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Why itís Hard Doing a FSBO

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By : Paul Escobedo    99 or more times read
Many home owners who are looking to move on think about trying to sell their houses by themselves, instead of signing up with a professional to get it done. Some people are successful, but many are not.

First, letís look at some statistics. The rate of home sales by owners varies drastically, from 40% to 85% across the country. These figures are from 2007, so they might be much worse today, since weíre in a tough real estate market. What drive the success are two things: one, if the home is in a prime location; two, if the seller can be patient.

Why patience? Because FSBO (for sale by owner) sales often take a long time to get offers in the first place, then it can take longer to get to the closing. People who try to sell their own home donít have as many connections as a professional would have, so itís harder for them to get the word out. Most will put a sign in their yard, and they may put an ad in the newspaper. Thatís not going to get it done in todayís world.

Another statistic; people who sell their own home can save as much as $7,500 in fees and real estate commissions. The other side is that people who eventually sell their own homes will lose between 3 and 10% of the price they would have gotten if theyíd used a professional to do the job. Many people who express initial interest in a FSBO are looking to make deals, and initially home sellers start way too high, then get nervous and start dropping the price, or they start way too low, still drop the price, and donít end up getting what they probably deserve.

Here are two more interesting statistics for you. First, only about 3-4% of home buyers actually buy homes that they call on, FSBO or not. In other words, itís a numbers game sometimes, and if FSBO owners canít generate enough interest so they can get more people to come to see their house, the numbers donít favor them in selling their house.

Second, an overwhelming majority of FSBO owners will end up getting a real estate agent to help them if theyíve tried for a year, and itís estimated that they will have lost 1% in costs for every month they waited before getting help.

These are some serious things to consider if youíre thinking about selling your home. Itís not easy, but if you know how to get the word out and can generate a lot of interest, at least youíll have a good shot at it.

Also, make sure you know what your house is worth, so that you donít end up cheating yourself out of what you deserve to get. But be flexible if youíre in a tough housing market, like now, or if the dollars are such that you can still make a nice profit.
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