Dangers in Listing Your Home For Sale by Owner

There are many dangers in listing your home For Sale by Owner (commonly known as a FSBO). It’s not because I’ve been in the real estate business for over two decades that I very much dislike the idea of people selling their homes as Unrepresented Sellers.

There are a dozen drawbacks that immediately come to mind when I think of not being represented by a Professional Realtor. The one that makes me the most uncomfortable, however, is not something you can foresee, and that is the safety of the homeowner.

When you open your home to a stranger who just rang the bell, you have no idea who the person stepping through your doorway is. Friend or foe? Looky-loo or prospective Buyer? Qualified or just checking out the neighborhood? If they are qualified, can they get a loan anywhere near the price you’re asking?

Maybe they’re looking to see if you have a security system, a vicious dog, asking friendly questions to find out when you might be leaving town. Often, would-be Buyers unescorted in your home are looking for the kinds of medicines you have in the bathroom cabinet, or the jewelry you left lying on the bedside table. And don’t even get me started on the dangers if you have children of any age.

You’ll escort them through your home, you say? In more than 20 years of selling houses, I have never sold a home to a Buyer when the Seller was present during the first showing. People are uncomfortable discussing with each other what they think of your home while you’re with them. They are not interested in how your Uncle John installed a new sink just last year, why you painted that particular wall purple, or how your house has granite countertops, as opposed to the identical house just down the street that has Formica – for $20,000 less. And because you’re there, they think they’re intruding on your time and your home. Not conducive to making a sale when you’re trying to get a prospective buyer to see it as their home.

So before you decide to stick that FSBO sign in your front yard, at least talk to a Professional Realtor. Find out what is really in your best interest. Or just call or email me, with NO OBLIGATION, and ask what some of the other 22 reasons are that I believe it’s not wise to try to do this on your own – not the least of which is that Sellers generally net more money when they use the services of a Professional Realtor – even AFTER paying out the commission.  Be safe, not sorry.

3 thoughts on “Dangers in Listing Your Home For Sale by Owner

  1. Homes that are For Sale By Owner are prime targets for Burglaries and Robberies: Thieves often prey on FSBO homes as they can pose as potential buyers and determine when a homes occupants will or will not be home and gain access to these homes.

  2. Thank you for this important update. I just stumbled this blog while checking for listings and few clicks after I am here! The massive information and listings in these real estates websites needs contact regulation. MLS will do that job now, I suppose. Great post!

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