9 Reasons Why Selling Homes For Sale By Owner Fail In Real Estate

Selling Homes For Sale By Owner can easily be described as a homeowner selling their property without the representation of a real estate agent or broker. There are many reasons why homeowners attempt to sell their home on their own.  A few of the most popular reasons for For Sale By Owners are that sellers want to save the money that would be spent on real estate commissions or that sellers feel they don’t need a real estate professional to sell their home.

No matter the reason, according to the National Association of Realtors, less than 10% of For Sale By Owners actually sell.

There are many reasons why For Sale By Owners fail and do not sell.  Whether it is because the seller doesn’t understand how to price their home or whether it’s because the seller doesn’t know how to screen potential buyers. It’s important that if you decide to sell your home by yourself you know what the top reasons why For Sale By Owners fail.

  1. Seller’s Don’t Know How To Prepare The Home Correctly Before Listing For Sale
  2. Seller’s Aren’t Able To Be Available To Handle Property Inquiries
  3. Seller’s Don’t Know How To Screen Potentials Buyers
  4. Seller’s Don’t Allow Potential Buyers To View The Home Without Pressure
  5. Seller’s Don’t Know How To Negotiate With Potential Buyers Offers/Contract
  6. Seller’s Don’t Know How To Handle The Home Inspection Findings
  7. Seller’s Aren’t Willing To (Or Able To) Pay A Commission To A Buyers Agent
  8. Seller’s Don’t Know How To Ensure The Deal Actually Closes
  9. Seller’s Already Have a Buyer Lined Up

For Sale By Owner vs. Using a Real Estate Agent

There’s a reason For Sale By Owner is the exception and not the rule when it comes to selling homes. It’s a full-time job to do it right!

From all the work involved in getting a house on the market, finding a buyer, and getting into the contract stage all the way to closing day, there’s a lot to do before and after the sale. Here are some things a real estate agent will do for you when they sell your house:

  • They’ll price your home competitively. This involves looking over all aspects of the property and taking accurate square footage readings. (It’s not as easy as it sounds!)
  • They’ll advise you of any improvements to make to your home before putting it on the market.
  • They’ll take photographs, make videos for virtual tours, and put together with other materials to market your home.
  • They’ll organize the staging of your home to make it more appealing online and for viewings.
  • They’ll put your home on a Multiple Listing Service database.
  • They’ll arrange and supervise viewings and open house events on your behalf, which allows you to go to work and avoid taking days off.
  • They’ll work as a liaison between you and the buyer’s agent.
  • They’ll ensure you’re legally compliant by submitting all the required disclosures about your home (like disclosures about lead paint or asbestos).
  • They’ll negotiate the price on your behalf and try to get you the best sale price.
  • They’ll keep track of all the paperwork and let you know when things are due or missing.
  • They’ll arrange and supervise the home inspection and advise you of any repairs you should make or those you can negotiate with the buyer.
  • They’ll help arrange a home warranty if you’re buying one to sweeten the deal.  
  • They’ll check the legitimacy of the buyer’s credit report and mortgage pre-approval letter.  
  • They’ll draw up the purchase agreement or contract with all the specifics you and the buyer agree upon at the start of the deal.  
  • They’ll act as a liaison between you and the title attorneys in the run-up to closing day.
  • and more…

Why You Should Use a Real Estate Agent

If you’re selling your home, you should use a real estate agent for a few simple reasons. Here are just some of them:

  1. You won’t have to take on the full-time job of being an agent on top of your regular day job.
  2. You can feel secure about your legal standing with an agent on board to dot those I’s and cross the T’s.
  3. Your home listing will reach a much larger market.

Before you decide to sell your home by owner, remember, the chance you will be successful is less than 10%.  If you decide you want to take on the challenge, make sure you are aware of the above common reasons why For Sale By Owners fail in real estate.  For Sale By Owners who understand what the most common pitfalls are will greatly increase the chance that they will have a successful sale.