The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home Without a Realtor if You Live in the Tampa Bay, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg Area.

For most people, their home is their largest asset.  You want to get your money’s worth for all of your hard work that has been put into it.  When the time comes to sell, do you sell it yourself or hire a realtor? 

Many homeowners who live in these neighborhoods below have thought about selling for sale by owner:

  • Tampa Heights
  • West Tampa
  • South Seminole Heights
  • East Tampa
  • Pinellas Park
  • South Westshore
  • Monterey Heights
  • Normandy Park Oaks
  • Wyatt Street
  • Whispering Pines
  • St. Petersburg Area

If you live in any of these neighborhoods or elsewhere in Tampa, Clearwater or St. Petersburg. This article will give you the pros and cons of going for sale by owner.

Advertising For Sale by Owner or FSBO is sometimes seen instead of a realtor’s smiling face on a yard sign.  Depending on which statistic you believe, only 7% to 8% of the homes sold in the United States are successful For Sale by Owner transactions. 

Many homeowners want to sell their homes by themselves to save money on the realtor’s commission. 

Most realtors charge between 5% and 6%.  To keep it simple, home sellers pay their realtor between $5,000 and $6,000 on a home that sells for $100,000.  A good chunk of change for many of us.

The Pros of Selling For Sale By Owner

There are many advantages to selling your house on your own:

  • Saving on Commission fees.
  • You choose who does the inspections.
  • You set the price.
  • You determine the closing dates.
  • You control everything.

We have covered the savings on commission fees. How about inspections?  A general checklist would include items like termites, roof, plumbing, electrical, and the HVAC. 

If your area requires it, you might have to have a chimney inspection.  You get to choose who does each of these.  Someone needs to be in the house when the inspections are being performed to ensure easy access into specific areas of the home. 

Inspections done around the home come at a cost.  It is your responsibility to negotiate who will be responsible to pay the inspectors performing these jobs. 

Let’s not forget the appraisal fee that needs to be covered to assess the value of your home. Some research must be done to establish a reasonable price for your home.  Drive around the neighborhood and determine how other comparable homes are priced. 

Take the time to go through open houses and check online prices with Zillow, Trulia and RedFin.

Decide what closing date works best for you considering you will need to vacate the property in time for the new owner. Also if you don’t plan on using a title company. You will need to consider how you will convey and record the title.

Although all of these task seems daunting, it can be done.  You are responsible for the deeds, researching liens, and establishing property lines.

It’s around this time a seller may start to have second thoughts on managing everything in the transaction process.

The Cons of Selling For Sale By Owner

When homeowners realize they are the lone ranger in the sale, many reconsider hiring a realtor.

So what can a realtor do that you can’t?

  • Quickly get information on the prices of homes in the area.
  • Most realtors have experienced co-workers and a network of professionals as a support system.
  • Realtors have a strategy to sell your home.
  • They use marketing tools like social media to sell your home.
  • They have time for being at open houses and inspections.
  • They have knowledge on the area you are trying to sell in.
  • Many real estate agents won’t show FSBO houses because no commission is involved.
  • Realtors know the ins and outs of all the paperwork.

A realtor has a jump-on experience when it comes to selling your home.  A tool used regularly by real estate agents called the Multiple Listing Service or MLS helps agents list and search homes by number of bathrooms, bedrooms, square footage, and price. 

A for sale by owner doesn’t have access to this kind of platform and it limits the amount of exposure a home sold for sale by owner will get.

A realtor generally works in an office with other experienced real estate agents or agents that work in other areas of real estate like luxury, multi-family or commercial.  They have other professionals in their network to brain storm and solve problems if they need to.  An FSBO doesn’t have this kind of support system and maybe left to figure out problems on their own.

Real Estate Agents have tried and true ways of getting your home sold.  These strategies include networking with other realtors, using social media, having an open house event, or providing a brokers open where they invite local brokers to view the home.

Realtors can take the time to schedule showings. Arrange for inspections and be on call when a problem or need arises.  If the FSBO has a full-time job, it will be problematic to keep a job and sell your home simultaneously.  Not all buyers want to look at houses on the weekend.

Many realtors do a great job of researching schools, daycares, and churches in the local area.  If you are fortunate to get a real estate agent that lives, works and plays in the neighborhood you want to sell in. It will be much easier for that real estate agent to find buyers since they are well connected to the area locally.

Most agents will not show a FSBO because there is usually no commission involved or because they are poorly marketed. 

Last, and probably the most important, is the paperwork required to complete the home purchase.  If the agent does the paperwork, chances are it will be overseen by a managing broker and done correctly.  Most for sale by owners aren’t familiar with the paper work required to carry out a transaction. If something goes wrong, you could end up in court, and be held liable for any damages.

There are many pros and cons to selling for sale by owner. If you are experienced in the process of selling a home then maybe you can save some money by not hiring a real estate agent.

If you don’t have a clue on what you are doing and want to sell your home. Save yourself the time, headache and any foreseeable mistakes and find a good real estate agent!

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