The Potential Risks and Pitfalls of FSBO Home Sales

Posted by Brett Campbell on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 at 9:54am.

What Sellers Need to Know About the Risks of FSBO Home SalesThose considering putting their Stone Creek home up for sale might be tempted to undertake the process without the assistance of a real estate professional. However, there are many things to contend with during a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) home sale. Without an agent overseeing the complexities of home inspections, appraisals, financing and title searches, a few common problems are bound to arise during the process. Here are some top pitfalls and risks of FSBO home sales.

FSBO is Time Consuming

There's a reason why being a real estate agent is typically a full-time position, as selling homes takes an enormous amount of effort. There is the time spent trying to attract and find buyers and a myriad of paperwork required that will have varying deadlines sellers must meet. Then buyers should be pre-screened and be pre-approved for a mortgage before getting too involved in the process.

Buyers will naturally want to see the home, so owners with full-time employment outside the home might not have this time to spend handling the daily work required in FSBO home sales. After all, what little time owners have ‘off' will be filled with phone calls, follow up emails, handling paperwork, and allowing potential buyers to come in for a look. If time is a precious commodity, FSBO might not be the best route to selling a home.

Safety & Security Concerns of FSBO Home Sales

When home shoppers are seeking out deals, they will often see an FSBO sign in the yard and decide to ‘stop by'—often unannounced. Allowing complete strangers into the home without any pre-screening can be very risky. After all, they may be just nosy neighbors, but they might also be thieves casing the home and looking for items to come back and take at a later time.

Real estate agents often insist on showing homes by appointment or through open houses to pre-screened serious buyers who are pre-approved. They also have technological aids that help them keep track of visitors to the home. These devices also allow agents to show homes while owners are away via unique security access codes. If safety and privacy or vital to home sellers, taking on the FSBO process might prove intimidating and somewhat cumbersome.

Attention to Every Detail is Essential

One of the most common mistakes made in FSBO transactions is the sellers underestimating the complexity of the process. The laws and rules will vary between provinces and localities, and the potential for making errors is substantial. One might be surprised to know that just one missing document or one document with missing or incorrect information can cause a deal to fall apart. In fact, in certain cases, making such mistakes can leave sellers open to future litigation.

Of course, beyond working through the myriad of paperwork details from day one to closing and beyond, sellers need to understand how to properly calculate their property's value. This can depend on an array of factors that only real estate professionals can typically comprehend. Because an agent's job involves dealing with such details day in and day out, there are fewer chances for costly mistakes versus sellers taking on the challenge. Real estate agents also know how to market a home, to sell it for the most money in the least amount of time.

Risks of Losing Money in FSBO Scenarios

Many sellers take this route believing that they will be saving money on commission fees. However, this isn't necessarily true, as who pays for commission in real estate transaction is negotiable and could fall upon either the buyer or seller. Furthermore, FSBO houses tend to sell for less than those being promoted by an agent, so any commission fees are likely well worthwhile.

Don't consider FSBO home sales unless you are ready to give the process your full attention. Reach out to a local real estate professional before making the choice to sell a home on your own.

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