Uncategorized June 22, 2016

For Sale By Owner: Is It Really Worth It?

FSBOWhen it comes to selling real estate in Bellevue, WA, your options are either choosing a qualified Bellevue realtor or selling it yourself. Selling it yourself is also known as a FSBO, or For Sale By Owner. In most scenarios if someone is doing a FSBO, they are doing it to save 5%-6% on commission. This percentage adds up to a lot when it comes to the price tags on real estate so it is understandable why some home owners would want to sell the home themselves. If you are thinking of doing this, most of your friends and family in the real estate business are probably advising you to avoid this method of selling. You probably assume they are doing this simply because they want to sell your home and net the commission. While selling homes is what realtors do, we actually have your best interest at heart. Take a look at the main 4 reasons you should leave this up to the experts! 

Negotiating Terms

In Bellevue real estate, there are plenty of people you will need to negotiate with during the process of your transaction. It isn't just the buyer. On top of dealing with the buyer who wants your home for the best price, you have their Bellevue, WA realtor whose main job is working in the interest of their client. Keep in mind, this is not you. In some situations, you may even have the buyer's attorney to deal with. So if you are thinking that your negotiations skills are strong enough to handle those two people, we aren’t quite finished with the list of folks you will be dealing with. Once an offer has been accepted, the buyer will likely want to do an inspection to see if there are any repairs that need to be handled before they become the owner. If the home inspector finds some issues, that is more negotiations you have to hash out to close this deal. In addition to the home inspector, you will also have the appraiser.  If their value doesn't match your selling price, that is another set of negotiations. After all, the bank won't fund a loan that is larger than the value of the home. Buying and selling real estate in Bellevue, WA goes way beyond simply agreeing on a price and signing on the dotted line. This is a financial investment that should utilize the advice of licensed professionals. 

Paper Work

If you still think that you can handle all the negotiations, let's chat about the paperwork. Due to mandatory disclosures and regulations, the amount of paperwork has dramatically increased. In fact, the paperwork has become so difficult for those not experienced with real estate that FSBO listings have actually dropped to 9%. A missing form or signature could change the game against the seller’s favor. Scenarios include being out thousands of dollars or even being out a buyer if the seller accidentally misses something. It is advisable to work with someone who knows the ins and outs of these contracts as they are used to protect the interest of both parties.


Not let's chat about listing exposure. Sure you can throw a sign out front and share your property on social media, but you are missing out on tons of exposure. So what exactly can a Realtor do for you that you can't? It starts with the MLS. When you work with a Bellevue real estate agent, your property goes into the Multiple Listing Service. This is a website for Realtors to enter all their listings information, along with agent only remarks and addendums you can't see on sites like Zillow and Trulia. The MLS is also how listings showing up on what is called an IDX feed. This IDX feed is responsible for the property results you see on other Realtor's websites when you search. In addition to having your listing featured on all the major real estate search engine sites, Windermere Real Estate is affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies Of The World. This is an exclusive referral network that is world wide. Meaning my listings have a global reach with the most successful referral network in the world. When you align with someone who has a strong marketing plan, you are ensuring your home is getting maximum exposure. The more exposure your home gets, the more showings you get which results in more offers. As we are currently in a seller’s market, more offers usually means a bidding war which means sellers are receiving over asking offers! You may be ok with your home sitting for an extended period of time due to lack of exposure, but did you know that a property that sits longer naturally gets looked over for properties that are shiny and new? People assume that if there isn't an offer after a certain amount of time that there is something wrong with the home. How long is too long? In real estate, the first two weeks are the most important. Letting a qualified Bellevue, WA realtor market your home from the start ensures the right buyers are seeing your property. 

More Money

The most important reason behind doing a FSBO was addressed above: A seller thinks they will net more money if they keep a realtor out of it so they can net the commission. You may save a little money on commission, but only on the seller side. After all, the buyer’s agent still gets their commission. Studies have also shown that a realtor can actually make you more money as a FSBO typically sells less than a home listed by a Bellevue, WA realtor. On average, homes that are sold by a realtor sell for around $30,000 more than homes that are sold by owner. During the spring of 2016 I have had almost my entire listing inventory sell in less than two weeks with multiple offers for way over the original asking price.

If you have been thinking about selling your home and have been wondering whether or not to do it yourself or work with a qualified realtor, I urge you to sit down with a local professional and ask questions. Ask what they offer their clients, what their communication plan is, what their marketing plan is, what homes like yours are going for and how long they generally take to sell. At the end of the day, choosing a Bellevue real estate agent to represent you during the sale of your home is going to be less stressful on you and will likely net you more money.  If you have more questions on this topic, or general real estate questions, give me a call at 425-829-8778. I would be happy to help you!