Selling a home is a significant financial transaction that requires careful planning and execution. Many homeowners in Chicago and across Chicagoland choose to sell their homes on their own without the help of a real estate agent, commonly known as “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO). While this approach can save money on commission fees, it can also lead to expensive mistakes that cost you more in the long run. Here are five commonplace For Sale By Owner mistakes people make.
Most Common For Sale by Owner Mistakes
- Overpricing the Home
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when selling their home without a real estate agent is overpricing their property. Overpricing is rampant and can scare away potential buyers, making it difficult to sell the home. It’s essential to research the market and price the home realistically based on comparable sales in the area. As it turns out, For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homeowners make even less money on their home sales than buyers who work with a real estate agent.
- Failing to Market the Home Effectively
Marketing is crucial when selling a home. Unfortunately, many homeowners who choose to sell without an agent underestimate the importance of marketing their property effectively. Effective marketing includes listing the home on reputable real estate websites, taking high-quality photos, and hosting open houses. Without a professional’s resources and expertise, it can be challenging to market the home successfully.
- Ignoring Repairs, Maintenance, and Upgrades
A home in good condition will sell more quickly and for a higher price than a home in disrepair. Unfortunately, many FSBO sellers neglect essential repairs and maintenance tasks, which can decrease the home’s value and turn off potential buyers. Before putting the home on the market, it’s essential to take care of any necessary repairs and perform routine maintenance tasks, such as power washing the house, rodding the plumbing lines, repairing any roof leaks, cleaning gutters and mowing the lawn. Another major consideration: kitchens and bathrooms. These are the selling points of a home, so if yours are over ten years old, today’s picky buyers will often overlook your property and choose a ready-to-move-in option instead.
- Failing to Screen Potential Buyers
When selling a home, it’s essential to screen potential buyers carefully. This includes verifying their financial situation, ensuring they have a pre-approval letter from a lender, and confirming their identity. Unfortunately, many FSBO sellers don’t have experience screening buyers and may fall victim to scams or waste time with unqualified buyers.
- Struggling with Negotiations and Legal Documents
Selling a home requires extensive legal documentation and negotiation skills. Many FSBO sellers may struggle to understand the legal documents involved in the process, leading to costly mistakes. In addition, all of that process (title, getting a survey, assuring taxes are paid, no liens are on the property, etc.) an be very time consuming and expensive, easily running into the thousands of dollars.
Why Sell to a Cash Buyer instead of Doing For Sale By Owner?
Selling a home to a cash buyer can help homeowners avoid these common For Sale By Owner mistakes. Cash buyers can make an offer quickly, without the need for repairs or renovations, and can close the sale within a few weeks. Additionally, cash buyers typically cover closing costs and other fees, making the process more straightforward and transparent for the seller. For homeowners looking to sell quickly and without the stress of FSBO, selling to a cash buyer may be an excellent option.
In the end, selling a home is a significant financial transaction that requires careful planning and execution. While doing For Sale By Owner can save money on commission fees, it can also lead to costly missteps. Homeowners who choose to sell without an agent should avoid overpricing, market their property effectively, take care of necessary repairs and upgrades, screen potential buyers carefully, and understand the legal documentation involved in the process. Alternatively, selling to a cash buyer like Olson Home Buyers can simplify the process and help homeowners avoid these common FSBO mistakes.