How to FSBO: Should You Sell Your Home Yourself?

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If selling your home is on your to-do list, you may be wondering if you should call an agent or list it for sale by owner (FSBO). Deciding to call an agent can seem daunting because of the amount of money it could cost. However, there are some factors that you should consider. Let’s take a look at each option below. 

When to Sell Your Own Home

Although agents are useful in some instances, they’re not always needed. Below are some of the top reasons people choose to list their home for sale by owner.

Save Money

A top reason sellers choose to list a home as FSBO is to save money. Agents typically take 6% of the sale price, which is split between the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent.

While a 3-6% savings may not sound like much, it can amount to tens of thousands of dollars on the sale of a home. When choosing whether to hire an agent, many people factor in this amount.

You Already Have a Buyer Lined Up

When there’s high demand in the housing market, many people already know someone interested in buying their house. If this is you and both parties can agree on a price, you might think about foregoing an agent.

In this case, much of the work of finding a buyer is already done. Attorneys and mortgage lenders could potentially help you manage the remaining steps. This can mean less time for the closing process.

Feeling Out the Market

You might consider FSBO if you aren’t yet certain you really want to sell. Listing a home yourself is easy — it’s the marketing and paperwork that aren’t so simple. This is one way to see if there are any interested buyers without worrying about extra fees at the beginning.

Reasons to Consider Using an Agent

Often, the best move is to work with an agent. Take a look below to learn what benefits this choice can provide. 

Guidance Through the Process

Listing your home for sale isn’t a complicated task, but other steps in the process are. A real estate agent is a helpful guide through the home-selling process. They can take some of the stress and confusion off of you.

Handling offers from buyers is when reality starts to set in for many homeowners because large numbers start getting thrown around. A real estate agent can provide clarity on a formal offer and determine the sincerity of a potential buyer.

From there, they can walk you through the negotiations and then the contract process. Once your house is under contract, a real estate agent can help with the details of your closing. Additionally, they can help you avoid legal risks associated with selling a home and ensure you are protected. 

Provide Knowledge About Improvements

Needing to make improvements to a home before selling can be difficult enough. Making the wrong improvements can make it worse. Real estate agents are valuable in this area, as they also work with buyers. That gives them insider knowledge into what buyers look for and where you could invest your money to increase your asking price.

Capture High-Quality Photos

A picture can most definitely be worth a thousand words for real estate transactions. The first thing most people see when looking for a home is the listing picture. It’s your opportunity to make a great first impression.

A real estate agent knows how to frame pictures to highlight a home’s key selling points and leave out the unflattering parts. Some agents use a professional photographer, as this is a very important step.

Keep You From Showing the House

Showing the house can be extremely inconvenient, particularly if you are unavailable when a buyer wants to tour the home. Consider the number of home tours that need to be done to find an interested party. Then, once someone is interested, they may want to tour it again before going under contract.

After that, you’d need to be present for inspections and appraisals. Finally, the buyers will likely want to do a final walkthrough on the day of the sale.

All this can add up to dozens of appointments with no guarantee that any of them will result in a sale. A real estate agent takes the stress off the seller by doing this time-consuming part for them. 

Can Get More for Your Home

Although most people list FSBO properties to save money, you may be surprised that it can actually cost you more to sell this way. Real estate agents typically get a higher selling price than you would if you listed FSBO.

Some studies show that a real estate agent may earn up to 32% more for home sales. This is pretty remarkable, considering foregoing an agent can save you around 3%. In many cases, you’ll make more using an agent than you could save by selling it yourself. 

You may wonder how this is possible. An agent has the ability to list homes where the average person cannot and the best places to do it. They also have connections with other agents as well as buyers and resources you may not.

What to Do Next

There is no simple answer to whether you should choose FSBO or hire an agent. However, you should consider your personal situation and determine what makes sense for you.In the meantime, also consider what you will do when your house does sell. Being able to move out quickly can be beneficial, and having somewhere lined up to move into is a very important part of the selling process. This might require you to take out a mortgage loan until you receive payment for your home. If you do not have somewhere to move or haven’t obtained another mortgage, a real estate agent can help you negotiate extra time in the contract for your move. If you are a first-time home seller, an agent can be a valuable tool.