The Pros and Cons of Selling a House By Owner
Are you considering selling your Seattle area house without an agent, but not sure if it’s the right decision for you? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to selling a house by owner vs with an agent. Read on to learn some of the pros and cons of selling by owner.
A typical FSBO home sells for $60,000 less than an agent assisted sale ($190,000 vs. $249.000). Why? Because selling a house by owner isn’t as easy as you think.
It’s understandable to want to save as much money as possible, but is it the best option for you? Let’s look at the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.
Option A: Selling a House by Owner – Doing It Yourself
Why Consider It?
Let’s start with the positive aspects of selling your own home. The most common reason that homeowners choose to sell on their own is to save on commission fees. Depending on the monetary value of your home, you could save thousands of dollars (as compared to traditional real estate sales transactions) if the perfect buyer comes along fast.
Living in a high-traffic area, or having homes listed for sale near you, gives you a better chance of getting your for sale signs noticed. That’s something to take into consideration.
Another reason to consider this option is having complete control over the entire process. For example, you will decide how and where to market your home, what price to list at, how and when to negotiate, and how to prep your home for best selling-appeal.
Your Responsibilities as an Independent Seller
Things that an agent would usually do, but you’ll have to take care of if you choose to sell on your own, are:
- Preparing your home for listing and showings
- Hiring a photographer
- Pricing according to the market
- Getting your photos on real estate related websites (A few major ones are only available to licensed agents)
- Buying and installing signs
- Advertising online and offline
- Qualifying buyers
- Dealing with difficult people and buyers
- Holding an open house
- Being available whenever a potential buyer has a question (Sometimes these questions involve legal matters)
- Showing your home
- Legal and real estate transaction paperwork
- Learning the laws and regulations for home sales
- Hiring a title company or title lawyer and arranging for closing
- Paying buyers fees to your buyer’s agent
Option B: Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home
Traditionally, professional real estate agent gets about a 5-6% commission on the sale price of a home. It’s rare, but some real estate companies, like VerraTerra, offer lower fixed-rate fees too.
What Am I Paying an Agent For?
Think of it this way, would you represent yourself in a court trial? You have to look at real estate services like you would when hiring a lawyer. You are paying for their expertise and contacts.
Convenience is a consideration too. Letting someone else do it for you frees up a ton of time and headaches.
Let’s face it; we become attached to our homes. When it comes time to sell, emotions get involved, and it’s stressful. It’s stressful for your buyer too.
That can sometimes lead to difficult situations. Hiring a third-party who knows what they’re doing helps reduce the emotional stress and conflict between parties.
Done For You
Listing fees may seem expensive at first until you consider all the tasks and responsibilities that a competent agent is doing for you. Remember that list up at the top of all the things you’ll be responsible for as a do-it-yourself home seller? Your agent will take care of every one of them and act as counsel along the way.
Real estate agents have a database of potential clients, and they are the first ones that a buyer tends to contact when in the market for a new house. They are in contact with other agents who have clients looking as well. Agents are in a position to sell your home faster because of their contact and networking opportunities.
What’s the Bottom Line?
It’s unfortunate that over 90% of those who try selling a house by owner, fail. But only you know what’s best for your situation. Use the info presented above to weigh your options.
Still have questions? Let us know in the comments.
I agree it depends on the situation of the seller. If they have the time and experience to sell their own home then they can sell it without an agent. Great blog by the way and thanks for sharing.