For Sale By Owner. In SC, Not So Much.

Recently, a “For Sale By Owner” sign went up on a large, well maintained house in White Oaks worth well over a million.  It wasn’t up long.  It soon disappeared, replaced by a realtor’s sign.

Not hard to imagine why someone would decide to sell their own house, especially if the property is updated and in a desirable location.

If the house is practically going to sell itself, so the reasoning goes, why fork over 6% in commission to a full service broker whose efforts may be limited to some basic marketing and an open house or two?

With the temptation of saving so much money on a commission – even if the seller uses a discount broker – why so few FSBO’s in San Carlos?

They’re relatively rare on the Peninsula, said Coldwell Banker realtor Sandy Rostad.   “You see it happen in other areas, especially in depressed communities, like Stanislaus County.”

Not only that, with so many forms to fill out, most people wouldn’t even know where to start.  Once, when representing a buyer, Rostad recalled she had to walk the seller through every step of the way.

Bob Bredel, a Today Sotheby’s realtor, agrees.  “I used to be a real estate attorney.  The truth of the matter is that selling a house is more complicated than people think.”
Even those with the perfect house in the most coveted neighborhood at just the right price shy away from going it alone – the hassle of marketing and showing one’s property aside – for another good reason:  liability.  Inexperience could lead to making mistakes.  Failing to report something like a cracked foundation or water damage in the disclosure packet could lead to a lawsuit.

Another reason we don’t see more FSBO’s in San Carlos may have to do with the population itself.  “San Carlos is a very educated town,” Bredel noted.  “If it was a value added proposition, more people would be doing it.”

The National Association of Realtors backs that up.  It reports homes that sold with broker went for a higher median price than those sold by the owner.

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