For Sale By Owner vs. Realtor: Which Option Is Better?

What are the differences between selling a house by owner or with a realtor?

If you’re considering putting your house on the market, you might be weighing the benefits of selling by owner vs. using a realtor. While hiring a real estate agent is often easier, each approach has its advantages depending on your circumstances.

What are the benefits of selling your home with a realtor?

Selling a house can be a full-time job. Balancing it with your existing job and family responsibilities can be challenging. Here’s where a realtor comes in, handling various time-consuming and stressful tasks:

  • Staging and photography: Real estate companies often work with home stagers and professional photographers to showcase your house in the best light, making it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Pricing: With their understanding of the local market, realtors can help price your house right, appealing to buyers while maximizing profit. This reduces the risk of over or underpricing your home.
  • Marketing: Licensed real estate agents have access to the Multi Listing Service (MLS), the primary platform used by buying agents to find properties for their clients. As an FSBO seller, you won’t be able to post your listing on MLS.
  • Showings: Open houses and one-on-one showings can be handled by your realtor, saving you from changing your schedule or leaving work early to meet potential buyers. Many buyers also prefer viewing a house with a third party present.
  • Legal paperwork: Realtors undergo regular training to stay up to date with legal processes. If you sell FSBO, consider hiring a real estate lawyer to ensure everything is done by the book.

Curious about buying a new home? Learn more about how to prepare for buying a home and the best time to buy.

What are the benefits of selling a house by owner?

The main advantage of selling a house without a realtor is the potential savings. Realtors typically receive a 6% commission on the sale price, split evenly between the seller’s and buyer’s agents. On a $350,000 listing, that’s $10,500 to the seller’s agent and $10,500 to the buyer’s agent. By selling FSBO, you can keep that extra money in your pocket.

However, it’s important to note that you’ll likely still need to pay a commission to the buyer’s agent, usually around 3% of the sale price. This is standard practice, but you may be able to negotiate the amount.

When should you consider selling a house without a realtor?

There are a couple of scenarios where selling a house without a realtor might be a good idea. One is if you already have an interested buyer, such as a family member or neighbor. In this case, you can save on marketing costs and the hassle of showings, and still keep the commission in your pocket. Just remember that hiring a real estate attorney to handle the legal aspects can be a worthwhile investment.

Another situation is if you have a strong knowledge of the real estate industry or are a realtor yourself. With your expertise and connections, you can handle the selling process yourself and avoid paying a commission to a seller’s agent.

Get a quote

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