The home buying and selling markets are booming thanks to low interest rates and low inventory. Buyers are more eager than ever to go above and beyond to land a new home including paying well over the asking price, forgoing home inspections, offering move-out flexibly, and more.
This market is particularly beneficial to sellers. So, if you’re looking to list your home sometime soon, you’re in luck!
If you’ve never sold a home before, it might be surprising to hear that there’s a lot of work to be done before you even put up your listing. You need to price your home, conduct a deep cleaning, take listing photos, invest in marketing, and so much more.
Some sellers choose to go it alone when selling their home. This is called for sale by owner or FSBO. Others opt to hire a real estate agent to handle all the ins and outs of the selling process. There are both pros and cons for each option, and we’ll cover them all so you can decide between selling for sale by owner versus real estate agent.
Determining if FSBO is a Fit For You
Do you like to take charge? There’s no shame in that! Selling your home for sale by owner gives you the freedom and flexibility to sell your home on your own terms. If you’re into DIY, for sale by owner might be the best option for you.
But before you head down that road, let’s cover the pros and cons of FSBO.
For Sale by Owner Pros
You Have the Power
First things first, when you sell your home for sale by owner you have all of the power and control in your hands. You have your best interest in mind and control the choices from where you want to list to how often you want to conduct showings.
When you list your property for sale by owner, one of the major benefits is that you get to keep more of the profits than you would working with a real estate agent. Real estate agents need to get paid for their time and efforts, and that money will come out of your pocket. Keep in mind that most real estate agents receive between 3-6% of the sale price of a home.
You Know Your Home the Best
It’s clear you know all of the ins and outs of your home including the upgrades you’ve made, information about the neighborhood, nearby schools, and more. This will give you a leg up during showings because you can confidently tell the future owners what it would be like to live in your home. This is something real estate agents try to do, but you have a clear advantage considering you’ve actually lived there.
You Eliminate the Middle Man
When selling your home for sale by owner, you are essentially cutting out the middle man (a real estate agent) during the entire selling process. You’ll be able to connect with a buyer’s agent directly to answer questions quickly and this will also cut down time during the negotiation process.
Working With Real Estate Agent Pros
They Know Pricing Strategies
Your home has sentimental value to you. You’ve made memories there, have great neighbors, and have put a lot of work into your home. Those things are all great, but for those reasons, many for sale by owner sellers list their homes too high. Real estate agents know the market inside and out and that includes what homes are really selling for in your area.
When selling your property for sale by owner, it can be hard to remove emotions from the equation when you’ve put a solid amount of time, money, and effort into your beloved home. But it’s important to take pride out of the equation and to sell your home for what it’s worth. Easier said than done!
Real Estate Market Knowledge and Education
Real estate agents take classes and exams to receive their real estate license, which means they have extensive knowledge of the market and how the home buying and selling process works. Their knowledge includes the art of negotiation, legal education, and extensive experience with the vast paperwork that comes with selling a home.
In the current market, negotiations are guaranteed, so it is important that whether you’re selling your home with a realtor or for sale by owner that you’re ready. As a seller, you currently have the upper hand as it’s a seller’s market and homes are flying off the market faster and at higher prices. It might be overwhelming as a for sale by owner seller to deal with 10 offers in one day, but real estate agents have dealt with this many times in the last year and they are ready to take on the challenge.
When it comes to the large amounts of paperwork that come with selling a home, for sale by owner sellers can try their best to research information, but it won’t come as naturally compared to real estate agents who do this job day in and day out.
Networking Opportunities and Marketing Resources
There are a variety of great marketing tools that for sale by owner sellers can utilize for free like social media or free home listing sites, but you still won’t have all of the access to marketing that a real estate agent has, including officially adding your home to the MLS. Many real estate agencies even have in-house marketing teams that help with listing photos and videos to gain a leg up on the competition.
Real estate agents also have an advantage in the networking department compared to for sale by owner sellers as they work with a variety of real estate agents from different companies on a regular basis. For example, they might have just worked with another real estate agent and built a great relationship which can open doors when it comes to finding the perfect buyers. Word of mouth can work for FSBO sellers, but it just can’t compare to the connections real estate agents have worked years to make.
Time is on Their Side
Real estate agents have more time to dedicate to selling your home as this is their full-time job. If you’re selling your home for sale by owner, you’ll need to squeeze in times for showings where you can on top of your regular day-to-day job and obligations.
Real estate agents are used to making their own schedules, working late and on the weekends for clients. This is something you’ll need to think about if you are considering selling your home for sale by owner. Do you have the time and energy that’s required to sell a home on your own?
These are all important factors to consider when selling a home so make sure to make a list of your personal pros and cons of selling yourself versus with a real estate agent so you can make the right decision.
Determining if a Real Estate Agent is a Fit For You
If you don’t have the time or energy to sell your house all by yourself, there’s no shame in needing additional help! In fact, The Close reported that 92% of homes in the United States are sold using a real estate agent or broker. Working with a trusted real estate agent often streamlines the home selling process as compared to going it alone.
Real estate agents pride themselves in being your advocates and they want to build a great relationship and give you the best experience possible during the home selling or buying process considering that 82% of real estate transactions come from repeat buyers or sellers or from referrals.
For Sale By Owner vs. Real Estate Agent Recap
As we covered, there are a variety of benefits and disadvantages when selling your home for sale by owner versus real estate agent. Let’s quickly recap.
For Sale by Owner Benefits
- You’re in control
- You keep more of the selling profits
- You can better connect with future buyers
- There’s no middle man
Real Estate Agent Benefits
- They know top pricing strategies to close the sale
- They have increased expertise and education
- They have more resources to market your home
- They are dedicated to selling your home
At the end of the day, selling your home is what really matters. It just depends on how much time and effort you want to put in. The choice is completely yours!
Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?
It’s not always an easy choice to determine if you want to sell your home for sale by owner versus real estate agent, but we hope this article helped to cover all the basics to help you make an informed decision when you’re ready to sell.
After all, it is a seller’s market out there. What have you got to lose?
For more useful tips, check out our other articles covering everything from top home buying tips to recent home improvement trends.