Monday, October 15 , 2018, 3:00 pm | Fair 73º

 
 
 

Elaine Abercrombie: Don’t Try This at Home

Selling 'by owner' opens the door for risky oversights and complications

Elaine Abercrombie
Elaine Abercrombie (Roe Anne White photo)

When you hear that someone managed to sell a home without representation, it’s likely that the sale was to a family member, close friend or a tenant who was already renting and living there. These exceptional cases are not the norm, and there are powerful reasons why it is so difficult to make a sale “by owner.”

The biggest roadblock is that For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) aren’t included in the Multiple Listing Service that licensed Realtors and organizations use.

A sign in the yard and an ad in the newspaper are no match for the widespread exposure gained from a listing visible on the MLS.

Since the FSBO has no listing agreement providing for a sales commission, many Realtors won’t show these homes with no promise of compensation.

Again, this greatly reduces the number of potential buyers exposed to the offering, not to mention the fact that buyers who do express interest will not have been screened by a professional to determine their qualifications.

Perhaps the most hazardous aspect of selling “by owner” is the potential for legal oversights and complications. Real estate transactions are loaded with potential liability for unrepresented and unwitting sellers. One overlooked form or improper disclosure could generate an expensive lawsuit.

Just as you wouldn’t enter the courtroom without an attorney, you shouldn’t sell your home without professional representation.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Abercrombie Fine Homes at Village Properties, is president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >