Selling Property: FSBO or Real Estate Agent? 27 Comments
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Real estate has become a rather lucrative business these days and if you’re looking to sell a piece of property, you might be wondering whether to go at it yourself or hire a real estate agent to do it for you. Of course, you could be tempted to go FSBO and save the expense of hiring a real estate agent but then again, there is the upside of getting a professional to do the dirty work. So, “fizz-bow” or agent?
For sale by owner or FSBO, pronounced “fizz-bow”, is a real estate term wherein the owner sells his property without hiring the services of a real estate agent. The most obvious advantage to this is that you don’t have to pay anyone to help you sell your property. Most real estate agents will probably get five to eight percent of the total sale of your property. If you go with FSBO, you get to keep all the profits of the sale to yourself.
Another upside to FSBO is that you get to have control over your appointments. This means there won’t be “surprise visits” at the drop of a hat. This could prove beneficial, especially if you are presently residing at the same property you’re selling. Real estate agents may sometimes call you without a moment’s notice that a potential buyer is looking forward to seeing your property, in which case you have to vacate the premises with some amount of haste so that they may be able to view the property without your influence.
You also get to control the negotiations and the whole process from start to finish. You get to sell your property and market it however you want it.
The cons of FSBO, however, may stem from their very pros. Yes, you may be able to save a bit of cash by not hiring an agent but then, without the advice of an expert, your property might stay a bit longer in the market. Realtors are also skilled at haggling for a bit more than you are so it is always useful to have that kind of push on your side. Also, real estate agents will be able to appraise your property and its worth more appropriately.
Without an agent, you will also have to do all the dirty paperwork by yourself. This can be confusing for a lot of homeowners, especially if it is your first time to sell property. You have the option of hiring an attorney for closing paperwork, however, but that is another added cost.
A lot of homeowners find the whole process of FSBO very frustrating and time-consuming. Hiring real estate agents may cost you some amount of money but there are pros to consider in getting a professional to do the job, as mentioned above.
One of these advantages is the contacts. Realtors have a wide range of contacts that you, the ordinary owner, do not have. Sometimes, it is who you know that really matters and not what you know. Experienced real estate agents have contacts in spades.
If you are looking to sell your home real quick, then a real estate agent can do it for you, too. They have experience and, yes again, enough contacts to do the job for you faster. Realtors are also ahead of the game when it comes to marketing, so you don’t need to worry about having to promote your property.
The most probable downside to hiring a real estate agent is the cost, which is also the more tempting side of FSBO.
Consider that, while there is a lot of advantage in hiring someone with the knowledge, skills, and contacts, you may also have to scrutinize the experience of the agent you are about to hire. With real estate business on the rise, there are many realtors and you might just be unfortunate enough to hire someone that is a little wet behind the ears.
Take note, however, that the emergence of FSBO solutions, like ComFree, are making the entire process of selling your home privately much easier. Solutions like this are now offering real estate listings on their highly trafficked websites, expert tips and advice, a listing in a local newspaper or real estate magazine and, in some instances, even a MLS listing.
So… “fizz-bow” or agent?
Author Bio: Anna Ralph is a real estate writer based in Montreal. She shares her opinion on market trends and has been published on multiple online publications. Follow her on Google+.