When it comes to selling your home, there’s an option to sell without a real estate agent—it’s called For Sale by Owner (FSBO). You don’t come across it often because most people recognize that it’s not worth the hassle. If you’re considering this route, there are a few good reasons why you might want to avoid it.
Your experience with the market means you’ll need to spend a lot of time learning about real estate, learning how to market and sell your home, staging it, taking photos, writing copy that sells and doing everything yourself that a real estate agent would normally do for you. If you are limited on time, it’s never a good idea to go with FSBO as you will quickly feel overwhelmed by the large learning curve and time investment ahead of you.
While the main reason sellers choose this option is to save on that commission fee, at the end of the day, the mistake you might make in pricing your home could cost you. Homes sold through agents tend to be bought sooner and sell for a higher price than those sold through FSBO. You’ll also be on the line to pay for all the marketing, listing and staging fees, and that will add up fast. An agent will cover these fees up front.
Real estate agents are required to have Errors and Omissions Insurance which protects them in case any mistakes are made in the contracts. If you sell on your own, you will not be protected, and savvy buyers will exploit this, making you potentially liable for a lot of money.
Setting the right price is the difference between a beneficial sale and keeping your home on the market for a long time. As a seller, you are not in the best position to understand the market and what the appropriate value of your home is. Set the price low and buyers will assume there is something wrong with the home. Set the price too high and you’ll have it on the market for a long time. Not only will the agent set the best price, they protect you from low-ball offers from investors who take advantage of FSBO sellers’ inexperience.