When selling my home, should I go 'For Sale By Owner'?
7 Reasons why selling your home is not the best idea.
When you’re in the business of selling your home, there are a lot of things to think about. You want the best ideas and the best strategies to get top dollar for your home. It may have crossed your mind to sell your home on your own as a for sale by owner. You might think it’s a great way to save a few dollars and make a quick sale. In most cases, for sale by owner is a risky and costly move. We spoke with real estate law expert and Las Vegas personal injury attorney Adam Kutner about this important topic. Here are seven reasons why for sale by owner is not the best idea.
- Legal Errors Can Be Costly
A real estate closing is an expensive transaction. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive financial transactions that most people are a part of during their lifetime. During a real estate deal, you prepare documents and paperwork with legal consequences. Deeds, titles, mortgages, and disclosure documents which are all legally binding. One little mistake, and you may find yourself wrapped up in costly litigation for years to come.
When you sell your home as for sale by owner, you don’t have a professional helping you avoid mistakes. A real estate professional doesn’t give legal advice, but they do have the experience of years in the industry and participation in many real estate transactions. They can help avoid disaster when it comes to the myriad of paperwork that goes along with any real estate transaction. Ultimately, you can avoid disagreements with your buyer which can lead to expensive and stressful litigation in court.
2. The Buyer Will Likely Have an Experienced Professional Helping Them
Each real estate transaction is unique. It’s up to you and the buyer to agree on a price and the terms of the sale. Chances are, the buyer is going to have a professional real estate agent representing their interests. Their goal is to get the best deal possible for their client. A trained real estate agent knows all of the ways to help their client get the best deal. The buyer may also have an attorney working on their behalf. They’re also going to have a home inspector who will try to find things wrong with your property so that you’ll agree to lower your price.
When you sell for sale by owner, you’re up against all of these people by yourself. You don’t have a professional helping you sort out what’s real and what’s chatter. With a real estate agent, you have an equally skilled professional who knows how to help you respond effectively to potential buyers. They can help you price your home effectively. With a trained negotiator, you can ensure that you negotiate in a productive way and get the best possible selling price for your home.
3. An Agent Knows How to Expose You to Prospective Buyers
A big part of making a great sale is finding the right buyers. Most buyers look for homes online. Real estate agents have access to an extensive network of places to market your home online. In addition to their own website, they can place your home on other professional websites that can help you find the right buyer.
In addition to being able to put your listing on the right websites, real estate agents also know what makes an effective listing. They know about photos, staging, captions, descriptions, and all of the bells and whistles that can help a real estate listing stand out. When you’re selling a home, you only get one chance to make a first impression with a prospective buyer. A real estate agent knows how to make your listing stand out.
4. An Agent Creates a Professional Appearance
When someone tours your home, they want to imagine themselves living in the house. They don’t want to see you living in the home. If you choose for sale by owner, prospective buyers have a direct relationship with you. When they come to a showing, they see you living in your home. A real estate agent creates a professional appearance and acts as a go-between. That way, your buyers can see themselves in the house rather than see a home that’s already lived in.
In addition to being a neutral presence for showings, a real estate agent can help you make the most out of staging your home. They have training and experience with things like lighting, furniture, decor, and household items. They know how to stage everything so that you have the best presentation possible. Ultimately, when you go the for sale by owner route, you don’t have a professional helping you with your presentation. The result can be dollars out of your pocket.
5. Selling a Home Is Hard Work
There’s a lot that goes into selling a home. It’s more than just cleaning up the house and having a few showings. Every step in the process is critically important. From listing, marketing, staging, and document preparation, every step matters. When you do for sale by owner, you need to educate yourself about all of these steps without any guidance.
However, with a trained real estate professional, you have someone to do much of the work on your behalf. With their experience, they can do the work more efficiently than you might be able to on your own. Having a trained professional on your side can make the sale manageable and more enjoyable for you.
6. They Ensure the Buyer Is Qualified
Selling a home isn’t just about finding a buyer. It’s about finding the right buyer. Is the buyer qualified? What does it mean to be pre-qualified? If they’re pre-qualified, is there a chance that they’re not going to come through when it’s time to close the transaction? A qualified real estate agent knows how to help you sort out prospective buyers. They know when you can rely on a buyer, and they can give you sound advice as you make final decisions about offers.
7. Fulfilling Legal Requirements
Every home sale has legal requirements. Some locations require a septic system inspection. You may need to have carbon monoxide detectors. Disclosures are an essential part of any real estate sale, and a seller can rely on them.
A real estate agent has experience in your local area. They know the ins and outs of what you need to do to make sure you follow all of the particular requirements that apply to your property. When you’re for sale by owner, you don’t know what you don’t know. But a trained real estate agent ensures that you comply with all of the requirements so that you can get the best possible result from the sale of your property.
Attorney Adam S. Kutner has spent more than 27 years fighting for fair compensation for victims of personal injury in Nevada. With more than 22,000 personal injury cases behind him, Mr. Kutner knows his way around the court system and is active in the Las Vegas community through his charity organization Adam Kutner Cares.