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For Sale By Owner Vs. Realtor: Which Is Best?

Deciding to sell your home isn't always an easy decision, but it gets even tougher when you're faced with a choice between selling It yourself or enlisting the help of a Realtor.



For Sale by Owner vs. Realtor

The truth is, both options have their advantages, and ultimately, only you can decide which one is right for you. But to help you figure it out, let's take a look at both sides of each coin.

For Sale by Owner vs Realtor: Listing it Yourself

More and more homeowners are deciding to take the DIY route when selling their homes for many different reasons. It's certainly not the right choice for everybody and it's important to consider all of the following information.


One of the best parts about listing a home yourself is the commission fee you'll save in the process. The typical commission would be around 6% of the total sale price – paid at closing. So if you're selling your home without a Realtor, you could possibly save thousands of dollars in fees.

However, without the help of a Realtor, you will have to list, stage, and show the house yourself. This is not only time consuming, but the process could end up costing you hundreds – possibly even thousands of dollars before everything is said and done.

Also, just because you sell the house yourself doesn't mean you avoid all of the fees. In most cases, the selling process includes a 3% commission from the buyer's agent.


When selling a home, you want to get as much marketing visibility as possible. If you're selling it yourself, you won't have access to the Multi-Listing Service used by Realtors. That means you'll have to get creative by putting ads in magazines, newspapers and listing it online.

While you won't gain the visibility that a Realtor would, you can still manage to get your listing in front of as many potential buyers as possible with a limited amount of resources.


Just like with any legal transaction, there is usually room for negotiations when selling a house. Without the help of a Realtor, you will have to handle all of these negotiations by yourself which can be confusing and time-consuming.

With an FSBO home, you have to make sure you are confident and comfortable having these types of discussions while still managing to get a fair deal at the end of it all.

For Sale by Owner vs. Realtor: Using a Realtor

Even though many homeowners decide to sell the property themselves, the vast majority of people still decide to hire a Realtor to help simplify the whole process. While using a Realtor might cost you more in fees, it could also save you a lot of time and energy.


According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical FSBO home sells for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted sales.

Not only do homes tend to sell for more money with the help of a Realtor, but they also tend to sell much quicker because of the professional assistance and resources provided along the way.


One of the main perks of using a Realtor is the fact you can get in the MLS and get your home in front of a huge pool of active buyers. If you've ever tried to market a house by yourself, you can imagine how much time and effort this could save you.

Not only that, but homes that sit on the market for a longer period of time tend to sell for much less at closing. With the help of an agent, you can likely sell your home much faster than if you were to go it alone.


The ins and outs of the real estate world can be intimidating for someone without the experience to go with it. This is especially true when it comes to negotiating with a buyer's agent, attorneys, appraisers, and financial institutions. All of which is necessary for the successful completion of the sale.

This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of hiring a Realtor, one that is highly-skilled at handling these types of long and complicated transactions. They will take care of all the negotiations for you and you won't have to worry about a thing.

Owner vs. Realtor Final Thoughts

Selling a home is a big step in someone's life, and deciding between doing it yourself or using a Realtor doesn't make things any easier. While some homeowners might enjoy the challenge of the FSBO process, others would do better at leaving it to the professionals.

Understanding what the transaction requires, along with the amount of skill and time needed is what will allow you to make an educated decision that is right for you, your family, and your investment.

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