Is It A Good Idea To Sell Your Home Yourself (‘For Sale By Owner’ or ‘FSBO’)?
Many people now are thinking of selling their home through a process called ‘For Sale By Owner’ (FSBO), where they do not involve a Real Estate Agent or other professionals – but sell the home themselves.
Let’s get the most obvious thing out the way first: this is a real estate website, focused on helping people find great Real Estate Agents.
So, of course we will have some bias on this.
However, this doesn’t mean that we think selling your home yourself – via a FSBO listing – is always a bad idea.
In fact, there are several advantages of selling your home yourself, but there are disadvantages as well – and most people who dive into this are not aware of these.
So, let’s examine this decision by looking at the pros and cons of both sides.
The Advantages Of Selling Your Home Yourself
1. Money – Or Is It?
Selling your home without the help of a professional can mean more money in your pocket.
The question you have to ask yourself is this: can this Agent sell my home for more than 5% higher than I can?
If an Agent is capable of selling your home for 5% or more than you can, it means they pay for themselves!
And anything above 5% is profit that you get to keep – in additional to avoiding all the hassle of doing this yourself.
There are many average Real Estate Agents out there who probably can’t sell your home for more than 5% than you can. So, if you’re considering using one of them, selling your home by yourself can seem quite tempting – and possibly a good idea.
However, there are also good Real Estate Agents out there who probably could sell your home for 5% more than you can – so you’re actually losing money by not using them.
2. Maintaining Control
Another advantage is a bit more control over the process.
For example, you’re able to decide the times for open houses and showings – although these can be dictated by buyers. But it would be completely up to you where and when you want to
However, the counter to this is that, firstly, a good Real Estate professional should let you control this anyway and, secondly, your advertising is bound to be a lot worse than that of a professional.
Check out our Top 5 Modern Home Advertising Techniques For Selling A Home and see how you’d score with these.
3. You Can Focus On The Sale
Unlike a Real Estate Agent – who might be selling many houses – you can focus on YOUR house, because you are only selling your own house.
It is obvious that you will have more interest in the sale than an Agent – there is no getting around that.
The Disadvantages Of Selling Your Home Yourself
1. One Mistake And All Those Savings Are Gone…
It’s easy when looking at this decision to get caught up in the amount you’re going to ‘save’ in commissions.
However, what people don’t consider is the costs if they make a bad decision along the way.
If you make a mistake somewhere in the process, not only could it cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs (completely wiping out those savings) but it could cost you the sale.
Real Estate Agents actually complete an entire training module on contracts and legal requirements of homes in Canada – so they have considerably more expertise in this than most people ever will.
2. It’s Easy To Do Things Wrong
If selling a home was that easy, Real Estate Agents would not exist as a profession.
Here’s the truth for you: badly selling a home is easy; correctly selling a home is difficult.
Just like you could represent yourself in court badly to save money, or pay a lawyer to do it correctly.
Most people don’t know the difference between ‘bad’ selling of a home and ‘good’ selling, so they naturally assume it’s easy.
However, there are good Agents out there and – as we previously discussed – a good Real Estate Agent doing a good job should pay for themselves.
3. It’s More Effort
Most people are already very busy and quite stressed with the normal events of their lives – from work to financials to family.
Adding the stress and effort of selling one of your highest valued and most important financial possessions isn’t always the best idea.
The effort required to sell a home at a good price is substantial.
It is not as simple as sticking a sign up in your lawn and that’s the job done – that’s a recipe for losing money and leaving so much money on the table that you’re probably going to get more than 5% less than using an Agent anyway.
Are You A Good Candidate To Sell Their Own Home?
Here are a list of things that – if you meet the criteria – I’d suggest you are a good candidate to sell your own home:
1. You’re good with numbers
The idea of building a valuation model to properly value your home and coming up with a pricing strategy doesn’t phase you.
2. You have spare time
You have the time to put the building blocks in place to sell your home – or you can put some other projects on hold to make the time.
3. You know a bit about marketing
You know enough to do some basic marketing for your home, so you don’t leave too much
money on the table.
4. You have plenty of contacts
You’re someone who can use friends and family to get things done and help you out. You have a wide network you can work, to help sell your home.
5. You’re a great negotiator
You can convince someone that the price you want is what they should pay and deal with the back forth stress of negotiations. Some people don’t like haggling when buying something – this is haggling on a different level!
6. You love paperwork
If you make one mistake on one document, it might not only cost you tens of thousands of dollars but it might cost you the sale completely – so you better love doing paperwork and making sure nothing gets missed.
In Conclusion – Should You Sell Your Home Yourself?
Selling your home is not impossible, but it is certainly not easy either.
If this challenge excites you and if you are willing to learn then it is not impossible managing selling your home without the help of an agent.
With some know-how and a lot of energy you can sell your house without the help of a Real Estate Agent and – even if you sell your home for 3% less than they could – you can save money.
However, a good Real Estate Agent should be able to pay for themselves by selling your home for more than 5% than you can – while giving you all the other parts of their service and taking the work off your hands for free.
Most importantly, never use a bad Agent to sell your home – then you might as well do it yourself.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you but we hope that this article helped.