it is possible. Professionals in this field exist for a reason, though, and before you sell your home privately, consider these things first:
It’s Time Consuming.
When deciding to sell your home, all the work is on you. Answering questions about the home, setting up times to view your house and so on are all up to you. While making posts online may not take up too much time, meeting with people and getting your house sell-ready does. After all, how much flexibility does your full-time job allow you to take off for your personal home sale?
Mischler mentioned it took him an estimated six months longer to sell his Cape Cod home than it would have going through a realtor. Western Pennsylvania-based photographer Jonathan Blanchard of Sparks Ignite Photography responded in a brief online interview that he and his wife decided to go through a realtor as they sell their home to upgrade to one with more space for their growing family. Why?
“We figured it would be easier and faster to sell this way,” he said.
You may be limited.
Depending on your market, you may be limited in finding quality buyers. Real estate agents and companies can use their connections and tools to expand you listing, tapping into a larger market, and, thus, improving your sale.
In addition, how much experience do you have in finding serious buyers? You may find yourself providing useless showings of your home to individuals who were never serious about buying your home. Knowing what questions to ask, like a professional does, is also a serious time-saver.
You may show up as a red-flag to buyers’ agents.
When selling your home privately, you are also known as a “FSBO,” short for “For sale by owner.” If a potential buyer decides to hire an agent to help them along in the process, which is also highly recommended, the agent may be discourage their client from checking out your property. It’s nothing personal; the agent just may prefer dealing with another professional to avoid more work on their end.
You may able to prevent issues of this as an independent seller by starting an open dialogue with the agent. Note that this may not always work, but it is worth showing the agent that you are serious about the sale.
There are legal issues.
There is much to know regarding disclosure laws in order to avoid issues such as accusations of fraud or negligence. While this is information you could obtain on your own with diligent research, a professional will already have the knowledge on the proper legal steps to take.
This is not to say that real estate agents never make mistakes; they do, however, have the necessary insurance and background to back up any of those mistakes. Not having the proper paperwork could put you at risk for being sued, so be sure to be extra careful and detailed with your paperwork.
If you go the route of selling your home privately, just be aware of the above points. Not to mention, real estate agents are also very experienced in negotiating as well as helping you set a price point on your home. They will also know how to work with the buyer’s agent.
Have you ever sold your home privately? What dangers or cons would you add to the list?