Imagine the scenario: A couple decides to buy their first home together. They decided to go unrepresented, since the seller was also unrepresented listing the home as For Sale by Owner (FSBO).Without a title company to check for a clear title, they moved forward thinking they were purchasing the home. In reality, the home was never legally theirs.
15 years down the road, they were contacted by the actual title holder of the house. After over a decade of regular mortgage payments and painstaking home renovations, they were devastated to learn they didn’t actually own the title to their home.
As much as we wish this story was fiction, this happened to a couple buying a home in Utah. Chances are, you also know someone with a FSBO horror story. As a real estate agent, you want to warn your buyers and sellers of the risks of going solo – where do you start?
In this article, we will outline three of the best talking points to use when consulting a lead or potential client who is being lured in by the prospect of FSBO.
Here's 3 Talking Points for Real Estate Agents to Use with Clients Considering FSBO:
“No Representation Means the Liability Falls on YOU”
Unfortunately, scams happen to both sellers and buyers in FSBO scenarios. Choosing to go without representation means full liability rests on the seller if information is misrepresented, or fraudulent information is given. There’s no safety net for either side. FSBO simply doesn’t have the access to resources and the expertise of an agent.
Ask your clients “You wouldn’t trust any other legal matter to chance, so why would you take that risk with the most important sale you could make?” They have a lot of money on the line with a home purchase or sale, so this pain point is especially important.
“You’ll End Up Selling for Less with an FSBO”
In 2015, FSBOs lost about 16 percent of the sales price with a median selling price of $210,000, compared to agent-assisted homes selling for $249,000.
The difference in selling price widens even further when the seller knows the buyer - the proof is in the numbers. Your client should understand that they are willing to take less than their home may be worth if they don’t have the right representation.
“You’ll Spend More Money Than You Think You’ll Save”
Shortcuts can be great! But in this case, hidden fees stack up faster than your clients think. Consider phrasing it like this: “Your time is money -- FSBO homes on average spend more time on the market, so you’ll end up wasting time working to sell the house. “
According to the National Association of Realtors, an average of 18 percent of FSBOs were unable to sell within their chosen time frame last year. Talk to your clients about their ideal selling time frame, then show them how much easier that goal is to achieve with a professional on their side.
As a real estate agent, you want to put your best foot forward when talking to clients. You have their best interest in mind, and while you understand the pitfalls and dangers of FSBO, they may not fully understand. Using these talking points, you can position yourself as the industry leader, gain genuine trust, and hopefully a client for life.
Want to send your clients more information? Try using our FSBO infographic: