Before you consider selling your Austin home for sale by owner, you might want to know the TOP 10 Challenges Austin For Sale By Owners face in this market or the next. As you know, I am an Austin real estate agent. So, you should know ahead of time that I am bias. I obviously want to represent property owners like you so that I can earn your business and pay my mortgage. But seriously though, I am a homeowner myself and even as an active real estate sales agent in Austin Texas, I will never attempt to sell my home on my own. Selling a house is simply too difficult of a task to take on without the help of other experts. (If you are interested in allowing Forte Properties the opportunity to sell your Austin area house, give us a call at (512)981-6865 or Send us an Email. I’m sure you will be happy with our marketing strategy and guaranteed exposure your house will receive.)
Here are your 10 Challenges Austin For Sale By Owner face as I see it. They are not in any particular order and they are certainly not meant to scare you. They should, however, provide you with things to consider before you venture down the Austin FSBO road.
1. For Sale By Owners lack access to qualified buyers or a means to qualify buyers.
Austin Real Estate agents like me focus on building a buyer’s list. As new homes come on the market, we are consistently feeding our buyer’s lists details of new properties for sale. When you list your home for sale by owner, even if you post on websites like forsalebyowner.com or craigslist.org, the majority of serious buyers won’t know about your desire to sell. Most buyers work with a real estate agent to find the home of their dreams. According the the National Association of Realtors, 9 out of 10 buyers buy with the help of a real estate agent, which means more than 90% of all real estate transactions occur with the help of real estate brokers. (We are able to track these numbers because real estate closings are public records and NAR sends out surveys to FBSOs asking for their feedback). Also, a for sale by owner listing generally does not fall upon an active buyer’s agent’s radar and even if it does, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provides a significant list of homes to show and market to buyers, where agents are guaranteed a commission. Even if you get buyers to call you and preview your home, you will not have a means to qualify them. Agents work with lenders/mortgage brokers and will know ahead of time how much house a buyer can afford. Whereas you will more than likely get stuck showing your home to buyers who can’t afford your price range.
2. You’ll get noticed by some buyers but from the wrong type of buyers.
A number of Austin real estate investors will shop the for sale by owners ads because they know you are unlikely to know the value of your home. Some savvy investors or buyers will even discount your home more than the price of a real estate commission since you are not represented by an Austin real estate agent. SO, in actuality you might be losing even more money in the long term. Let’s face it. Some buyers are insincere and simply do not have the means to buy a home, yet they will contact you to fill their curiosity. Now, for you to show your home to a buyer that is unlikely to buy in the near future is a waste of time for you whereas for an agent, a buyer that can not buy now, may one day do so in the future. So for an agent, meeting this premature buyer, is not a waste of time for us. We will remain in contact with this person (hence our buyers list) while you will lose interests, blame the market for your inability to sell and discard their contact info.
3. For Sale By Owners Suffer from Real Estate Follow-Up Failure.
I don’t expect you to think like an agent, but when you’re selling your Austin home by owner, you have to think follow-up. First, you should know that you’re going to get a ton of phone calls once you add a yard sign, a craigslist ad, or some other type of Internet marketing advertisement. The phone calls are going to come from agents that want to represent you. At the same time, you’ll get calls from investors looking to steal your home and maybe one or two serious buyers. What many for sale by owners do is let their calls about their for sale by owner listing go directly to a voice mail box, which is a BIG mistake. The act of screening your calls will likely cause you to screen out the serious buyers. Besides, buyers buy at the height of their excitement. If you fail to call back in a timely manner, you’ll lose their interests. Also, if you make changes to your home or listing, you’re far less likely to call the buyers, agents, or investors back who first inquired about your home initially to tell them about your price changes or other changes to your listing. Failure to call back is what we call follow-up failure.
4. Buyer’s Don’t Trust For Sale By Owners
Some buyers are first time home buyers and they may not know how to approach you. They may even perceive you as being difficult and non-negotiable for not hiring an agent in the first place, or worse yet, over-priced. They certainly won’t trust what you say about the home or if they do, they’ll take it with a grain of salt. You see, Austin real estate agents have a legal and ethical obligation to disclosure latent or hidden defects of the home. These defects might be things you might leave out, unintentionally simply because you might not know what to disclose in the first place.
5. Its Hard for For Sale By Owners to Be Objective
You’ll have a hard time selling the value of your Austin home. Buyers will be wary of you for the reasons stated above. Also, you won’t have the ability to compare homes. It’s not like you will show them 5-6 other homes to show them you have the best backyard or best XYZ on the market. That type of comparison is necessary for some buyers, a comparison you will not be able to do.
6. No Contract, No Representation, No Full Disclosure Costs More Money
Austin Real Estate agents are in the business of getting people to the meeting of the minds, which is where you have a written agreement between you and the buyer. Agents can provide you with a standard Texas real estate commission contract, one that you can alter with the help of an attorney. If you do not provide this standard contract to your attorney up front, many attorneys will charge higher closing fees for having to write a contract and essentially negotiate terms between you and the buyer or the buyer’s attorney.
7. Homeowners simply do not have the time to market their homes effectively.
You are more than likely have a full time position doing something else other than trying to sell your home. Buyers have a lot of needs and in some cases, they might need to see or show the home to a person they trust. They’ll will have to have the home inspected and have an appraisal done on the property if they intend to finance the purchase. If you have other commitments, i.e. your job, a life, you will have a hard time setting these appointments.
8. Insufficient Marketing Exposure
Austin Real Estate Agents like me have a marketing budget. It takes money to make the phone ring with interested buyers. Many for sale by owners eventually list with an agent simply because they don’t have the funds to keep pace with the other homes for sale that might be competing with your home. Depending on your town, 30 real estate sales may be taking place each month. For every month your home is off the market (if you’re not listed with a real estate agent, you are not “really” on the market), you are losing out on 30 or more opportunities to sell your home.
9. Owners don’t appreciate or understand the value of a good agent.
Real Estate Agents, Realtors like me, are the glue that keeps a difficult deal together. When you sell by owner, you are far less likely to get to the closing table even if you secure a buyer because buyers will inevitably ask for things like repairs. Since you represent yourself, you are far less likely to be agreeable to their demands and even less likely to negotiate fair terms for yourself. Attorneys, even good real estate attorneys, rely on real estate agents to seek a balanced or fair resolutions between you and the buyer.
10. Owners will want to hire a cheap broker or agent which is generally more costly in the long run.
The desire to “save” money by hiring a cheap or discount broker in Austin generally ends up costing you more in the long run, especially if you have to list with multiple agents to get the job done.
If you are a for sale by owner in Austin and would like a free home evaluation and a assessment of your selling situation including a look into my marketing plans, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you are a for sale by owner in another state other than Texas, please contact me anyway. I have a network of real estate agents that will be able to assist you in selling your home. Hiring these Top Agents will save you time, money and energy and help you move on with your life at a price that’s affordable to you.