October 24th, 2016 at 11:00 am

for sale by owner

Thinking of selling your home on your own, without the assistance of an experienced real estate professional? It might sound tempting, especially in a sellers’ market and if you see your neighbors’ homes going for top dollar. Plus, there’s no law against selling a home without the assistance of a licensed agent.

But just because you know your home better than anyone else doesn’t mean you’re the best salesperson for the job. Going the FSBO (for sale by owner) route might work in your favor, but then again, it could be a negative experience on a number of levels: researching comparable home values, marketing costs, legal fees, time spent preparing for and holding open houses, inspections, negotiations and counteroffers, trips to places like an escrow firm or, if the property sells, the county recorder’s office. Skipping the agent commission is a big motivator, but when all the transaction’s costs are factored in, FSBO might not be such a good financial decision after all.

Got lots of time?

FSBO is an option reserved for the most independent-minded home sellers, as well as those with experience in related sales or marketing businesses. If you were to go solo, you’d need to have the time, energy, and ability to handle all the details.

There’s no shortage of books, websites, and companies that claim to help with FSBO. But some statistics from the 2015 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers could give you pause:


Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:

To sell your house by yourself, you must learn the legal rules that govern real estate transfers in your state, such as who must sign the paperwork, who can conduct the actual transaction, and what to do if and when encumbrances are discovered that slow down the transfer of ownership. You also must find out if there are any state-mandated disclosures as to the physical condition of your house, and even disclose if the home is linked to an undesirable past.

Work with an experienced real estate agent and…

Just remember, there are lots of good reasons to work with a licensed real estate agent when selling your home. Here are a few:

Ask an agent

If you’re still not convinced, you can talk to one of our agents who is an expert in your community.

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