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Three Things Every “For Sale By Owner” Wishes They Knew (That Agents Do!)

Geoff McLean

If you ask anyone connected to the Victoria, BC real estate market, or any of the thousands of people who have listed their Victoria properties for sa...

If you ask anyone connected to the Victoria, BC real estate market, or any of the thousands of people who have listed their Victoria properties for sa...

Oct 10 4 minutes read

Today, you can Google instructions to become a DIY-pro at just about anything.  But selling a home is a complex process requiring knowledge that only experience – not the internet – can provide.

Sellers who try to list their home as “For Sale By Owner” (or FSBO), can miss out on several benefits a professional agent brings to the table.  Many previously FSBO clients eventually see working with an agent can save them time and stress.

When they understand the value an agent brings because of their experience and negotiation skills, many see that working with an agent ultimately delivers a better end result.

Here are three areas of agent expertise sellers should consider when determining if working with an agent will deliver more value than going it alone.

1. Marketing strategy and tools to cast a broad net

Finding the right buyer for a home goes beyond a “for sale” sign in the yard.  The more buyers are interested in a property, the more competitive their offers are likely to be.  The marketing resources an agent brings to the table are difficult for a FSBO to match.

Agents have a system that helps them market a property more effectively than someone listing their home as a FSBO can on their own.  Agents use a variety of tools, including Facebook ads and retargeting, to help get as much exposure as possible for a listing.

Another tool Agents can tap into is the RE/MAX referral network of 125,000 agents worldwide.

Agents have to think about who the buyer is, and if there are people in other countries who might potentially purchase the property.  It goes back to having a proven marketing system.  At RE/MAX, we have a global referral tool and access to social media advertising to help locate buyers all around the world.

2. Navigating real estate laws and regulations

Real estate is a complex process and laws differ from province to province.  Working with an agent who is familiar with the unique rules and regulations of their area can help sellers avoid a lot of heartburn.  

A downside of selling FSBO is when sellers run into pitfalls that could have been avoided with the advice of an experienced professional.  A FSBO seller once called us and said he was getting sued for not disclosing a material defect in the property.  An agent could have advised him to file a seller’s disclosure for the home.

3. Negotiation tactics and avoiding contract issues

While there are several rules that govern a real estate transaction, there is also a lot of gray area.  This is where an agent’s negotiation skills can really benefit sellers.

Yes, agents obtain a fee for helping clients sell their home, but they also help negotiate items clients don’t need to pay for.

For example, many buyers are under the impression that sellers must repair any defects found in the inspection.  Not true, an agent can help sellers negotiate repairs.  We have the knowledge of what really needs to be completed and what can be countered or declined.

Just as critical as the inspection is the fact that agents are also skilled at negotiating the final sale price.

It is important to understand the nuances of different offers.

An agent can help the seller understand the differences and what they should know before accepting an offer.

Ultimately, the role of an agent is to help protect buyers and sellers.

Once FSBO sellers see the knowledge and experience an agent bring from working in real estate every day, they begin to see that they do need someone like us on their side.

Realtors sell thousands of homes over their career.  They know the market.  They know what to expect in the transaction.  They know 150 things to do in order to get you to closing.

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