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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

5 Huge Reasons FSBO – For Sale By Owner – is a Disastrous Idea

+ 5 Big Advantages Of Hiring a Real Estate Agent Instead

Some people truly believe – initially anyway – that if they skip the standard initial first step in the Waterloo Region home selling process – hiring a real estate agent – they will save themselves tons of money. That assumption is, to put it bluntly, completely wrong.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. You would say that you’re real estate agents. True, but as such it’s our responsibility, and that of every other real estate agent, to look out for home sellers, even the ones we haven’t met yet.

That’s why we have put together this honest list of just five of the biggest reasons why trying to sell your home ‘FSBO’ – for sale by owner – is such a losing proposition, as well as a larger explanation of just what a real estate agent brings to the table that makes such a big difference when selling a Waterloo Region home.

FSBO and Marketing Woes

The way real estate is sold and marketed has changed a lot, especially over the last ten years or so, and it’s still changing all the time. A for sale sign in the yard – all that most FSBO sellers can really depend on as they cannot even legally list their property in the MLS – just no longer cuts it.

Most people now begin their home search online, looking for listings that are accurate, to the point and, possibly most importantly, have great photos (and increasingly videos too.) If you work with a good real estate pro they will help guide you through all of that – and do most of the work for you. If you are trying to go it alone attempting to market your home yourself is almost certainly going to be a costly and frustrating experience.

Pricing Problems

Pricing your home right is key to a successful home sale, no matter what the current state of the market. You can look up home sales online and try do figure it out yourself, but do you really have the skills? The majority of FSBO sellers don’t know the real and current market value of their home, don’t understand market reports and simply don’t have the experience to price their home correctly.

Because of this, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, FSBOs lost about 16 percent of the sales price with a median selling price versus agent-assisted homes sales .And if they happened to sell the home to someone they knew, which many FSBOs do, as the owner’s marketing options are limited, the median price dropped even more, because, well, you know, Fred and Sue are pals, and they expected ‘a deal’.

The Legal Stuff

There is a lot of legal paperwork that comes along with a sale. You can hire a lawyer to help you through it, but that can be problematic for a number of reasons. The first is cost. Have you checked hourly rates for lawyers recently? They don’t come cheap and a lot of the work you’ll need them to do is stuff a real estate agent would have done for you. The second is something that many people don’t know; liability issues.

You see, attorneys can close a real estate transaction, but they don’t carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. What’s that? Well, let’s say that Sue claimed her kitchen floors were hardwood. Except the buyers discover they are actually a cheaper wood veneer. The chances are good that Sue is going to pay the price for that. Had she been working with a real estate agent they either would have caught the white lie or covered it with E&O insurance.

The Hassle

You can’t sell a home unless you show it to potential buyers. And potential buyers like to home shop on their own schedule. If they happen to have a free Wednesday afternoon, they will want to see homes on that afternoon. Is your boss going to be OK with you leaving to do that? And if you adopt a ‘show when you can’ policy, and limit viewings to weekends you will lose out on potential buyers and you’ll also find that your free time is gone.

The Scams

FSBO sellers are prime targets for scammers, and we’ve heard about some real doozies. They’ve included fraudulent loan documents, faked mortgage pre-approvals, bogus negative inspection reports, even bad check deposits. If you attempt to sell your home yourself you are by yourself. There is no experienced help at hand. Most real estate agents have almost seen it all and can spot the signs of a scam fast.

So now that we've covered just some of the big problems with attempting an FSBO sale, just what will working with a real estate agent offer you? Here are just some of the big benefits and advantages of getting help selling your Waterloo Region home versus going it alone:

We Market Your Home for Free

Selling anything comes down to marketing, and that is especially true when it comes to a big, big ticket item like a house.

Selling a home requires all kinds of marketing materials and resources to be produced. Professional photography that showcases a property in the very best light, properly copywritten, designed and search engine optimized online listings, flyers, brochures (such things are still important) and even social media marketing.

A Realtor includes all of this in their fee. And if you actually sit down and do the maths, both in terms of cost and time spent, we really are saving you quite a bit over trying to do it yourself.

We Have Lots in Common with Stage Parents

Stage parents are those Moms and Dads who love their kids to bits but, in order to help them get ahead and achieve their goals, they are not afraid to offer constructive criticism and gentle advice. And Realtors have a lot in common with them.

We know that you probably love the cosy, homey living room you’ve been living with for a decade, but we also know that it’s not the best use of the space to showcase it for selling purposes. And because our sole goal is to help you sell your home for the best price possible in the most expedient time frame, we will tell you that, and then guide you to a solution that will work.

We Have a Great Squad

Once you have been in the real estate business for a while, you have assembled yourself a pretty good squad, just as a result of doing your job every day. Does your backyard need more than a bit of help before the house goes to market? We can hook you up with our go-to landscaper who we know does a great job every time.

Need someone to take care of those bigger than DIY but not big enough for a contractor repair and touch up jobs that need to be taken care of? We know good people for that too. We also know the best home inspectors, the best home stagers and even the best mortgage brokers.

Our squad can save you time, money and heartache and no, it’s not about kickbacks or favoritism, it’s about knowing that you have to have good people on your side in order to get the job done.

We Will Always Strive for the Best Price Possible

Pricing the home correctly is one of the most important aspects of selling a home, and negotiating on that asking price is right up there too. And any good real estate agent has to have that negotiating magic in their blood if they themselves want to eat at the end of the month. The more you get paid, the more we get paid — and so we’ll do anything in our power – and within the law – to push up that price

And once an offer comes in, we really do know if and how you should counter, and what that counteroffer should look like. Higher price, different closing date, different contingencies, fees exclusion — use us to get into the nitty-gritty of the final negotiations for the best possible outcome.

We Save You Lots of Time, And Time Is Money

Ask someone who’s tried it. An FSBO sale is a real time suck. In order to accommodate potential buyers, FSBO sellers often have to take time off work at some point. And taking time off work usually means losing money, or at least precious holiday time and sick days.

You also have to be willing to show at inconvenient times. Sure you love going for Sunday brunch with the family, but that has to go out of the window if a motivated buyer wants to stop by at 11 to talk a deal.

Showing your home is a part of our job, we’re used to crazy hours and last minute requests. And it’s also part of our job to make the selling process as unobtrusive into the rest of your life as possible, and we all take our responsibilities seriously.

So go have that great brunch, we’ll have you covered back at the house when the buyer arrives. Or set up the video links if the showing is virtual. We’ll also set up that Open House, with all the little extras, stay all through it, answer all the questions and showcase your home like it’s our own, all while you go do something else (like your job)

In the end, the bottom line is that a real estate agent is there to do all the things you cannot. Selling a home is an admittedly rather arduous process that requires multiple thinking caps, lots of time, lots of effort and some serious skills. And as we can promise to bring all of those things to the table, our commissions are really not unreasonable at all when you weigh up the alternatives.

Looking to sell your Waterloo Region home? Or buy a new one? Let Team Pinto use their huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free in person or Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here



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