keller williams real estate mississauga ontario

For Sale By Owner: 8 Costly Mistakes to Avoid

Thursday Aug 06th, 2020

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There’s no doubt about it – these are uncertain times. And if you’re a homeowner looking to sell, you’re adding a whole new level of complexity that comes with selling a property during a global pandemic. You might be in the position that you have to list due to changes to your job or lifestyle – or you might find yourself needing more space to accommodate remote work and at-home learning. With more time on your hands, you may also be considering the FSBO approach: For Sale By Owner. 

FSBO is a tempting alternative for sellers because you save on commission fees and maintain complete control over the sale. However, not everyone has the knowledge, skill or time required to sell their own home. Then there’s the emotional attachment that can be hard to relinquish when you act as your own agent and the many mistakes that can be made along the way. 

Thinking of trying the FSBO approach? These missteps can make even the most attractive property languish on the market and cost you more money in the long run:

1. You price it wrong
Your home is where the heart is, so it’s understandable that you want top dollar for your listing. Most homeowners will overprice their property, which will turn away buyers, while some sellers will shortchange themselves by underpricing their largest asset. The best way to price your home right is by having a real estate sales representative determine the market value of your house based on comparable sales for your area.

2. Your photos aren’t good
Now more than ever, buyers are looking for homes online and if your listing photos, tours and videos don’t impress, you aren’t likely to get a showing. Hiring a realtor that can provide home staging advice and professional virtual tours is one of the best ways to capture buyers’ interest and offers.

3. You aren’t available to show the home
When buyers decide that they want to view a home, they don’t want to wait. If you’re only showing the home when it’s convenient for you and your schedule, you narrow your window of opportunity to sell.

4. You aren’t able to qualify buyers
When you sell your own home, it’s easy to waste precious time on unqualified buyers, tire kickers and nosey neighbours without a way to validate their financial qualifications ahead of time, like most realtors can. Most buyers are also reluctant to share their financial information directly to a seller.

5. Your showing skills leave much to be desired
You’ve probably toured guests around your place, but that doesn’t make for a great real estate showing. Unlike a realtor, you may not know the true selling features of your home and you might not be able to read the room. Some buyers prefer to lead their own tour and ask questions later instead of having the seller breathing down their necks. Buyers also find it harder to be candid about their concerns or issues with a home when the seller is present, which limits valuable feedback to help you sell your home.

6. You don’t market the home well
Selling a home goes beyond just putting a sign in the ground. Your listing needs to be on the MLS and you need to have a marketing plan that includes a web and social media presence. Flyers, door knocking, open houses and direct mailers can also attract the interest of a wider pool of potential buyers. This is all part of the job for a realtor, but not as easily executed when taking the FSBO approach.

7. You don’t work with buyer agents
Most buyers are already working with a realtor when looking at homes. If you don’t want to work with a buyer agent or offer a buyer agent commission, you’ll find that there is little incentive for a realtor to encourage their homebuyers to tour your home or even consider it.

8. You get overwhelmed by paperwork
Selling a home is a complex process with ongoing negotiations, paperwork and legalities that can be very overwhelming. Without a listing agent in your corner, you’ll be responsible for reviewing sales contracts, writing counter offers and representing yourself from start to finish. A realtor, on the other hand, is there to look out for your best interest and ensure a smooth sales experience from listing to closing and beyond.

Final Thoughts
While you might think that you’re cut out for the job, it’s best to leave the sale of your home to an expert. By working with a real estate sales professional, you’ll benefit from a comprehensive selling experience that can help you sell your home more efficiently, with less hassles and for top dollar. 

To learn how I can assist you, please contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative, ASA at Keller Williams Real Estate Associates, Brokerage, in Mississauga, Ontario.


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