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Top 5 Challenges of Selling Your Home Without an Agent (FSBO)

November 13, 2017
Real Estate

FSBO… you’ve probably heard (or seen) this term before.

In the real estate world, FSBO (pronounced fiz-boe) means For Sale By Owner, the process by which a homeowner sells directly to a buyer. No agent is involved, which spares both parties from steep commission fees. (If you're already on the FSBO route–head over to our free e-guide for some step by step guidance.)

Sounds like a win-win, right? Not necessarily. Despite the initial cost savings (from eliminating commission fees), this DIY approach can end up being more costly overall, particularly for inexperienced sellers. As a result, it’s a consistently unpopular option; only 8% of homes sold in 2017 were FSBO listings.

So, before you proceed with the FSBO route, consider these top five challenges of selling your home without an agent.

1. Pricing Your Home Correctly

Pricing is never easy. Even with an agent, there are countless obstacles to face, as biases and external factors can be tough to identify (let alone agree upon).

Pricing without an agent is a totally different story. Because public access to market data is limited, homeowners have no clear way of knowing which homes are (or are not) selling. This is especially problematic for Texans, as closing prices are not required to be publicly disclosed. Although agents and MLS participants often share this information with each other, it isn’t readily available for FSBO sellers.

Without this context, there’s no precise way to compare one home value to another. Sure, you could use an automatic valuation model (AVM), but this isn’t necessarily accurate, either. Every AVM relies on unique criteria and data, which leads to a wide variety of estimates, and you may not know which one to trust.

Given each of these factors, it’s hardly a surprise that pricing consistently tops the list of FSBO challenges. The solution—as you can probably guess—is to hire a licensed, local real estate agent who can strategically price your home based on neighborhood expertise and real-time data.

If you aren’t set on hiring an agent right off the bat, you have another option: MoJo! Our friendly parrot utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and market data to deliver accurate home estimates, all of which are confirmed by a market specialist on our team. Pretty awesome, right?

2. Staging your home to be listing-ready.

Agent or not, it is absolutely essential to make sure your home is listing-ready. First impressions are everything, and you want potential buyers to see your home at its best.

This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but there’s more to home staging than you might assume (we go into more detail here). In short: You might love your interior decor, but someone else might not. An unbiased agent can provide countless suggestions and quick improvements to make your home as marketable as possible.

At Jovio, our agents are well-versed in the art of home staging and understand which investments pay off and which will likely go to waste. Our home estimate app offers a free sample of this expertise, as one of our agents will provide general recommendations based on the photos you submit. See for yourself here.

3. Reaching the Right Audience of Buyers

Your target audience contains buyers who are not only looking to buy a home in your neighborhood but are also willing and able to purchase a home. It’s simple:

Your target audience consists of people who are interested in moving to your neighborhood, and who are ready and able to purchase a home.



What’s not as simple is actually reaching these individuals. Sure, you can post on Facebook or throw up a For Sale sign, but research shows this isn’t actually how buyers are finding new homes.

FSBO listings are typically not marketed the right way,

One benefit of working with an agent is listing your home on the MLS, which helps you reach buyers who are also working with an agent. Of course, this is a great start, but you’re only reaching 34% of prospective buyers.

In short: It takes a lot more than a yard sign and an MLS listing to find the right buyers at the right time. Sellers need robust, targeted marketing strategies to maximize exposure and maintain competitive pricing (something we know a thing or two about).

4. Dealing With All The Paperwork

Nobody likes dealing with paperwork. Legal terms, acronyms and other types of jargon can be very overwhelming, especially for inexperienced sellers. Things can get shaky if you aren’t totally confident with every detail you sign off on, and we don’t recommend risking it.

Although a typical agent can offer guidance and expertise, there are some aspects he or she can’t change. Fortunately, the Jovio engineering team has worked its magic to create an interface designed for streamlined form completion. Thanks to simple language, friendly icons, and around-the-clock accessibility, paperwork is now easier than ever. (You can thank us later.)

5. Time Commitment

Selling a home is a HUGE time commitment. From repairs and improvements to inspections and approvals, the to-do lists can feel endless, and selling your home can feel like a full-time job.

Don’t have time? You’re not alone. That’s where we come in! Our team not only helps you save time but also tackles each of the challenges listed above—all for a 1% fee. Check out our infographic for a step-by-step overview of our home-selling process.

Why wait? Click here to get started now.

And if you've decided to embark on the FSBO journey, we still have your back. Check out our e-guide on how to FSBO in Austin, TX.

About the Author
Devin Dvorak

Devin grew up surrounded by real estate. Now his mission is to re-architect the industry to benefit homeowners. After studying Economics at Pepperdine and receiving a Fulbright Research Grant to study microcredits in Argentina, Devin grew to become the CFO at a national mortgage bank. When he’s not immersed in starting a real estate revolution, Devin can be found grilling a mean Argentine Asado.