For Sale by Owner - Wikipedia CommonsLet’s talk FSBO’s for a minute. In a hot market like ours, it isn’t surprising to see an uptick in folks hoping to sell without help from a Realtor. They certainly don’t need us to put a sign in the yard in order to sell when there are so few homes available and those homes can be a great option for our Buyers.

The Good

Its inventory above and beyond what is listed on the MLS. Occasionally, that means a home that the masses aren’t seeing and therefore, less competitive. Its a home for sale. When you’re house shopping, that is always a good thing.

The Bad

For Sale by Owner homes are almost always priced above market. There are exceptions but its very rare. They are also usually under prepared for sale in regards to disclosures, deferred maintenance and just general awareness of the process. All of these can make a FSBO much more challenging to purchase for our Buyers.

The Ugly

This one is tough. In our experience, the personality type most likely to do a FSBO strongly believes that ‘it can’t be that hard’ and ‘I’m smarter than most realtors’ (which may well be true ;). Unfortunately, the armchair quarterback mentality makes it VERY tough to get from Contract to Closing without a host of problems. We are well equipped to manage all sorts of personality types and issues therein, but we always want to warn our Buyers that these transactions rarely go smoothly when industry standards fly out the window. Sellers often end up overcompensating for lack of knowledge with ‘toughness’ that may unfavorably benefit the Seller and harm the Buyer. Standing up for what is ‘fair’ is tough to do without the Seller feeling that we’re trying to take advantage of them. Its a tough line to walk despite our years of experience doing so. We’re ready and able to take it on but want our Buyers to be ready for a few more hiccups than a normal purchase just in case.

On the positive side, most FSBO sellers only do it once. Our last FSBO sale was an emotional obstacle course from start to finish but at the end of the day, sitting across from the Seller at the Closing table, his exact words were ‘I will NEVER do that again, I’m calling you next time!’. The Seller got his home sold, the Buyer was a happy homeowner and in the end, that’s all that really matters.