Why it’s worth getting a pro to sell your home
When you sell your home yourself— also known as “for sale by owner” (FSBO) — it may seem like a great way to save thousands of dollars. After all, the standard real estate agent’s commission is 5% to 6%—that’s $12,500 to $15,000 on a $250,000 home.1 Given the size of this fee, you may think that acting as your own seller’s agent will surely be worth the savings. Here are eight reasons why you may want to reconsider.
- You might be tempted to avoid a real estate agent, save the commission, and just sell your home yourself—also known as “for sale by owner” (FSBO).
- While tempting, in most cases the risks of going it alone likely outweigh the benefits.
- Risks include having few potential buyers (let alone qualified buyers), making emotional decisions, not knowing how to negotiate properly, and not having enough free time to dedicate to finding a buyer.
- One of the biggest risks of FSBO is not having the experience or expertise to navigate all of the legal and regulatory requirements that come with selling a home.
1. Realtors May Not Show a “For Sale By Owner” Home
In an FSBO deal, the buyer’s agent knows there won’t be a professional colleague on the other end of the transaction. Even if a client insists on seeing your home, the agent might discourage making an offer, citing the hassles and risks of trying to close the deal without a professional representing the seller—and without a guaranteed commission.
“There are only two reasons why I show an FSBO: There is no other inventory available or the price is ridiculously low,” says Bruce Ailion, a realtor with RE/MAX Town & Country in Alpharetta, Ga., near Atlanta. Experienced brokers have generally been burned by an FSBO transaction in which the seller did not pay the full agreed commission—or any commission at all—to the agent who brought the buyer, says Ailion. “FSBO sellers are viewed as unrealistic, unreasonable, and difficult sellers whom professional realtors have rejected,” he says.