For Sale By Owner - Disaster Waiting to Happen

Selling Your Home in Atlanta? What You Need to Know.

For Sale By Owner Sign - A recipe for disaster

Thinking about selling your home in Atlanta by yourself? You need to know what you’re getting into.

Most people, a whopping 90%, prefer working with a real estate agent when buying or selling a home. Of course, some people are successful at selling their home unassisted – but that can have significant drawbacks.

Some of these drawbacks are a lower sale price, dealing with unqualified buyers who can’t get financed for a mortgage, inquiries from people who are more curious than serious about buying a home and of course, scheduling times for prospective buyers to view the home. Not only will you have to deal with the potential buyers, you will have to market and advertise your home. Sure, you can post your home on Craigslist, Facebook, Zillow, Trulia and a handful of local options – but only a licensed real estate professional can add your home to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). As a realtor, I list my clients’ homes on both the Atlanta Board of Realtors First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) and the Georgia Multiple Listing Service (GAMLS). Having your home listed on MLS puts it in front of thousands more viewers.

Maybe you should read this excerpt from the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors.  

Home Selling and Real Estate Professionals

  • Thirty-eight percent of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 22 percent used the agent they worked with previously to buy or sell a home.
  • Seventy percent of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • Ninety-one percent of sellers reported that their home was listed or advertised on the multiple listing (MLS) website.
  • Among recent sellers who used an agent, 83 percent reported they would definitely (68 percent) or probably (15 percent) use that real estate agent again or recommend to others. That’s a total of 98% who are more likely to use that real estate agent again.

For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) Sellers

  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty-four percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.
  • Among sellers who did not know the buyer of the home previously, only 15 percent were contacted by a buyer they did not know to buy the home. That means that either someone they knew or real estate agent coordinated the original contact.
  • FSBOs typically have a lower median selling price: $208,700 compared to $235,000. Thus, the typical agent-assisted home sale typically has a 13 percent higher sales price than the typical FSBO sale. 
  • Half of FSBO sellers took no action to market their home, and 73 percent did not offer any incentives to attract buyers.

Let’s say you’ve weighed the options and have decided that For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is for you.

You’ve taken photos and written up a snappy description and are satisfied with your advertisement. There is a very real chance that the buyer WILL be represented by a realtor. Are you certain that your negotiation skills are on par with someone who negotiates professionally every day of the year? What about the contract? Are you certain that you can draw up a contract to fully protect your interests during the sale process? What about contingencies? What about amendments to address concerns? Do you have a qualified real estate attorney to vet the contracts and ensure you are protected? If you do, how much is that costing you?

It is a lot of work to sell a home.

A lot of people think they can shave off some expense  by foregoing the services of a professional realtor and pocket more of the profit. If you look at the statistics, FSBOs sell for an average of 13% less. That’s not even including the commission that still must be paid to the buyer’s agent. When you consider the 6% listing commission, sellers who list with a realtor still net 7% MORE money from the sale of their home. Do you really want to leave that money on the table?

When you’re ready to put your home on the market, I would be honored for the chance to earn your business. I am a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors© and my in-depth market analysis will help you determine the best listing price. I use a fourteen step marketing process that will get your home in front of the right buyers. I don’t just park your listing on MLS and forget about it. When you’re ready to learn more about how I can help you get your home sold efficiently and for the right price give me a call 404.564.2609.  – Karen Kelly


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