Sure. Give it a shot. You never know when you might be lucky.
Unfortunately, if you’re relying on luck to sell your house, you may have a long wait. In today’s market with so many houses out there to choose from and lending such a mess, selling a home FSBO (For Sale By Owner) is not a very effective way to do it. That statement is supported by the stats from the 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Home Sellers released by the National Association of Realtors. They reported that the share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was 13 percent in 2008. Of those, about half of the sales were to people that the seller knew prior to the sale. That leaves about 7 percent who were successful in selling to someone they attracted through advertising.
So, if your house is on a heavily traveled road or street, putting a sign out may get enough attention to get some calls. You might try the classified ads in the paper, too, although Realtors have almost abandoned that advertising tool because it’s not worth the cost. The internet is starting to offer some advertising for FSBO’s and you can put an ad in Craig’s List on line, too.
So if you get some interest, be sure that you address some basic concerns like the true motive of people who want to see the inside of your house. We agents are very security conscious and don’t take that concern lightly. Another thing to check into is whether or not the person you are talking to is financially able to close a sale. We’ve found that if we don’t clear up that issue early on, people will ask us to take them out and look at houses when they have no idea if they’ll qualify for a loan. Sometimes, they have credit issues that they hope they can dodge, but this day and time, that’s not going to happen. If they resist your questions about their creditworthiness, that should be a red flag on a number of levels.
If you do find someone who can provide you a letter from a lender that you believe, then maybe you can negotiate an agreeable price. Remember that you are selling it yourself so that you can save the sales commission. Trouble is that the buyers that feel comfortable working with a FSBO are also trying to save the same money on the purchase price. Hey, maybe you can split the difference. I’ve always told FSBOs that you can sell any house if you’re willing to take a low enough price.
So, go ahead and try to sell it yourself. If you want some more pointers, give me a call. I really don’t mind helping. That’s because I know that in most cases (see above stats), you’ll be unsuccessful and will eventually need an agent’s assistance, and I’d love to help.
It’s just not that easy. My hair’s not turning grey and falling out for nothing!
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