For most homeowners, selling their homes on their own seems impossible. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 7% of home sales in 2020 were FSBOs (For Sale by Owner). While an agent can certainly be helpful, it’s not impossible to sell your home independently. Some homeowners find that selling without a realtor better suits their needs.
If you’ve ever considered selling your home without a listing agent, here are a few pros and cons of a for-sale-by-owner you should think about before making your final decision.
Pro: Selling on your own puts you in the driver’s seat
When you make all the decisions, you get to make all the decisions. Instead of relying on an agent to determine the listing price, schedule open houses, and bring strangers through your property for walk-throughs, you outline the schedule and the asking price. Many homeowners find that this helps them feel more comfortable.
Con: You’re in charge of everything
While the idea of having your hand in every decision during the sales process might seem like a good plan, it can be overwhelming. In addition to trying to determine a fair asking price, you’ll need to be available for walk-throughs and inspections. Further, you’ll be responsible for handling any seller paperwork and accepting buyer offers. If you’re unfamiliar with the process of selling a home, this might be overwhelming. Many buyers who sell on their own enlist the help of an attorney to ensure the documents are in order.
You’ll also oversee marketing your home and attracting potential buyers.
Additionally, if you sell on your own, there are fewer barriers between you and the buyer. This could be problematic when it comes time to accept or deny an offer if you’re uncomfortable with making these types of decisions. Additionally, you’re more likely to hear buyer criticisms of your home, which can feel personal. If you’re likely to get your feelings hurt, having an intermediary can be helpful.
Pro: You could save on agent commissions
Many homeowners who choose to sell without the aid of a real estate agent do so to save money on agent fees. On average, a seller pays around 5% of the sales price towards agent fees. If you sell your home for $450,000, that’s $22,500 less you could receive for your property. While the agents do offer numerous benefits, saving that much money is enticing for many sellers.
Con: You could lose money on the sales price
When you sell your home without the help of an agent, you must determine the sales price of your home. Many agents have access to tools that allow them to develop a fair market price for your house. They use the sales prices of similar homes in your area for comparison. Homeowners who sell their houses without the help of an agent get less on the sale of their homes. According to a National Association of Realtors report, the average realtor-sold home priced at $318,000, while the average FSBO sold for $260,000.
Pro: You’re the expert on your home
You know your house better than anyone. You’re equipped to show potential buyers the tricks and trades of living on the property. You know which stair is squeaky and where the best place to mount the television sits. You can provide personal insight to potential buyers, making the sales process feel more intimate in a good way.
Con: Safety might be an issue
Most agents have practices in place that allow them to determine whether potential buyers are serious or whether they’re just being nosey. If you’re selling your home on your own, you won’t have that added layer of security.
Pro: Selling for cash is a good option if you want to sell on your own
Selling without the help of an agent can also make it easier to sell your house for cash. If your priority is to sell the home quickly without extra work (like inspections and appraisals), a cash offer could be your best option. Selling your house to a company like Brick doesn’t require paying agent fees, and you’ll get a fair offer.
For sale by owner offers different benefits and risks to buyers. When you understand the benefits and the risks, you can decide which option best fits your current needs. Have questions about selling your home fast? Reach out today.