Blog > Top 3 reasons for-sale-by-owners fail

Top 3 reasons for-sale-by-owners fail

by rodneyeiland-chime-meDecember 01, 2020

Top 3 reasons for-sale-by-owners fail

Less than 10 percent of for sale by owner sellers actually succeed, but what is it, actually, that prevents FSBO sellers from being able to close their property sale?

Texas sell my house keller


Selling your home without the help of a real estate agent can seem like a good idea.
In an ideal world, homeowners would save a lot of money — not having to pay a commission is a strong motivational factor.
So you decide, you can do it!
But is the “for sale by owner” (FSBO) option really as good a choice as it may seem?

Selling a home without a real estate agent isn’t easy.
And statistics seem to show that less than 10 percent of for sale by owner sellers actually succeed.
But what is it, actually, that prevents FSBO sellers from being able to close their property sales?

Looking to sell your Texas house?

Here are some of the mistakes that FSBO sellers make; they illustrate why local real estate agents’ expertise is invaluable.

1. Failure to prepare a property

If a home isn’t appealing to buyers, homesellers are wasting everyone’s time. This doesn’t just mean making sure everything is tidy; the condition of the house needs to be perfect. This will involve:

  • Doing repairs.
  • Removing unnecessary furniture and clutter.
  • Painting and decorating neglected rooms in a way to make them look as appealing as possible.
  • Having a professional cleaning.

2. Lack of marketing experience

If the FSBO property listing isn’t put in front of the right people, it will never be sold.
The real estate agent will have the knowledge and experience to get this right; the owner usually won’t.
There are also quite a few powerful online marketing channels that won’t let FSBO homes be listed. An agent will be able to market the property far better than a novice seller could ever hope to.

Many for-sale-by-owners don’t realize the power of the multiple listing service(MLS) and the wide net it casts.

3. Dealing with potential buyers

A big part of the real estate agent’s job is handling inquiries. Many people who try FSBO aren’t ready or able to deal with queries. You have to be able to stay on top of calls and emails, and be prepared to show the property when it is convenient for the interested potential purchasers.

Another problem is spending time on inquiries from people who aren’t in a position to buy. If you don’t understand how to screen genuine buyers, you are going to end up wasting a whole lot of time.

FSBO sellers often don’t understand that they should find out if the interested person has been pre-approved for a loan or needs to sell their house first. If they haven’t or they are only pre-qualified, they may not be able to buy the house even if they fall in love with it.

Even if the seller can find a pre-approved buyer, there can still be problems when showing the home. It’s all too easy for a homeowner to put pressure on the potential buyer when all they want to do is be left alone to view the property: The buyer won’t feel that they can discuss the property honestly, they will want to avoid saying the wrong thing to the owner. This situation isn’t going to increase the chances of a sale.

One of the critical roles of a seller’s agent is to screen potential buyers.

Final Thoughts

If you, or someone you know, still decides to go ahead with the FSBO route despite reading about the many pitfalls, it can be a gamble with less than a 1 in 10 chance of success.

Hopefully, our highlighting of some of the common mistakes will allow you to succeed where so many others fail.

Selling a house for sale by the owner is risky. Make sure you have a backup plan in place.

Rodney Eiland in the Keller, Southlake area and his team at Rubicon have been successfully helping families sell their homes with little to no headache, even ones that gave it the DIY approach.


Selling your Keller Texas House is important, talk with a real estate professional today to make sure you are in good hands!

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