Sell Your Home Without An Agent: 9 Pros And Cons

So, you’re thinking of selling your house. That is exciting! However, all the work it may involve can also be overwhelming. First, you are faced with a tough decision on whether to enlist the help of a real estate agent or sell your home without one.  

Many homeowners today go the ‘For Sale By Owner’ (FSBO) route. In fact, 7% of home sales in 2023 were FSBO, and you can follow suit. However, this is not a walk in the park. Like any other method of selling a house, there are advantages and disadvantages that you must weigh in.  

That is what this article is about. In this reading, you’ll learn the benefits and challenges of selling a house without an agent. So, read on. 

The Benefits Of FSBO 

Selling your home without an agent offers several potential benefits. This includes the following: 

You Can Save Money 

Selling a house is never cheap. There are tons of expenses to account for. However, one of the biggest line items is the real estate agent’s commission. You’re typically looking at forking over 5-6% of that sale price just for their cut alone. So, on a USD$300,000 home, you may spend USD$18,000 to USD$24,000 just in commission fees! That’s a serious chunk of money. 

But if you go FSBO, you can enjoy your home’s full worth. If you are a first-time seller or just someone who really watches their budget, this cost savings is something you should weigh in. After all the work of prepping and listing your home, it just feels so much better to be able to keep more of those profits to yourself. 

You Have Control Over The Process  

When you list your home with an agent, you’re essentially handing over the reins to them.  They’ll handle everything from pricing and marketing to showings and negotiations.  

While this is a great option for some, others prefer to have more control over the selling process. Selling FSBO gives you the freedom to make all the decisions yourself. You get to set the asking price, choose how to market your property and decide which offers to accept.  

You Can Sell The House In Your Terms 

Crop close up of realtor give keys to man buyer or renter buying first home from agency. Real estate agent or broker congratulate male tenant with house or flat purchase. Ownership, rental concept.

Life doesn’t always follow a rigid schedule. When you work with an agent, you may need to adjust your own schedule to accommodate showings or open houses.  

Selling the house on your own allows you to set the terms for when your home is available for viewing. This can be a major benefit if you have a busy work or family life. 

You Can Sell The House Faster 

While there’s no guarantee, some people believe that you can sell your house fast if you’re an FSBO seller. In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted that 77% of FSBO homes were sold in less than two weeks! This can happen for a few reasons.  

First, you might be more motivated to sell quickly without the agent’s commission hanging in the balance. Second, you can potentially make the negotiation faster by communicating directly with the buyer. This can ring true if you’re targeting cash buyers who are ready to pounce and not waiting on mortgage approvals or anything. 

You Can Build Lasting Relationships With Buyers  

Handling the sale yourself allows you to build personal relationships with prospective buyers in a way you just can’t when going through an agent. And for some unique properties or homes with a compelling story behind them, making that direct connection can be hugely beneficial.  

As the owner, you know all the charming details and highlights that make your place special. By running point on marketing and showings, you can really tailor your messaging and play up the specific draws that will resonate with different buyers’ interests. 

Fostering that personal bond could be the key to finding your home’s perfect new owners and getting them to really envision themselves there.

With all these benefits, there is still no denying that going FSBO isn’t for everyone. In the next section, you’ll learn the challenges you might face as an FSBO seller and see how a real estate agent can help address these hurdles. 

The Challenge Of FSBO 

Here are some challenges you must consider if you’re thinking of selling your house on your own: 

You Have To Wear Many Hats 

Even if you are selling the most beautiful house out there, you still must put effort into it. Like any other marketing technique, going FSBO involves a ton of behind-the-scenes work—from snapping those magazine-worthy listing photos to crafting descriptions that really make your place shine.  

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also have to coordinate showings, field questions from prospective buyers, handle the paperwork, and negotiate offers like a pro. If you’ve got a full-time job or other big commitments already, selling your home could affect a chunk of your schedule. 

You May Not Set The Price Right 

Setting the right price for your home is trickier than you might think. List it too high, and you run the risk of it just sitting on the market for months, deterring any interested buyers. But price it too low, and you’re leaving money on the table that could’ve been yours.  

This is another challenge if you choose to sell your house on your own. As reported by NAR, 15% of FSBO sellers found it hard to get the right price. Meanwhile, real estate agents bring years of experience and in-depth market knowledge to help nail that competitive but fair price point that attracts offers without undervaluing your property.  

If you’re set on going FSBO, be prepared to do some serious research and maybe even get a professional appraisal to determine that ideal listing price. 

You Might Not Reach The Right Audience  

One of the biggest advantages of partnering with a real estate agent is their wide network of contacts and potential buyers. That connection can increase your home’s exposure to the right audiences.  

As an FSBO seller, you’ll have to get extra creative with your marketing approach to drum up interest. Sure, online listings are an absolute must these days. But think yard signs, social media promotion, local ads—you’ll want to pull out all the stops to make sure you’re reaching the maximum number of qualified buyers. 

You May Find It Hard To Qualify Your Buyers  

Not every person who expresses interest in your home is going to be an equally qualified, serious buyer. Some may be pre-approved and ready to pull the trigger tomorrow. Others could just be idly browsing or fishing for a steal without any true intention of following through.  

Agents are well-versed in vetting potential buyers, so you don’t waste your time catering to an unsure buyer. But, if you are going FSBO, you need to learn how to qualify prospects yourself so you can prioritize the right audience.  

While the potential cost savings and control of the FSBO process are attractive, these challenges shouldn’t be overlooked. Weighing them in will help you better decide on how you’ll sell your home. 

In Conclusion 

Selling a house on your own can be a rewarding experience, offering you greater control and potentially saving you money on commission fees. However, it’s important to be realistic about the time commitment and challenges involved. 

Ultimately, the best approach depends on your individual circumstances and comfort level.  By carefully considering the pros and cons of both FSBO and using a real estate agent, you can make the best decision that leads to a successful home sale.