As we approach the prime spring market many people will undoubtedly consider selling their home without using a real estate agent. Most underestimate the task and simply think they can plant a sign, place an ad and pocket the commission themselves.
The reality is most FSBO's fail and eventually list the property. The reason their home does not sell is fairly easy to spot for a professional.
Earlier today I mailed out a letter to many of the homeowners along my 5-Mile running route. The neighborhood is approaching 30 years old with many Ranch, Raised Ranch and Split Level homes. A realistic statement would be to say it's a 350-400k area.
Strangely enough my first internet search gave me a perfect EXAMPLE to discuss. This property sits in the middle of my running route and the asking price of $550,000 is clearly well above my estimate of the neighborhood. The CLASSIC FSBO mistake number one is OVERPRICING. They are just asking for failure and in most cases the home will linger on the market unsold.
My next step was to log onto the MLS and verify my estimate of the area but I got sidetracked with another thought and checked the ZESTIMATETM . Zillow did confirm my 350-400 range but had my example home priced higher so it may be a little over built.
Moving on to the MLS... I find what I refer to as Mistake #2 when talking to FSBO's. After they finally realize things are not going well they LIST THEIR HOME on the MLS with a minimal service agency, this one is based in Georgia. For showing instructions call the owner. Now the FSBO has all the work and may wind up paying a commission anyway.
My advice to people going the FOR SALE BY OWNER route is do a little research. Go to some open houses in your town hosted by other FSBO's. Talk about what they have learned, watch their progress.