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The Risks of Selling Your Own Home in Knoxville

From saving money on agent commissions to having more control over the selling process, “for sale by owner” isn’t without its perks. However, selling a house yourself isn’t as easy as you might think, and you could end up in legal hot water if you’re not careful. 

Here are seven risks of selling your own home in the Greater Knoxville area.

7 Risks of Selling FSBO

        1. Limited Exposure 

When you sell your own home, you’re responsible for marketing the property to potential buyers. This can be challenging if you don’t have the resources or expertise to promote the property effectively.  

Real estate agents have a ton of resources that help them list homes in every online directory, market the home online and with print advertisements, and more. They have entire marketing budgets dedicated to getting your home in front of prospective buyers. 

An FSBO home may receive less exposure than it would with a real estate agent, which can make it challenging to sell. 

        2. Wrong Pricing 

If you want to sell your house fast, the right listing price makes all the difference. However, many FSBOs aren’t careful about pricing wisely. If you overprice your home, you could miss buyers and have the property sit on the market longer. If you undervalue it, you may be leaving money on the table.  

When a real estate company sells your home, they have access to valuable market data they use to properly price your home, including recently sold homes in the area, if homes are selling over or under list price, and the overall popularity of the neighborhood. 

If you choose to sell your own home, it's important to have your property appraised by a local professional. An online home value estimator isn't going to be the most accurate way to price your home. 

        3. Paperwork is Daunting

For many, paperwork is one of the most difficult parts of selling your own home. In Tennessee, various legal forms are needed, including but not limited to property disclosures, a sales contract, flood zone statements, and lead paint records. 

While these forms are available online, they’re often filled with legal terms, acronyms, and jargon that may be overwhelming for inexperienced sellers. Generally, FSBO is only worth the risk if you’re confident in every detail you sign off on. 

        4. Time Costs Money

Unless you know someone who wants to buy your home, FSBOs can be pretty inconvenient and take up more time (and money!) than expected. 

Selling your home without a real estate agent requires significant effort, from preparing the property for showings to handling paperwork and closing the sale. If you’re already stretched thin with other commitments, it may be difficult to devote yourself to the process. 

        5. Lack of Negotiation Skills

When negotiating a sale price, it can be hard to know whether or not you’re getting a fair deal. A real estate professional can provide valuable guidance and help you negotiate the best price for your home. 

If you’re selling on your own, you might not have this expertise to fall back on. 

        6. Legal Risk

Mistakes happen. However, without the counsel of a real estate professional, you could do something that unknowingly skirts the law. 

Disclosure laws are a good example. In Tennessee, sellers must complete a disclosure statement before or when an offer is made. This gives buyers details about a property’s condition that might negatively affect its value. If a seller conceals information, whether it was intentional or not, they could be sued or potentially convicted. 

An agent should be able to protect you from this, or you can avoid it altogether by selling as-is to an investor. 

        7. Not All Buyers Pan Out

Even if you accept an offer on your FSBO listing, you’re not out of the woods until the property sells. For example, your buyer may fall through at the last minute. Or, if they’re using a mortgage, their lender could pull out of the deal, which leaves you right back where you started.

Another risk of selling your own home is scammers. It happens to both buyers and sellers and the only option, in most cases, is to hire a lawyer. If you’re not working with a real estate professional, you’ll always want to double-check paperwork, deposits, and third-party purchases. Otherwise, you may be putting a target on your back.

FSBO Alternatives to Consider 

Overall, while it’s possible to sell your own home, it can be risky and may not be the best option for everyone. 

If saving money is your main reason for selling FSBO, there are alternatives. For instance, real estate investors will buy almost any home for cash, meaning you’ll avoid realtor fees and the stress of listing on the open market. 

Local home-buying companies, like Reliant Home Buyers of TN, will make you an offer and buy your house in as-is condition. This means you won’t have to make necessary repairs or updates, and you’ll get to skip cleaning and staging your home. 

Finally, cash offers take less time to finalize because investors have the funds available to make an immediate purchase, so there’s no wait for financing to be approved

We Buy Houses in the Greater Knoxville Area

While the final price depends on the situation, if you need to sell your house quickly, our Greater Knoxville homebuyer can provide the flexibility you need to close the sale on time. 

To get started, call 865-345-2440 or fill out the contact form. We’ll reach out to go over potential solutions and answer any questions you have. 

About the Author: Justin Treadwell is the owner and operator of Reliant Home Buyers of TN, a local business that pays cash for houses in any condition or price range! He is a Tennessee native and has bought and sold real estate in the Greater Knoxville area since 2003. Call 865-345-2440 for more information.


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Reliant Home Buyers Of TN, Real Estate, Knoxville, TN