Top Reasons Not to List Your Home for Sale by Owner

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Top Reasons Not to List Your Home for Sale by Owner

If you are ready to sell your home in today’s hot real estate market, maybe you’ve considered doing a For Sale By Owner (otherwise known as FSBO). Finding the right real estate agent may seem like an unnecessary hassle, and you may wonder if you would make a greater profit without having to pay an agent’s commission on the sale of your home. Why not just do some repairs, put a “for sale” sign in your yard, and field offers yourself instead of relying on a third party?

Let’s cover a few reasons why many homeowners ultimately choose not to sell their home without an agent. These facts can help you make an informed decision about an FSBO:


1. You probably won’t make as much money.

On average, FSBO homes sell for $185,000, while the average agent-assisted sale is $240,000. Obviously, this will vary based on your home’s market value, but this average suggests that agent-assisted home sales are usually far more lucrative, even when you subtract the agent’s commission from the selling price.


2. It’s difficult to accurately assess the market value of your home.

Overpricing is a danger, but so is underpricing! An agent with extensive market knowledge will be able to price your home to sell quickly and get you the most profit possible.


3. You won’t have the marketing resources an agent does.

Real estate agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service, which provides them with the inside scoop on the market. They also have a network of other agents. As an FSBO seller, you’ll be relying on your “for sale” sign, Craigslist, or other non-professional marketing techniques.


4. It’s easy to miss the golden window of opportunity to make your sale.

Selling your home quickly is important because a) buyers are less attracted to homes that have been on the market for awhile, and b) the longer your home is on the market, the more costs accrue.


5. There’s a big learning curve and lots of time involved.

Selling a house involves a myriad of details and paperwork. It will end up being a huge time investment, especially because unlike an agent, you don’t have a streamlined process and access to professional resources.


6. You may not be able to screen potential buyers for preapproval or prequalification.

In other words, you might end up wasting your time with “potential buyers” who don’t have the financial prerequisites to buy.


7. There are more security concerns.

This is especially true when it comes to showing your home. In some FSBO showings, criminals have posed as buyers in order to case a home to rob later. Agents prequalify potential buyers.


8. An agent saves you the hassle of doing the negotiating.

During a home sale, you will probably find yourself needing to negotiate various issues with the bank, the buyer, the inspector, etc. An agent is a good “middleman” to have on your team.

9. You face legal risks on your own.

This includes the risk of losing money or having an offer fall through because of mistakes or missed details.

Finding the right real estate agent is an extra step, but in the end you’ll probably be glad you avoided a “for sale by owner” and saved yourself a lot of time and hassle.