Is “For Sale By Owner” Your Best Route?

For Sale By Owner Legal HelpIf you want to pocket more cash from the sale of your property then you may want to consider being your own real estate agent. Since a typical agent fee is 5% to 7% of the selling price these commissions can add up to quite a tidy sum. We’re talking a good chunk of the cost for a college education or a car for your son or daughter.

For example, if you’re selling a home for $200,000 the fees will cost you $10,000 on the low end (5%) of the scale. These fees can be negotiable and will usually decrease as the asking price of the home increases but not as much as most folks would like.

For some people, selling a home without a real estate agent makes perfect sense. For example, if you already have a buyer lined up then it’s a no-brainer. All you need to do is contact a real estate attorney and they’ll take care of the appraisal, inspections, title search and all the other paperwork.

Should You Try To Sell Your Home Without A Real Estate Agent?

If you already have a buyer, then the answer is YES! On the other hand, if you need to find a buyer, then you’ll need to take on all the responsibilities of the agent including research, marketing, phone calls and showings.

For some people this is doable. If you already have some marketing experience and flexible working hours it makes the process a little easier. What you’ll need to consider is the time and expenses to sell a property on your own. Remember, you’ll need to pay for advertising listings and other miscellaneous things that are normally taken care of by the agent.

Other things to consider if you are considering the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route would include the local market. If you’re in a seller’s market and your home is in excellent condition then you could experience a quick sale at market price. In a buyer’s market, the FSBO can easily reduce the price to attract more buyers because they have the advantage of no real estate agent fees.

It is important to note that selling a home without a real estate agent is not as tough as it used to be. Twenty years ago the market was dominated by the MLS or Multiple Listing Service database. It was difficult to sell your home without an MLS listing, and to make matters worse, the only way to get listed in the MLS was through a registered real estate agent. These days, with the internet, there are dozens of sites where you can list your home that get tons of traffic. Some are free like Zillow and others like have many different packages to choose from.

If you decide to try the FSBO route it is a good idea to contact an experienced real estate attorney in the local area. They can point you to all sorts of resources to help sell your home as fast as possible including listing opportunities online and offline. Some also have real estate investor contacts who may buy your home quickly. Most importantly, they make sure all the legal paperwork is taken care of so things close smoothly.

Dean Ryan is a Garden City Kansas Real Estate Attorney who can handle your real estate legal needs. He also owns Derby Homes, a construction company that builds and sells new homes in Garden City, KS.