Pros and Cons of For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

Dated: 09/20/2020

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Pros and Cons of For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

When getting ready to buy or sell a home, you face infinite decisions, including should you put your house on the market For Sale By Owner (FSBO)? The alternative would be to hire a real estate agent. FSBO means you, the homeowner, are in charge of the process of selling your home completely on your own, from start to finish – including pricing, staging, listing, negotiating, paperwork, and closing.

According to Zillow, about 36% of sellers choose to sell their home themselves, but they find the process is just too much without an agent, so only about 11% are actually sold FSBO. Of those who choose FSBO, they do so because they believe it will save them money, save them time, and they know their home better than any agent could. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of FSBO to help you determine if it’s right for you.

The upsides to FBSO…

You choose the price.

Putting your house up FSBO means you choose the home’s list price. However, you can’t just pick any number. You need to put emotions aside and assess your home with an unbiased point-of-view. You may even consider hiring an appraiser to come by and give you their expert opinion. This could cost from $300-500.

You’ll avoid paying commission to an agent.

One of the most common reasons people choose to put their homes up FSBO is because they don’t want to pay commission to an agent (usually between 4-6%). Normally the buyer and the seller each have their own agent with the commission split between the two. By choosing FSBO, you only pay half the commission, which helps cover the buyer’s agent. In essence, you’re saving half the money.

You set the schedule for Open Houses and showings.

Normally, if you have an agent, they schedule the Open Houses and showings and you need to be away from the house for the day. By putting your home on the market FSBO, you choose the schedule that works for you, and you don’t have to base it around when an agent can be present. You run the show, which also means it’s up to you to get people interested in buying your home!

You’re motivated to get top dollar.

It’s your finances on the line, so you’ll be all the more motivated to get the best offer for your home, not just any offer. This can be a driving motivation to help you reach your real estate goals.

You’re an expert on the neighborhood.

Because you’ve lived in the area, you’re the expert. You can talk with potential buyers about the neighborhood, nearby attractions, school districts, highway accessibility, and more! Not only will you be selling your house, but selling the neighborhood, which is just as important.

The downfalls to FSBO…

You eliminate the opportunity to have multiple offers.

Because you won’t have a realtor on your side to help you market your home in a way to appeal to buyers, you likely won’t receive multiple offers. An agent will help you receive multiple offers and take part in the negotiation process.

You’re in charge of advertising your home.

An important part of getting buyers interested in a home on the market is to advertise! Get your home out there! There are multiple avenues to do this, and some of which cost money to reach a greater audience. There’s Zillow, other online services, professional photos, signage, and print ads. These all cost money that you’re now responsible for, and require a certain expertise that you may or may not have. A real estate agent would know which avenues are best, where to spend advertising dollars, and they’ll take over the entire advertising process so you don’t have to worry about it.

By listing your home on the MLS, there will be more showings and foot traffic, and in result, more offers. Your agent will market your home in the way it needs to be marketed so it can be sold in a timely fashion, which will save you time in the long run.

You’re not a real estate expert.

A real estate agent knows the real estate market – it’s their thing. An agent would understand what’s currently happening in the market and would be able to determine a fair market value, help with pricing strategy, attract buyers, and make sure you get the most for your money. This is what they do!  They handle the process from A to Z and make the ride as smooth as they can for you. They understand the legal portion and will ensure that you are getting a fair, legitimate deal. Your agent will make sure you check off everything on your To Do list from inspections to showings to staging your home to paperwork.

Emotions can get in the way.

Because it’s your home and you’re attached, it can be challenging to remove yourself emotionally during open houses and showings. Potential buyers will voice their opinions and concerns with your home and you have to take it like a champ, or risk losing them as a potential buyer. If you had an agent, they would be the buffer between you and the buyer, so you wouldn’t have to hear any negative comments.

If you want someone who has your back and understands the real estate market, then an agent you like and trust is the way to go!






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Sherri Gramlich

I am a wife, a mom, a Grandma, a sister, a daughter and a Realtor. It is important to me to treat my clients as I would like my own family to be treated. I work ethically and honestly. My goal is a....

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