Some people are very successful at selling their home themselves. However, it does require work. When people tell me that they are going to sell themselves because they want to save the commission, the fact is they actually are going to earn the commission they expect to save. But not all of it. Many FSBO (for sale by owners) end up paying the buyer’s agents some commission, usually 3 percent.

One of the biggest problems with a FSBO is the difficulty in showing the home because the owner works. Another complication: it is always better if the owner is not present when a prospective buyer sees the home, but if you’re the agent too, you need to be there, and typically at the buyer’s convenience. Another potential concern is having a perfect stranger knocking on your door wanting to see your home. Real estate agents sell most homes, so a FSBO needs to market the home to all the other agents for the best chance of selling it. Even in the hottest of hot markets not all FSBO’s sell, you have to price your home correctly, make it easily available to show, and market it effectively. And don’t get overly emotional or take the negotiations too personally.

You may be tempted to put a sign on your lawn and handle the transaction yourself, but that would not be wise.  You think you are going to save money by not having to pay commission fees, but you could end up paying more.  Why?

  • The buyer knows that you are saving money and will negotiate accordingly. They will factor in the money you are saving by not paying commission and offer accordingly. Also that buyer may bring their own agent who is experienced at negotiating. It may put you are a disadvantage.
  • When it comes to negotiating you may not be able to keep your emotions at bay, and negotiating is a large part of the process. You are not just going to have a back and forth over the purchase price, but the inspections may present more hurdles to climb over. Who is going to be advising you on the best course of action?
  • Are you going to want to handle all the showings that come with listing your home? Buyers will want to see your home at the drop of a hat, and it is not a good idea for the seller to be present when they come by. Open houses are a good way to showcase your home. Having the seller there can make buyers uncomfortable.
  • Do you know what is involved in the long escrow process. You as a seller have certain contingencies which must be met and you are going to have to stay on top of the buyer to meet theirs. The Purchase Contract favors the buyer, so having someone in your corner making sure nothing falls through the cracks is a good idea.
  • Selling a home can be a stressful process. Using the services of a real estate agent can help relieve some of if and make your life easier.