Listing your home... Realtor or FSBO?





Selling your house can be hard work, to be sure, whether you are doing so yourself or with a real estate agent. However, choosing to go FSBO (for sale by owner) can bring on challenges you may not have considered including:


- Going it alone means you won't have a professional to use as a sounding board for things like whether or not to perform competitive updates to your house, setting a contract price and how hard to negotiate with buyers.


- Experts tell you that the key to selling a house is getting a volume of traffic -- it is hard to dispute the 10 million hits that the nationwide MLS system gets each month for paid brokers.


- With more two-earner households, it is becoming harder for either individual to take time off work to show the house, attend inspections, etc. Most people greatly underestimate the amount of time it takes to sell their own home.


- Many people have a higher opinion of their marketing skills than they should. Highlighting the strengths of a home and downplaying the weaknesses is what real estate professionals receive special training in; FSBO sellers may only practice this skill once every 10 years.


- Security and privacy issues may be created if you begin having strangers coming to your house at all hours of the day or evening.


- Even as an FSBO seller, you may not escape paying a commission; if a buyer brings along a buyer's agent, you could still end up paying as much as a 3% commission.


- These challenges are among the reasons that most FSBO sellers ultimately hire an agent within 30-60 days, according to the National Association of Realtors.