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For Sale By Owner vs Realtor: Which Should You Use?

Every year, more than 5.5 million homes are sold in the United States. Are you interested in selling your home?

When it comes to selling their home, many people assume that their only option is to hire a realtor. That’s not necessarily the case, though. You can also sell your house yourself — also known as for sale by owner or FSBO.

There are both pros and cons to selling your home by owner and selling it with a realtor.

If you’re not sure where you stand on the FSBO vs realtor debate, keep reading. Explained below are some reasons why you might want to choose (or avoid) one option over the other.

FSBO Pros and Cons

When you sell your house yourself, you cut out the middle man and avoid the process of having to hire a realtor and communicate with them to handle showings and other aspects of the sales process.

The following are some of the most well-known benefits and drawbacks of selling your house on your own:

Pros

One of the greatest benefits of selling your house yourself is the fact that you get to keep more money from the sale.

There’s no need to pay a real estate agent a percentage of the sales price — this means you get to keep thousands of dollars in your pocket, or maybe even tens of thousands of dollars.

When you work alone, you get to maintain total control over the sale. You set the sales price, you control what repairs and renovations you do, and you get to control when people are able to come and look at the house.

If you prefer to stay in control, selling your house on your own is definitely the way to go.

When you take the FSBO approach, you also don’t have to deal with a realtor who may be stretched too thin and have more clients than they can handle.

You don’t have to worry about being someone’s last priority, and you get to dedicate your full attention to the sale.

Cons

Of course, there are drawbacks to selling your house by owner, too.

It’s true that you can make more money when you sell your house yourself, but that’s only the case if you are able to make the sale.

If you’re not working with a realtor, it can be hard to set the right price for your house and market it on a grand enough scale for people to learn about it and come check it out.

Selling your house by owner can take a long time, too.

Between trying to figure out the best selling price, spreading the word that it’s for sale, and orchestrating showing open houses, selling a house is a full-time job.

If you already have another full-time job, you’re probably not going to have a ton of extra time to dedicate to the sale, and your chances of selling quickly are pretty slim.

Realtor Pros and Cons

Now that you know more about the pros and cons of selling your house on your own, let’s go over some of the pros and cons of selling your house with the help of a realtor.

Listed below are some reasons why you might want to do this and some reasons why you might want to work alone:

Pros

One of the main benefits of hiring a real estate agent is the fact that you get to work with a seasoned professional.

Working with a real estate agent takes all the guesswork out of the equation. It lets you focus more on finding your dream home and less on the minutiae of putting a house on the market.

Speaking of finding your dream home, real estate agents can also help you find a new home more easily. They have access to tons of listings that you might never know about otherwise.

As this real estate agent points out, when you hire a professional to help you sell your house, you also get help with the negotiation process.

A realtor makes it easier for you to sell your house at the price you want (and set the right price, to begin with), and they handle all the paperwork and housekeeping issues for you, too.

Real estate agents also can put you in contact with lots of other professionals.

If you need to hire a contractor to orchestrate repairs on your house or find a good landscaper to clean up the exterior, they can help you find an affordable service to get the job done.

Cons

Of course, it does cost more money to work with a real estate agent than to do the job yourself. If you’re working with a really tight budget, it might not be in your best interest to hire a professional to help you sell your house.

Some real estate agents are working with more clients than they can handle, too. This can leave you feeling like just another client and can make it hard for you to get one-on-one time.

When you hire a real estate agent, you also are at the mercy of someone else’s schedule. This can make it hard for you to coordinate meeting times and make arrangements to go look at houses or have people come and look at yours.

When you work alone, it can be easier to set and stick to a timeline that works best for yourself and your needs.

FSBO vs Realtor: Which Do You Choose?

As you can see, there are pros and cons to selling your home by owner or selling it with the help of a realtor.

Now that you know more about the benefits and drawbacks of each option, do you know where you stand on the FSBO vs realtor debate?

If you’re still on the fence, it might help to learn more about the real estate industry and how much work goes into selling a house.

Start by checking out this article on best-kept secrets of the real estate industry. You’ll be amazed at what you learn!

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