Hudson WI FSBOs should never again consider selling their property themselves to try saving money.
The Durham Executive Group brokerage firm working in Western WI and the Twin City Metro area has a business model where they decoupled sellers from having to pay commissions to buyer’s realtor saving the for-sale by owner thousands of dollars.
Over the past 20+ years as a licensed realtor/broker in Wisconsin and Minnesota, I am periodically shocked when a home seller indicates they are going to ‘try’ selling their home as a For Sale By Owner. Selling and purchasing a home is likely to be the most expensive financial investment in their lifetime and for them to intentionally not hire a real estate expert to assist them in receiving the best price, terms, as well as professional expertise to steer clear of legal action is more than just being foolhardy.
Wanting to save money is the American way but there are times when a homeowner needs to use extremely good decision-making skills because the consequences of making a mistake can have a significant impact on both your health, finances, and legal implications. We have personally observed a wonderful couple we know make serious mistakes in the sale of their home costing them tens of thousands of dollars in losses, a significant increase in the time it took to sell the home, including Mrs. Seller ending up being committed to a hospital for stress-related health issues and in the losing of an extensive amount of body weight. Additionally, a significant emotional strain was placed on their relationship unnecessarily. I fully understand why a homeowner might want to try netting more money at closing if they can sell it without paying a listing commission but need to seriously evaluate the following facts:
a. Unlicensed homeowners who sell their homes themselves according to a recent survey generally end up with an average loss of $46,603 when working without a realtor. The most astonishing thing to me is how often these homeowners brag about selling the home themselves yet have zero realization of how just much money they lost in the transaction.
b. A buyer represented by a realtor when purchasing an FSBO should have an incredible advantage over the homeowner who is not represented. In the real estate world, realtors make the analogy that it is the difference between being a wolf vs a lamb.
c. Homeowners selling their house without a realtor never factored in the fact that having their home on the MLS with a realtor exponentially increases how many potential buyers will see your property for sale resulting in more exposure with more buyer competition ultimately selling for more money and with the home selling quicker.
d. FSBOs do not consider while they may end up saving a listing agent commission they will end up paying an attorney to review legal documents, likely pay for professional photography, and still have to most likely pay a buyer’s realtor a commission. The result is any potential commission savings are easily offset by lower sale prices, homes on the market longer, legal problems, and unnecessary stress.
e. A realtor pays for professional photography and videography. Still, instead, a homeowner will have to pay for this service themselves further limiting the money they will save, or God forbid they attempt to do the photography themselves.
f. Finding a residential attorney who truly understands the intricacies of a real estate transaction is very difficult to near impossible to find. There are reasons why you do not easily find a true residential real estate attorney. The few you might find following a Google search tend to perform real estate law which is only a fraction of the work they do as you will normally see they are engaged working in many other legal disciplines besides real estate. I have personally seen several times where attorneys when contacted will research real estate law and subsequently draft a purchase agreement following their research, but unfortunately for the clients, the real nuances of a complete real estate transaction are beyond the attorney’s experience, scope, and expertise. Most attorneys have zero experience dealing with the many contingencies that occur within a transaction (financing, appraisals, contingent upon selling a home) including inspections/testing and the resolutions to a home, radon, septic system, well, sewer drain, and a multitude of other aspects of a real estate transaction. With the many hundreds of real estate transactions I have been involved with I cannot even begin to list all of my clients whom I have personally been able to assist (sellers and buyers) save tens of thousands of dollars following various types of inspections and testing.
g. The Clever Real Estate survey of 1,000 FSBOs over the past several years shows “homeowners who decline to use a real estate agent to sell their home are twice as likely to say they weren’t satisfied with the selling experience.”
h. The Clever Real Estate survey shows sellers admitted, “buyers distrusted them because they didn’t have an agent (43%)”
i. The Clever Real Estate also survey shows “homeowners struggled to understand their contract (40%)”
j. The Clever Real Estate survey shows”they made legal mistakes because they didn’t use an agent (36%)”
k. The Clever Real Estate survey shows by selling the home themselves the longer the selling process “home sellers without an agent are nearly twice as likely to say they didn’t accept an offer for at least three months.”
l. Furthermore, the Clever Real Estate survey shows more stress – “half of home sellers who did not use an agent admitted to crying at some point in the process. Fifty-two percent of unrepresented home sellers said they felt overwhelmed by the entire sales process.”
* Above is information and data about FSBOs gleaned from Becky’s and my 40+ years of combined real estate experience coupled with very insightful information from the National Association of Realtors, Clever Real Estate and their survey of 1,000 FSBOs over the past several years, and Melissa Dittmann Tracey who is a contributing editor for Realtor Magazine: