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Challenges in FSBO Listings 

Posted on January 19, 2024

For sale by owner (FSBO) real estate listings mean that the owner of the property is selling it without the services of a real estate agent. Property owners may choose to take this route in an attempt to save money on sales commissions. However, homeowners should be aware of the numerous hidden challenges and pitfalls that may come with FSBO listings.

Heavy Workload

Selling a FSBO property can be a strenuous and time-consuming process. The responsibilities that would normally go to a real estate professional fall to the homeowner. This work can be amplified since real estate agents have resources to facilitate a simpler, more efficient and more effective selling process, such as marketing materials. FSBO sellers will need to invest more time and effort to match the work done by an agent, which can make it more difficult to balance family and a career.

Incorrect Home Value

A common challenge encountered by FSBO sellers is accurately evaluating the value of a home or property. Some sellers overestimate the desirability of their homes, especially if they have an emotional attachment to the property. This can lead to a too-high sales price and a property that does not sell.

If a FSBO seller is lucky enough to get a buyer, he or she may not know how to handle negotiations in a way that ensures a fair deal. Underestimating the value of a home can also lead to losing money by selling it for much less than it is worth. With a real estate agent, the value of a property will be correctly estimated and a fair price negotiated with buyers.

Reduced Odds of a Sale

FSBO listings may be less likely to sell than properties listed through a real estate professional. FSBO sellers may struggle to match the marketing exposure that can be attained by an agent. Real estate agents have access to marketing tools, such as Multiple Listing Services, that can enhance a listing’s visibility.

A real estate agent with experience in marketing can reach a wider audience, increasing the odds of higher offers and a faster sale. Real estate companies also have access to resources such as professional photography and staging that can make a listing more desirable to potential buyers.

Trouble Screening Buyers

One invaluable service offered by real estate professionals is to prescreen potential buyers. The screening process is important for confirming that an individual is financially qualified and sincere about the purchase. On their own, FSBO sellers may find it difficult to properly screen interested buyers. This can lead to major legal and financial issues down the road.

Potential Legal Liabilities

Finally, FSBO real estate transactions come with a risk of the homeowner facing legal liability if something goes awry. Many things can go wrong when someone other than a professional handles the complex legal and contractual processes involved in selling a property.

If a property was not correctly described, for example, a buyer could take legal action against the seller for misrepresentation. If the real estate contract was not correctly prepared, this could invalidate the entire sale. Incorrect wording on a contract could also leave the seller unprotected if the buyer does not follow through.

Protect Yourself as a FSBO Seller

If you are looking to sell a property in Missouri, consider hiring a real estate agent for the best possible selling process and outcome. If you do wish to take on a FSBO listing without a real estate professional, hire a St. Louis for sale by owner attorney today to help you with the legal side of the process. TdD Attorneys at Law LLC can help you navigate FSBO sales in Missouri with personalized legal advice.