When you are selling your Harrisonburg home, it only makes sense you want the sale to close successfully. But, how do you define success? It's simple—maximizing your profits and minimizing disruption to your daily life. For nearly 90 percent of homeowners that means enlisting the services of experienced real estate agents like our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty.
Yet, there is a small percentage of homeowners who choose to list their homes for sale by owner (FSBO), perhaps hoping to save money by avoiding commissions. Unfortunately, FSBOs have a reputation for failure. We have created this list of five reasons why homes for sale by owners fail.
- Seller and Home Not Prepared
One common misstep of homeowners trying the FSBO route is not fully understanding the work involved in successfully preparing their home for sale. Often, just the planning and budgeting process of getting your home in tip-top shape is a major achievement. Sellers need to understand:
- Curb appeal: Is your roof missing any shingles? Is your landscaping looking shabby? Does your front door need a coat of paint?
- Interior: Have you shampooed your carpeting, painted any rooms or checked the condition of attic insulation?
- ROI: Most importantly, do you know which of these and other minor home improvement projects, remodels, and upgrades offer the best return on investment in your market segment and community?
- Time-Consuming Inquiries and Showings
One of the biggest pitfalls of a FSBO is that it's time consuming. This includes keeping the home in "show-ready" condition, answering questions, and juggling showings and open houses. Do you have the time to field and screen phone calls from potential buyers, real estate agents, real estate investors, and window shoppers?
After all, real estate agents and home buyers want quick responses to their inquiries. Otherwise, you can be sure they have other properties to view. You are better off hiring a real estate agent to handle all inquiries and to schedule and staff the showings.
- Pricing Pitfalls
Accurately pricing homes for sale in Harrisonburg takes knowledge of the local market and experience. Our REALTORS® utilize comprehensive market analyses to arrive at an accurate home value which to help you gauge an asking price. Avoid the pricing pitfalls of FSBO homes, and talk to your agent.
- Lacking Market Reach
You spruced up your curb appeal, organized home improvement receipts, and baked two pans of heavenly-smelling cookies before an open house event. Time for an honest reality check: lack of market reach is the final nail in the coffin for many FSBO homes.
- FSBO: How many qualified home buyers do you suppose are aware of your open house?
- Agent-assisted seller: Could a professional agent with their finger on the seller/buyer pulse likely bring more market exposure and buyers to the table?
- Negotiations: Could an experienced and savvy agent likely bring you a higher closing price?
- Paperwork and Liabilities
Anything can happen when closing a home. A last-minute credit check could disqualify the buyer. The results of the home inspection and appraisal reveal it is substantially overpriced, needs a new roof and furnace, and the lender goes cold. Just understanding and completing paperwork correctly is a handful for most inexperienced sellers.
Moreover, selling your home without an agent (and their Errors &Omissions Insurance) may leave you vulnerable to liabilities during and after closing. At the end of the day, agent-assisted home sellers boast the best results.
Contact Old Dominion Realty to sell your home in the eastern West Virginia and central Virginia real estate markets.