Should I Sell My Home on My Own?

If you’re selling a property, you’ve probably heard at least one person say, “Why don’t you just sell it yourself and avoid the commission you’d have to pay to a real estate agent?”

Selling it yourself, or FSBO (For Sale By Owner), is not the yellow-brick road some people think it is.  For the vast majority of people who try it, they end up losing money, not saving it.

The next time someone tells you that you can save money by selling your home For Sale By Owner, you might want to ask them the following questions:

  1. “Have YOU ever successfully sold a home on your own?”

Not likely.  Most For Sale By Owner homes that were listed on the open market (not in a situation in which the seller and buyer knew each other) end up in the hands of a real estate agent within a few weeks.  Of the other percentage that don’t end up with an agent, most just drop off the market.

If they answer yes, then ask…

  1. “Did you get top dollar for your home?”

They’ll probably say “Yes”, but the truth is they probably don’t even know what top dollar was.  If you don’t work in real estate day-to-day, then you’re not exposed to constantly fluctuating home values based on what’s happening in the market at that exact moment.  Frankly, the buyers may have gotten a deal and the sellers would be none the wiser. Exposing your home to as many buyers as possible is just one of the ways to get top dollar for your home. I also have a variety of other tools to maximize the value of your home.

  1. “How did you get word out about the home for sale?”

If the answer is newspaper ads, a sign in the yard, hand-written notices on the supermarket corkboard, or flyers tacked to the wall in the church basement, the reality is that they were not even touching the tip of the iceberg of home-hunters.  The first place most people go is to a real estate agent who has access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or they begin searching online at one of many websites that advertise MLS listings. 

The MLS is operated and shared by professionals who know how to pinpoint the exact right buyer for a property.  This is something the average homeowner has no clue about, but something that real estate agents do every day.

Before you even think about going the FSBO route, understand that without the MLS the chances of people finding and buying your property are slim.  Plus, you won’t have anyone on your side to handle the pricing, the showing, the selling, and the negotiating.  A professional real estate agent handles it all for you so you don’t experience the headache of doing it on your own—while getting you top dollar that you couldn’t get For Sale By Owner.

These days, the real estate market is more challenging than it has been in a very long time. Buyers have become much savvier about negotiating a deal very strongly in their favor, and sellers must be armed with data-driven information based on accurate sales statistics.  Selling is difficult and the last thing you want to do is trust the sale of your most valuable asset to anyone less than a professional.