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Would You Represent Yourself in a Court of Law?

Scott Goshorn

Real estate runs deep in my blood.I grew up watching my mother hustle as a real estate agent in my home state of Ohio and her love of the business tra...

Real estate runs deep in my blood.I grew up watching my mother hustle as a real estate agent in my home state of Ohio and her love of the business tra...

Jul 2 3 minutes read

Would you give yourself open heart surgery?

And yet someone you know (perhaps it is you) is willing to sell one of their most important assets: their home.

In the industry, it’s called FSBO (For Sale by Owner) and many homeowners are lured into the promise of “save yourself a ton of money by not paying agent commissions” yet are not aware of the actual “cost” of saving that money.

There’s no shortage of statistics about FSBO including this one from the National Association of Realtors:

“FSBOs accounted for 7% of home sales in 2017. The typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales.”

Let’s break this down: Assuming an industry standard 6% commission split between the buyer and seller agent, the homeowner still comes out ahead by $49,570. 

But in addition to coming out on top financially, experience and representation are the most important aspects of this rousing, emotional journey. So if you are considering FSBOing, here’s your top 10 interview – with yourself:

  • How are you justifying the listing price of your home?
  • What is your digital marketing strategy to reach agents and buyers? (90% start online)
  • How are you screening potential buyers?
  • What if you receive multiple offers?
  • How would you handle a mold disclosure and what are the required disclosures in CA?
  • What is your strategy for a less than desirable inspection report?
  • What is your strategy if your home under appraises?
  • How do you negotiate the contract contingencies?
  • How would you respond to a lawsuit after closing if you didn’t properly disclose something?
  • How do you handle what you don’t know?

If you confidently answered each question and have case studies of how you handled each point, then you may be a realtor yourself!

When you work with a licensed realtor, the agent is just the tip of the iceberg.  What you don’t see is the state mandated continuing education, the E&O insurance, the marketing investments and the ensemble of attorneys, transaction coordinators and showing specialists whose sole mission is to protect and represent your interests.

At the end of the day, you want to get the best value for your home with as little headache and hassle as possible.   So look at the total “cost” of selling your home and stack this against how much you actually “save.”

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