Eight FSBO Mistakes
It is very possible to sell your home FSBO, but you need to avoid these 8 common mistakes that I see every day.
No Plan – Your home does not exist in a vacuum. Once you decide to sell your home, it becomes a house and a house is a commodity. A commodities market is ruled by supply and demand and you must have a plan to position your house favorably in a market filled with plenty of competition (and no, a spiffy FSBO flyer that says a home is a “great buy” is not market positioning). You can acquire a smart plan by sitting down and discussing what you want to do with the top real estate agent in your market. It is likely that she or he will be very helpful with the understanding that you will hire her/him if you decide to work with a real estate company.
Miscalculations – Every FSBO seller that I have ever asked “why are you selling this on your own?” has told me they are trying to save money. But they are always very quick to point out that they will pay an agent to bring a buyer (meaning they are really only trying to save 1/2 of the commission). When I ask them why somebody would want to buy their home, they tell me that by selling FSBO, they can offer the home cheaper … So that begs the question: Can both the buyer and the seller of the home save the same 1/2 commission not being paid? In my experience, it is far easier to negotiate a contract to a lower price for my buyer if the seller does not have an agent, so who is really saving the commission?
False assumptions – Most FSBO home sellers assume a house will sell itself. I believe that the majority of people who want to sell a home today purchased their home 7 to 10 years ago. In that market, homes did seem to sell themselves. There were multiple offers on most homes, as supply could not keep up with demand during the boom of the housing market. But if you assume things are the same today as back when you purchased your home, you will be a very unhappy FSBO seller. Another false assumption is that you can sell a home for any amount you want, even though today’s buyer is armed with information. Your home has a value and it is what it is.
No business systems – When a homeowner hires me for the job of selling their home, my entire staff goes to work and does not stop until after the new buyer moves into the home. The internet requires DAILY marketing of a property if you want to get top dollar for the home. This does not happen by accident, we have personnel and systems designed to properly expose the home for sale, thus a FSBO must be able to do the same for his or her home.
No list – I have thousands of real estate agent email addresses to whom I can market a property. When we list a property, it is in front of thousands of people within days. A FSBO needs to compete with this “buzz” if they want to create a competitive environment for their home. Social media is one way to do this, and a smart plan of using their friends to help the FSBO to create a buzz could help them replace the “list” that I have
No daily marketing campaign – This is the biggest mistake I see. FSBOs observe that most real estate agents do nothing to sell a home so they think they can “set it and forget it” too. Marketing is a daily job, and if you want to sell a home, you had better be spreading the word each and every day until somebody else owns the house.
No fast response lead management system – MIT did a study of online respondents and found that when companies returned contact within 5 minutes, they had a much greater chance of doing business with the “lead” than if they responded within 60 minutes. So smart FSBOs need to have a plan for handling online inquiries for their home, and for enabling quick showings that can occur on the spur of the moment. A FSBO needs to be able to compete with all the homes that have thousands of REALTORS standing by to show them at a moments notice.
No team effort – There is no way that an individual can compete on every daily task that we do to sell a home, so the FSBO must create a team of people to assist. Get friends and family helping you spread the word and respond to inquiries. It takes an organized effort to get top dollar for a home, but you can do it FSBO if you commit to doing the work.
The FSBO Irony
The irony in attempting to sell a home FSBO is that the majority of people do it to save money (100% of the ones to whom I have spoken), yet the only way that they can compete with the MLS is to do it on price!
That’s right, you can sell your house FSBO, but most people cannot come close to the reach that we have so they have to lower their price to attract buyers. I have found that most FSBOs need a very low price to attract a buyer without a real estate agent. So the money you wanted to save (plus another 5 to 10%) is passed on to the homebuyer.
My FSBO Offer
If you have a home to sell, and you think that you can get top dollar for it without hiring a real estate agent, go ahead and give it a go.
But don't walk away from some free professional advice.
Talk to me about what I would do to sell your home. Learn from me. Even if you think what I do is not necessary for you to sell your home, doesn’t it make sense to arm yourself with the most current information on home selling techniques on the internet?
Knowledge is power, and you should be able to use some of my marketing techniques to give yourself a better chance of selling the home on your own.
So, if you are thinking about selling a home FSBO and want to first pick my brain, just drop me a note and we can schedule a time to discuss what you need to do.
Call Me: John OBrien, Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) 972-890-3042.