You’re considering selling your home by owner to get the maximum payout for your property. However, you’re not sure if the extra money is worth the extra hassle. Is selling a house by owner (FSBO) easier than using a real estate agent? Roughly 36 percent of sellers try to sell their home on their own, but wind up hiring a real estate agent later, according to the Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report. Only 11 percent end up closing as a for sale by owner.
To decide what is right for you, consider these for sale by owner pros and cons.
- Pocket more money without real estate fees.
One of the greatest advantages of selling a house by owner is that you don’t have to pay real estate commission fees. Real estate agents typically charge a 5 to 6 percent commission fee based on the sale price of the home at closing, reported Bankrate. For example, if your home sold for $500,000, the real estate agents might make roughly $30,000.
That commission is typically split between your agent and the buyer’s agent. Each agent is also overseen by a real estate broker, who will also get a cut. A FSBO sale allows you to avoid paying a hefty commission fee.
- First-hand insight.
No one knows the neighborhood like someone who actually lives there. You have first-hand knowledge of what the commute is like to work. You may also know the neighborhood does themed movie nights and food trucks at the park every first Friday.
If you and the prospective buyer are parents, you can talk about the experience your child had in elementary, middle or high school. These personal anecdotes can help paint a picture for buyers of what it would be like to live there.
- Schedule open houses and showings when it’s convenient for you.
Real estate agents often prefer for you to clear the house when there’s a showing or open house. If you have pets or children, this can be really inconvenient.
When you sell a house by owner, you can plan showings around your schedule. There’s also no pressure to pack up the family every time a prospective buyer wants to see the house.
- Less pressure to make certain decisions.
You hire a real estate agent for their experience and network. However, depending on the agent, it can sometimes come with added pressure to follow their directives.
A real estate agent might push for a lower asking price than what you wanted to sell fast. Or they might inundate you with phone calls and text messages while you’re at work because that’s when they’re available. You may wonder if their advice is in your best interest.
One of the pros of for sale by owner is that it allows you to take control, without being persuaded one way or another.
- Access to competitive research.
Real estate agents have access to helpful information for buyers, including comparative assessments. This is a tool that agents use to estimate the value of your property by comparing it to similar properties in your area.
This can help you set the right price for your house from the beginning. If you still opt to sell by owner, you can use public data, including your own property tax data, to make an informed decision.
- You might actually make less.
In 2020, FSBO accounted for roughly 7 percent of home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors®. They also sold for less, with FSBO homes typically selling for $260,000 while real estate agent sold homes commonly went for $318,000.
To get top dollar, you have to market it well, price it right and communicate its value to potential buyers.
You also have to negotiate effectively if buyers come in too low. If those skills aren’t in your wheelhouse, a FSBO sale might not be for you.
- Market the property yourself.
Real estate agents list houses every day. They know the types of photos and content needed and where to post to get the most visibility.
They also have well established social media networks they utilize to cross-promote their properties. For a FSBO property, the owner has to figure out how to market the property themselves. This can sometimes result in fewer eyes on their listings and less buyer interest.
4. Understanding and completing the paperwork.
Paperwork ranked as one of the most difficult tasks for home owners trying to sell their own house. Also on the list was preparing the house for sale and getting the price right. The average home buyer may not know what documents are needed to sell their house or how to facilitate the process. This can cause a lot of issues, which will impact your closing quickly.
5. Lack of network access.
Real estate agents have built a network of contacts to help them get the job done. These trusted contacts include lenders, appraisers, attorneys, and photographers. When selling a house by owner, you may not have access to the same experts to guide you through the process.
Without the right resources, you may not sell your home quickly.
Alternative to Selling by Owner or Listing with an Agent
There’s an alternative that gives you the pros of a sale by owner and the experience of working with a real estate agent.
As the industry leading home buying company, Meridian Trust pays cash for houses in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. You don’t have to list your house on the market or schedule any open houses. We buy houses “as is.”
Call us to receive a free cash offer for your property over the phone. There are no commission fees and we take care of all the closing costs. You will work with a licensed real estate professional, who will be your guide throughout the entire process.
To get your cash offer, contact us today at (954) 807-9087.
Note: This guide is for informational purposes only. Meridian Trust does not make any guarantees about the sufficiency of the content in or linked to from this blog post or that it is compliant with current law. The content within this blog post is not a substitute for legal advice or legal services. You should not rely on this information for any purpose without consulting a licensed lawyer in your area.
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