FSBO’s (pronounced “Fiss-bo”) is another name for houses that are For Sale By Owner.
Trawl through Craigslist or drive around looking at For Sale signs and you’re going to come across some of these. Last year, only 7% of all homes sold in Central Indiana were actually sold without the guidance or assistance of a Realtor or directly from a builder. (That’s 1 out of every 14 houses sold.)
So what’s the story? Why do some people want to sell their own house? Invariably it boils down to money. Homeowners get an itch to sell and then they start looking at the costs. They figure that by selling themselves they can save thousands of dollars. And to be sure, some do. However, for the most part, people have good intentions but after dealing for several weeks with unqualified buyer prospects, tire kickers, nosy neighbors, and discovering that zero cost advertising yields zero good prospects they start talking to a Realtor (and right quik like there is a new sign in the front yard).
Now, do people buying directly from an owner get a good deal? Well, that’s a BIG “it depends.” First off, while the common thinking is that the price will be lower because the seller doesn’t have to pay a commission, that very often is not the case. Let’s face it, the seller is still trying to maximize his profit. And there’s a fair number of FSBO sellers who go that route because they think they know what their house is worth (and they believe the Realtors they talked with did not). You can pretty much guess that those Realtors weren’t telling them this particular house should sell for more than what the seller was thinking. So, a fair number of FSBO’s are priced higher than what the Realtors thought the market would bear!
But more important than price is a whole host of other issues- things like liens on title, survey encroachments, financing, negotiating inspections, appraisal issues, etc., etc., etc. If these kinds of problems go unnoticed or unresolved they can turn into nightmares- for one or both parties. And there’s more… like, is the seller ethical? Is the buyer? Is the transaction conducted according to applicable law? Is the buyer very knowledgeable so that he or she is capable of protecting their interests? Are there no hiccups or surprises? That’s a whole lot of maybe’s.
Do all Realtor guided deals go flawlessly? Hardly. What I suggest to people is my job is kind of like being Captain of a ship or airplane. There’s a pre-flight plan and the good pilot draws up the best plan he can. But, as the saying goes, “If you want to hear God laugh, just draw up a plan!” So, my job is to use my knowledge and skill to fly that plane through whatever turbulence develops, through whatever mechanical problems unexpectedly pop up, and generally do my best to get ‘er off the ground smoothly, make the best time possible under the circumstances, and then bring her in smooth as silk.
P.S. Now,If you’d like to see how your next real estate transaction might be smooth as silk just give me a call. I’ll be happy to help.
“I work harder to make good things happen!!”