Most people who go the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route do so because they believe it to be cheaper than paying a real estate agent. While this can be true, remember that time is money – and what you may save in commissions will cost you in time. And I’m not only talking about the time it takes to for the house to sell – but the time you’re going to spend talking on the phone, dealing with showings, and working with closing agents. Let’s look at some of the common costs to expect when listing your FSBO in Atlanta.
1. Phone Calls – Lots of Them
Be ready for phone calls – lots and lots of phone calls. Many are going to be from people just wanting you to send them more information, and agents looking for houses to list.
For potential homebuyers that are actually considering buying your home, some will be what we call tire-kickers – they are more interested in talking than buying.
They will ask you a lot of questions and may even come by to see the house, but they are not ready to make the commitment.
In this hot real estate market, prepare to spend a few hours a day returning calls and pre-screening potential buyers.
2. Emotional Commitment
Dealing with people can be emotionally draining. Not only can people be fickle and not do what they say, but many who are out looking for a house to buy are doing just that – looking.
Like live Zillow, people have no problem calling you, coming over to the house, looking around, and taking up your time with no intention to buy anything.
Even if they are ready to buy – they are probably looking at several houses in the area, so you may wind up showing the home to a number of people before YOUR buyer comes along.
An experienced agent knows how to fend off the lookie-loos and only show your house to more serious buyers.
3. Time Spent Showing the House
Along with the hassle of taking phone calls comes the dread of showings.
The concept itself isn’t too bad – someone wants to come over to see the house, you show them around, and then they thank you for your time.
However, some people linger too long, don’t show up when they are supposed to, start poking around in closets and bathrooms (do you really need to open the medicine cabinet?), and it can all feel a bit intrusive.
Plus it just takes up more of your valuable time, especially since many of them really have no intention of buying (did you know a lot of “buyers” that come to showings are just nosy neighbors who want to see the inside of your house?).
This is why it’s a great idea to put LOTS of pictures online when you list your house on Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, etc. You should also include 360-degree virtual tours so that buyers already have a sense of what the house looks like inside and out before they come by for a showing.
4. Marketing Your FSBO
This is perhaps where the real estate market has changed the most over the past 10 years or so.
Instead of just slapping up a sign in the yard and a newspaper ad, you can list your house for sale on multiple websites with high-quality photos and videos.
It’s also key that you do this well. In the internet age, buyers will scroll through dozens or hundreds of house listings on Zillow – so yours needs to stand out.
Even though it may set you back a few bucks, it’s worth it here to hire a professional photographer to take high-quality photos and videos when you list your house.
People are literally buying houses from the pictures on Zillow without even seeing the house in person, so make your’s look special.
5. Home Repairs
I don’t recommend you put a lot of money into repairs before you list your FSBO. Cosmetic updates are usually all that you need to do.
Someone will buy it and you can always negotiate the costs of the repairs once the house is under contract.
Much easier, and less costly, than negotiating with a contractor.
That being said, there are some important points to note. One is that you must disclose all that you know about the house and what repairs it may need.
Don’t try to put a doormat over that patch of mold in the crawlspace.
Secondly, many lenders will require some repairs on the home before qualifying a buyer’s loan, so you may have to make some repairs if you are selling it on the retail market to an end-buyer.
6. Closing The Deal
In Georgia, you close the deal with a real estate attorney. There is a lot of paperwork involved that protects you and the buyer, so there really isn’t a way around this.
And of course, an attorney is going to cost you some money. Expect about 1-2% of the selling price.
The good news is that you will save 3% on a seller’s agent commission if you list your house FSBO. You will typically have to pay the buyer’s agent 3% unless it is negotiated otherwise, however.
Skip The Hassle!
Avoid the commissions and all of the hassles of a FSBO listing in Atlanta. Selling to Homeowner Help Today won’t cost you a dime and won’t take much time! Because we buy homes in as-is condition, in cash, the process takes only a few days! Contact us today to find out how we can save you money and time at (404) 500-8094.