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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home Without a Realtor®

By Sarah Hordusky

So you’re thinking about selling your home without a Realtor® because it seems like a great way to save some money and make more of the profit. It doesn’t seem hard, right? You’ll end up doing a little extra work in exchange for not paying a commission. While you can sell your house without a Realtor®, that doesn’t mean you should. Selling a home yourself isn’t as easy as you might think, and it could end up costing you more money in the long run!

Keep reading to learn why selling your house without a Realtor® can actually cost you money.

Why You Shouldn't Sell Without a Realtor

When you sell your home without a Realtor® by your side, you can make serious mistakes that will affect how much your home sells for. Data shows that you will get more for your house by using a real estate agent to competitively price it, market it, and negotiate on your behalf to ensure your house gets to settlement. 

If you were sick, you would not diagnose and prescribe medications for yourself; instead, you would seek the advice of a medical professional. The wealthiest people have a team of advisors around them - they understand the value of financial advisors, lenders, lawyers, real estate agents, and so on. They do not waste time "doing it themselves" because they understand that their time is better spent on areas in which they are experts.

As real estate agents, we have extensive knowledge on the market, the area, and can appropriately price your house based on its value (no, Zillow Zestimates are not always accurate).

What Happens When You Sell FSBO

“For sale by owner” (FSBO) means that a property is being offered for sale directly by the owner rather than through the services of a Realtor® or broker. Many people choose FSBO because they think they will save a ton of money that way. Here are 5 reasons why you should reconsider hiring a Realtor® instead of choosing FSBO.

1. This is One of the Biggest Financial Events in Your Life

Statistics show that FSBO homes tend to sell for approximately 26% less than homes that are sold with an experienced Realtor®. When you sell FSBO, you will be negotiating with an experienced agent who is more likely to succeed in the negotiation which in turn means less money in your pocket. Even if you have sales experience, you don’t have specialized experience in negotiating a home sale.

Hire an experienced Realtor® who does this for a living, one who is an expert in the market and understands the legal documents very well.

2. Lack of Resources and Expertise

FSBO sellers do not have access to the same resources or expertise a real estate agent has. Selling your home is a major transaction that can lead to big problems if something goes wrong. 

Without a real estate agent’s expertise and guidance, you are at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding the offers you receive. You can easily accept an offer and miss that the offer included seller's assistance, a home warranty, or other specifications, and by the time you realize it, you’ve signed a legally binding contract that is difficult to break.  Not to mention, Realtors® have a database of vendors they regularly use, such as painters, plumbers, and electricians, that they can recommend when needed throughout the transaction! 

Realtors® also know how to market and negotiate to get you the best deal. When you sell your house FSBO, buyers will likely try to give low offers because the house is not competing with all the other houses on the market listed by other Realtors®. I have seen it happen! I recently helped family members out of state sell a house, and before it came on the market, they had multiple buyers come through and give low offers, yet when they listed it with an agent, they received multiple offers that were significantly more than the best offer they received before they listed it! Putting the sale in an experienced agent’s hands that knows the local market resulted in the sellers making more money, even after paying the commission, compared to if they would have sold it themselves.

3. Emotions Run High

Selling your home on your own might seem like an easy sale, but in reality, it makes it much more difficult to get the best price and terms without a real estate agent working on your behalf. Emotions and feelings get involved and can affect negotiations. Plus, when you list your house FSBO, you may be negotiating against a Realtor® who is an expert at negotiating the sale of homes, which puts you at a disadvantage from the start. It helps to have an agent advocate on your behalf to prevent emotions from getting involved! Without having an agent to ensure you get the best price and terms, you will likely end up selling it for less than you wanted.

4. Buyers Prefer Homes Listed by Agents

Many buyers do not typically enjoy touring FSBO’s because of the awkwardness that ensues and the feeling of being put on the spot by the seller as they tour the house. Buyers may be quick to get out of there and not give the house a full look. This prevents potential offers from coming in. Many clients have told me that when they see a FSBO they wonder what is wrong with the house since the seller wouldn't use a Realtor®!

5. Real Estate is a Full-Time Job

When you sell without a Realtor®, it’s all on you to get it done. This includes the many phone calls and showings, reviewing and understanding offers, negotiating against an experienced agent, understanding the necessary paperwork, and knowing what you need to do to get to the closing table. It is a lot of work! When you consider selling your house FSBO, you should ask yourself if you really have the time to be 100% involved in every aspect of the deal. 

Why You Should Hire an Experienced Realtor®

Overall, the money you think you will save by selling your home without a Realtor® will actually cost you more money in the long run. The amount you  pay for an experienced Realtor® significantly offsets the amount of money and time you would have spent selling it on your own! Why not save yourself time and make more money by working with a real estate agent that is excited to sell your beautiful home? Selling a house is one of the biggest financial events in your lifetime, and adding an expert to the process will pay you back infinitely. 

The selling process doesn't have to be riddled with stress. When you find the right agent, the journey can actually be enjoyable. If you're considering selling, reach out to me, Sarah Hordusky.

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