Home sellers naturally want to make as much money as possible from the sale of their homes. One way to do that is to cut out the middleman – the real estate agent – and handle the entire process themselves. This DIY approach to selling a house is known as For Sale by Owner, or FSBO.
While the FSBO approach does offer the opportunity for the seller to pocket more money after the sale, it isn’t without its challenges. If you are considering selling your home without the help of a real estate agent, here are some pros and cons you need to consider before listing your home on the market.
Pro: You Make More Money from the Sale
The most obvious advantage to listing the home yourself is that you make more money from the sale because you don’t have to pay real estate agent commission fees. Depending on the value of your home, this could be thousands to tens of thousands of dollars that go directly to you instead of the realtor.
Con: You Might Not Make as Much Money as You Hoped
Though the potential is there to make more money if you sell your home yourself, you might not make as much as you thought you would. In fact, sales by realtors tend to bring in higher sale prices than those FSBO. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical for sale by owner home sold for $200,000 compared to roughly $265,000 for agent-listed homes.
Pro: You Have Complete Control Over the Process
Another benefit of FSBO is the seller has complete control over the sales process. You don’t have to listen to anyone’s opinions about how to price the home, how to market the home, how to stage the home, or any other thoughts on how to do some part of the process. Everything starts and stops with you.
Con: You Lose Out on a Realtor’s Expertise and Network
Real estate agents are good at their jobs. They are professionals who have a better understanding of the overall market than most sellers. They also have access to tools specifically designed to help homes sell.
Most importantly though, they have a much broader network to tap in to when selling a home. Realtors have access to the MLS and online real estate sites such as Realtor.com, which allows them to reach people that a FSBO listing likely wouldn’t reach. Most also have their own websites that draw shoppers. A FSBO listing will require the seller to actively market the home to generate interest.
Pro: You are Selling on Your Own Schedule
When working with an agent, sellers have to work on the realtor’s schedule. And, since you aren’t likely their only client, you are getting juggled along with everyone else. You have to be ready to respond when the realtor is ready.
Listing a home as FSBO lets homeowners set their pace for the marketing and sale of the home. You can devote as much or as little time and energy as you want to the sale when you have the space to do so. There’s no pressure to move at a certain pace.
Con: You Might Not Have the Time it Takes to Make a Sale
It takes a lot of time to sell a house. Between inspections, appraisals, marketing, paperwork, and all the other elements that go into selling a house, you simply may not have the time to dedicate to getting the sale done. It’s essentially a part-time job that can turn into a full-time job the longer the sale drags out.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide if the pros outweigh the cons of selling your home yourself.