Don’t be too quick to choose the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) option if you have a house to sell – at least not until you have looked at the other options.

Just as with other important decisions in life, the FSBO choice poses a unique set of benefits and risks. Unfortunately, some of those risks can be significant if you aren’t careful.

Before you decide to take the plunge, read on to learn why you may want to reconsider.

I’ll Save a Ton of Money, Right?

Without exception, the chance to save money on real estate commissions is what pushes homeowners to try selling their property themselves most often.

Traditionally, commissions average about six percent of the sales price of the home. With the high property values we enjoy here in southern California, this can be a significant sum of money.

But will you really save that much money? Probably not.

Anyone in the market to buy a home knows that you’re not paying commissions if you’ve put your house up as FSBO. Consequently, they’ll almost always offer you less than your asking price – about six percent less, give or take.

Speaking of which, how are your negotiation skills?

Realtors® are trained and experienced in the fine art of negotiation, but we also have the added benefit of being an intermediary. So, while you may be squeamish about sitting down at the bargaining table with potential buyers, we have ways of boosting your sales price that maximize your bottom line.

And, finally, unless your Great Uncle Sal is an attorney, you can expect to pay legal fees for drawing up the contract and other documents associated with selling real property.

You do plan to talk to an attorney, don’t you?

Marketing and Networking Reach

Unless you are willing to wait around for someone to drive by and see your “For Sale By Owner” yard sign, you’re going to have to spend some time, money and effort on marketing.

You won’t be able to list your home on the local multiple listing service (MLS), as listing agents must be licensed members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in good standing.

Sure, you can put your home on some websites or on Craigslist, but you’ll achieve only limited reach. Plus, you can never quite tell who’s calling to inquire about your home, or what they’re really up to.

What Possible Risks Could Be Involved?

What happens when a total stranger asks to see your home?

Every time you open your door to strangers, you potentially put yourself, your family and your property at risk. We don’t want to sound like alarmists but this is a legitimate concern.

Then we have the legal risks.

You may not realize how complex a real estate sales transaction can be, or just how much is at stake if you try to sell your own home. This is arguably the largest monetary transaction of your life. Do you really want to risk it alone?

Before you make the decision to try selling on your own, talk to the local experts of the Edie Israel Team. We have a proven track record and we can show you how having a licensed Realtor® on your side adds real value to your transaction. If you ultimately decide to go it alone, we understand. We just want to make sure you have all the information and understand the risks that go along with the FSBO process.