Selling It: the Pros and Cons of for Sale by Owner

By: Marie Delci

Many people want to sell a home themselves to avoid paying a commission to a real estate professional on the sale of their home. I mean, if you've worked hard to gain equity, it is understandable to not want to lose any of it. However, a professional has a lot of experience, and it isn't like you are giving away money for nothing. Here are some pros and cons to taking on the sale of your home all by yourself.

Not only do you save money, but you get to do the marketing yourself. To some people, this is a fun process. Also, you know the home, so who better to sell it? Also, if your home has a niche market that you recognize, you are free to exploit that, and market to that target audience. Finally, you negotiate all your own terms. If you don't have legal experience, this can be daunting, but to some people who really prefer total creative control, this is a benefit.

However, marketing your home can be expensive. Also, you will need to deal with a lot of inquiries that don't turn into serious sales. Doing it all yourself means you need to deal, politely, with everyone that calls about your home. You will also need to show it to everyone that wants to see it. And while you may know a lot about your home, you don't really know what the buyers are looking for. For this reason, you may neglect to tell them something about the home that would turn out to be a selling point for them. Alternatively, you may stress aspects that you love, but they despise. You will also need to put up with criticism from viewers who don't like the home, or are pointing out all its flaws so they can negotiate a cheaper rate.

There is also evidence that homes for sale by owner sell much slower. Partly, this is because truly motivated buyers usually find a Realtor® to work with. Many people meandering about checking out FSBO homes probably don't have their current home listed yet, and are essentially just browsing.

Everyone needs to decide for themselves what is right for them. If you do decide to sell your home on your own, here's some advice. Keep in mind that you will need to price your home yourself. This can be challenging to do accurately. It is important to do your research to be sure your price isn't too low or too high.

Finally, consider your security risk when opening your home to strangers. Keep records of people's names and always tell a friend or family member when you will be showing your home, just in case something unpleasant happens.

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