Should You FSBO or Use a Realtor

Should You FSBO or Use a Realtor

Selling your home means making dozens (if not hundreds) of decisions, starting with whether to work with a real estate agent. While the vast majority of homeowners hire a listing agent, others brave the world of FSBO – For sale by owner. If you’re trying to decide whether you’re better off taking on the ultimate DIY project or enlisting the help of Crown Realty Experts, read on for benefits of both types of transactions.

What does for sale by owner mean?

For sale by owner, often abbreviated as FSBO, is when a homeowner lists their home without the assistance of a professional real estate agent. When selling on your own, you’re responsible for the process from start to finish, including pricing, staging, listing, negotiating, drawing up paperwork, retained liability and closing. According to the National Association of Realtors, 8% of home sales in 2018 were FSBO.

Benefits of for sale by owner

1. You’ll avoid paying listing agent commission: The most common reason to FSBO is to avoid paying commissions, which are fees paid to agents based on the final selling price of the home.

2. You’ll have complete control of the listing price: Without an agent, you’re the sole decision maker when it comes to your list price. Many sources continue to that year after year that FSBO sales net less that selling with a Realtor, even after accounting for commissions paid.

3. You can manage the schedule of showings and open houses: Fleeing your house for last-minute showings and all-day weekend open houses is a lot of work—not to mention having to keep your home pristine around the clock.

Benefits of hiring a professional real estate agent

1. They understand fair market value and pricing strategy: When you work with an experienced, local agent, they should have a great handle on just what your home is worth in your area, and what kind of pricing will get buyers through the door. They can help you walk the tightrope of getting you as much money out of your house as possible, while still appealing to a wide range of buyers.

2. They’re objective listing experts: Good real estate agents have a deep understanding of their local market and want to show your home in the best light. They also have relationships with photographers and home stagers, who can all work as a team to highlight the amenities that local buyers want.

3. They have access to extensive market exposure: With access to the local MLS and online listing portals, social media presence, professional networks, connections with other agents, and name recognition, your real estate agent can get a lot of eyes on your listing and plenty of potential buyers in the front door.

4. Buyer’s agents are more likely to show your listing to clients: Real estate agents are paid on commission, so some agents may not take the time to show your FSBO listing to their clients, since there’s no guaranteed commission.

5. They’ll negotiate professionally: Experienced agents can spot serious buyers and guide you toward the strongest offers, which eliminates the burden of calls and negotiations with less motivated shoppers. Agents are extremely familiar with both the selling process and your local market, so they can recommend appropriate counteroffers.

6. They know the paperwork: There’s a lot of documentation involved when you sell a home, and without an agent, the burden of making sure it’s complete and accurate falls on the seller (or an attorney you’ve hired to help). Seasoned real estate professionals are experts at the purchase and sale process, and all the legalese that comes with it.

7. Seller retains all liability. Professional agents make mistakes also, but depending on the State, they generally carry Errors & Omissions liability insurance that protects them (and the clients & customers). 

When it is important, always utilize the assistance of a professional.