22762 Westheimer Pkwy #420
Katy, Texas  77450

Work Hours
Monday to Friday: 9AM - 5PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM

Top 10 Reasons FSBOs Fail

Top 10 Reasons FSBOs Fail

Discover the top 10 reasons FSBOs fail and learn how to avoid common pitfalls when trying to sell your home yourself.

Homeowners trying to sell their homes on their own — for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) — are driven by several reasons. Although most of them want to save money that they would have otherwise spent on real estate commissions, a few others take the FSBO route because they feel they don’t need a professional to sell their home. Whatever the reason for attempting to sell solo might be, data from a National Association of Realtors survey shows that less than 10 percent of FSBOs actually sell. There are a lot of reasons, but here’s the top 10 reasons FSBOs fail:

1. Too many people to negotiate with

Those deciding to take the FSBO route often have to negotiate with many people. Without the help of experienced real estate agents, dealing with so many different parties alone is often a tough task for homeowners. Some of them are likely to be:

  • The buyer, seeking the best possible deal.
  • The buyer’s agent, who represents the buyer’s best interest.
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some regions of the nation).
  • Home inspection companies, working for the buyer.
  • Your bank, in case it’s a short sale.
  • The appraiser, if the home’s value needs to be assessed.

2. The home is not prepared for sale

A majority of homeowners don’t know about the pre-listing tasks that FSBOs should do before they list their home for sale. Because homes for sale by owners just have one chance to impress potential buyers, neglecting these home sale preparation tips often reduces the homeowners’ chances of selling the house. These usually include:

  • Decluttering.
  • Painting the rooms with a fresh coat of paint.
  • Getting necessary repairs done.
  • Getting the home floors and carpets cleaned by professions.
  • Ensuring curb appeal of the home.
  • Replacing outdated light fixtures.

They don’t know how to screen potential buyers

FSBOs often fail to understand the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval and don’t realize that buyers should ideally be pre-approved or at least prequalified. No wonder they let unqualified buyers inspect the house and waste their precious time. Not knowing if a buyer has the ability to purchase the home acts as a big deterrent for homes for sale by owners.

They fail to solve buyer’s queries

Handling inquiries from buyers on their listings and coordinating showings for their homes are prerequisites for making a sale. However, many homeowners either aren’t able to handle such inquiries on their homes or don’t have the time for them. Even organizing showings might become an uphill task at times. These days, potential buyers and their agents expect quick responses to their inquiries. If their requests go unanswered, they quickly move on to the next property.

They don’t know about golden time

According to this concept, homeowners get the most money for their homes in the first week of putting the property on the market. The longer homes for sale by owners stay on the market, the less money people will be willing to offer for them. If a buyer tries FSBO first and then hires an agent, the buyer would have already lost the “golden time” window. This will eliminate the buyers who have already viewed the home, might have offered unrealistically low prices and have already moved on.

They don’t know contract procedures

The contract to buy a home involves much more than just the price offered by the buyer. Also, real estate contracts have lots of timelines and clauses and involve several common contract contingencies, such as inspections and mortgages. Many FSBOs don’t have a firm understanding of such contracts and might not know what they are agreeing to or how to negotiate particular parts of the contract. Even worse, they don’t know which documents they are legally required to provide to potential buyers.

They don’t know how to handle inspection findings

Home inspections almost always find some issues with houses even when they are relatively newer structures. In such cases, the buyer requests that problems be fixed or corrected before proceeding with the transaction. However, many FSBOs believe that there is nothing wrong with their home, which is why they refuse to address the issues brought forward by home inspections. As a result, the offer falls through.

They incorrectly price their homes

FSBOs often price their homes incorrectly due to lack of experience. They set the price too high, which hinders their chances of closing the deal.

Their homes lack exposure

Owners often list their homes for sale on a few websites, but many sites don’t allow FSBO listings. Thus, FSBOs are unable to give their homes adequate exposure in the market. However, when buyers hire a real estate agent, the professional can give a property online exposure as well as exposure in the local real estate segment of the newspaper. The agent even has tools to extend the exposure further, which FSBOs don’t have.

They can’t get closing across the finish line

Even after an offer is accepted, many things still need to be done prior to the closing. With so many things acting against FSBOs, it’s natural to find very few homes for sale by owners in the market. For instance:

  • Get the inspections completed within the allotted time.
  • Ensure the attorney(s) approve contracts.
  • Ensure that instrument survey is ordered.
  • Check if the buyer has obtained written mortgage commitment.
  • Find out if title work is reviewed.
  • Learn whether abstract is redated.

Share your love