Should You Use a Realtor or Not When Selling Your Home

Obviously, when you put your home on the market to sell, you want to make the most money you can. The thought may run through your mind that you can sell it on your own, without a Realtor and that is understandable and can be the truth. But, there are some cons to trying to sell your home on your own. Know the obstacles as well as the benefits to the for sale by owner process before you make the decision.

PRO: You may make more money from the sale. Selling your home on your own, you might make more money than with a Realtor. You won’t have to pay the percentage fee based on the sale price. The biggest reason people try to sell their homes on their own is to save the commission.

CON: The financial benefit might not be as much as you think. A Realtor is experienced with correctly pricing the home – one of the hardest parts of selling. Without the guidance of a Realtor, sellers often rely on websites that incorrectly evaluate homes. They use algorithms that are too broad in scope and not specific to your home’s exact locale. They even admit to this in the fine print. Many FSBO homes are incorrectly priced. Nationwide statistics show that the average home sold by a Realtor sells for 13% more than the same type of home, same neighborhood as an FSBO. Overpricing a home is the top reason a home does not sell.

PRO: You have control over the sale of your home. Selling your home on your own means you have complete control of the entire process. No opinions from outsiders. You can price it, market it, negotiate all on your own.

CON: Your home will be a target for buyers looking for a bargain. Often buyers think they are going to get the best deal with an FSBO. They assume the seller is willing to sell for less because they do not have to pay a real estate agent, so be ready for such buyers.

PRO: You can devote all your attention to your home. Hiring a Realtor means that they probably have other clients selling homes. He or she won’t have all their time focused on your home.

CON: You will have to market your home without a network. FSBO home’s exposure to potential buyers is limited. Your choices for advertising are confined to yard signs, newspaper ads, FSBO classifieds, websites, open houses and word of mouth. This is often not enough to find the buyers. Most buyers choose Realtors to help them find their next home and if your home isn’t on the MLS, a Realtor won’t know to bring the buyer by.

CON: Time Consuming. You will have to devote a considerable amount of time to the sale. Your home needs to be inspected, repaired as necessary, photographed, filmed, listed, shown and more. If there are interested buyers, you will need to be available to answer their phone calls, to show the home when they are available and you will need to negotiate a good price. Plenty of people sell their own homes. Few of them do it well, so you need to be prepared to put in the work.

The Bottom Line: As much as you think you will have the time and energy to sell your own home, you won’t be able to do many of the things that an experienced Realtor can do. They are well trained in the laws pertaining to the sale of a property. They will be able to qualify a buyer. They will be able to take care of the pages and pages of paperwork. They will market and present your home with photos, and more for the most and best exposure. And, your home will be on the MLS, which is responsible for over 70% of home sales. You will need the exposure.

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