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FSBO: Downside Of Trying To Sell Your Home Yourself

If you’ve spent any time at all exploring the intricate world of real estate sales then you’ve no doubt heard the phrase FSBO. An acronym for the term “For Sale By Owner” - a FSBO simply means a home being sold by the person currently owning it, without the aid of a real estate sales professional.

But why would someone engage in what is likely the largest sale of their lifetime without the support and knowledge of professionals? Often the key motivator is money, namely saving themselves from paying a sales commission. But does any perceived cost-saving benefit the seller in the long run? Much of that depends on the skill of the seller and the health of the local real estate market.

There’s an old financial expression that goes “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish” which could be applied in this case. While a sales commission will be saved by serving as your own salesperson, a non-professional is not going to know what the true market value of their home is. The result is the home may sell below, sometimes markedly below, what a professional may have gotten for it.

A homeowner may think they know what their property is worth, but without access to current information that figure is at best an educated guess. A home that has been undervalued will deprive the seller of a better return, while an overpriced home will languish on the market.

Determining the market value of a property is quite literally a science, and a REALTOR® will not only have their personal experience and local knowledge to draw from when pricing a home to sell, they will also have access to the information powerhouse that is the MLS® System and its depth of resources and data.

Created by and operated for REALTORS®, the MLS® System can provide sales professionals with not merely information about current properties on the market, but historical data that can be crucial when setting a realistic selling price. A FSBO home may very well sell, but only a home sold by a REALTOR® will sell for true market value.

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Typical Questions To Ask Whenever Buying A Home

Whether for the first time or the tenth, buying a home is a complex and often confusing undertaking. It involves a huge, long-term investment. It commits the purchaser to an acquisition with a value that might rise or fall dramatically depending on the local marketplace, and it requires significant legal entanglements. So before signing on the proverbial dotted line make certain the property you settle on is the right one for you today and tomorrow.

The best way to stave off potential problems is to ask questions of your REALTOR® and any other professionals involved with the purchase beforehand. By doing your homework in advance the process should be much simpler, and the longterm results much more satisfying for the buyer. While there is no right or wrong list of questions to ask, here are some of the most common:

• Finances are crucial, so one of the first is: Can I afford it? Is this home priced within my available budget?

• If a preowned home, a good question to ask is: How long has this property been on the market? If there’s a problem with the home, the neighbourhood or the land, it’s important to learn that beforehand.

• A home is more than a building. Good questions to ask are: What comes with the property? Are the appliances new? Is the furnace in good working order?

• Concerns about the structure itself are also questions that need to be answered before completion. Are there any potential problems? How old is the roof? Has there ever been any flood damage?

• Learning about the neighbourhood is also critical. Things to consider: Distance to schools, medical facilities, shopping centers, recreation and other amenities. Is public transportation available? Is the area walkable or is a vehicle required? This is by no means a comprehensive list. By asking these questions (and adding those of your own) prior to closing the deal should help to make the process easier, and more beneficial.

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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.
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