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Should You Sell Your House Yourself?

Posted: January 01, 2020 by Alan Tucker

There are a myriad of different reasons why American homeowners choose to put up their homes for sale. The homeowners may have been motivated by a career change or significant life event that drives them to move to a different location. Family expansion is also a huge factor in the decision to sell a home. Finances would also come into play as well. Perhaps the family income increased reasonably and homeowners could afford to upgrade to a more expensive, grander residence.

No matter the reason, the primary step in selling a residence is deciding whether or not to sell the house by yourself or enlist the help of an expert realtor.

Listed below are possible reasons why you might want to sell your home by yourself and counterarguments as to why a realtor might be the best option for you.


  1. Pricing

FSBO: Houses For Sale By Owners, or FSBO in the real estate community, are seen as an advantageous move for the homeowner, because not only is it empowering to try to sell a house by yourself but you can get the maximum profit by not having to pay a commission to a realtor.

Typically, the average realtor would get 6% of the total sales price. So, this translates to a commission of $15,000 from the sale of a house valued at $250,000.

$15,000 in savings is a great deal. This amount could go to other investments such as upgrades to your new home or maybe downpayment for a new car...but are you certain you have priced your property accurately?

Realtor: The housing market can be quite confusing, especially for novice home sellers. Realtors have extensive knowledge of the constantly shifting housing market. They are familiar with the concepts and practices of real estate and their added experience is valuable in assigning the right price for your residence. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), FSBOs value their homes at a much lower selling price than agent-assisted homes. In the previous year, FSBOs sold their homes with an average asking price of $200,000 while the median for realtor-assisted sales was $280,000.

So, in the issue of not having to pay commissions...are you truly saving money by selling the home by yourself or are you potentially losing profit in the process, because of insufficient knowledge on the housing market?


  1. Time

FSBO: Time is a resource that you would have to invest when trying to sell a house. A lot of work needs to go into getting a house ready for sale. Decluttering and cleaning the home is something that the homeowner can certainly accomplish by themselves or with the aid of family and friends. You would also need to allow time for home showings.

Realtor: The home should be made presentable to attract potential buyers. The realtor lends their eye and expertise to survey what needs to be renovated or fixed as well as staging the home for a showing. The realtor virtually takes care of everything. Their main goal, after all, is to sell the home at the perfect price point as quickly as possible. They stage open houses and schedule walk-throughs with potential buyers in order to accomplish this.


  1. Negotiations and Legalities 

FSBO: It takes skill and practice to learn the art of negotiation. It can be quite a challenge to get the better part of the deal, especially if you are unsure of the real estate market and how buying & selling of houses work. Worst, you might be duped into signing a deal with several loopholes.

Realtor: Real estate agents always represent your best interest. After all, if they can negotiate a better deal for you, they stand to profit as well. They also know the legal aspect of a home sale. They took up courses that specifically cover real estate principles such as taxation, property valuation, contract clauses, and real estate law.

Regardless if you do opt for the houses for sale by owner route or enlist the help of a realtor, it pays to be aware of the pros and cons of both to finally settle on your preferred plan of action.

But, if you find the task of selling your residence by yourself and do decide that you need help with putting it up for sale, find a Coldwell Banker Advantage Office near you.

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