Sell Your House by Owner: The Right Path for You?

Dec 22, 2023 | Selling

Home » Sell Your House by Owner: The Right Path for You?

If you’re thinking about selling your home, one of the first questions that often comes up is whether to go the “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) route or hire a realtor. Making this decision to sell your house by owner requires consideration of various factors, such as your availability, knowledge of the local market, and comfort level with negotiations. Below, we’ll explain the pros and cons of each approach so you can make a decision that aligns with your goals and maximizes the potential value of your property.

Understanding For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and Realtors

So what exactly does for sale by owner (FSBO) mean? Simply put, it means selling your home yourself without the assistance of a realtor. Sounds empowering, right? You get to call all the shots, from setting the price to scheduling showings and negotiating deals.

Yet, hiring a realtor means you have a professional by your side. They handle all the nitty-gritty details, drawing on their experience, local market knowledge, and network of contacts to help you get the best deal. Did you know that about 89% of sellers use a real estate agent during the process?

The FSBO Route: Pros and Cons

Let’s start with the good news. When you sell your house by owner, it can save you some bucks – we’re talking about the commission you’d typically pay a realtor, which can be around 6% of the home’s sale price. Plus, you have total control over the process. Want to schedule a showing at 10 PM? No problem!

But here’s the flip side. Selling a home isn’t just about sticking a ‘For Sale’ sign in your front yard. You’ll need to handle everything from marketing your home to understanding legal paperwork. It’s like being a one-person orchestra – doable but potentially stressful.

The legal paperwork when you sell your house by owner starts with the listing agreement, outlining the terms under which your home is being offered for sale. Second is a thorough seller’s disclosure that provides a comprehensive overview of your home’s condition. This document should include detailed information about any defects or necessary repairs. It is a legal requirement in many states aimed to protect the buyer. Third is the drafting of the purchase agreement, a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. This includes the price, closing date, any contingencies, and what’s included in the sale. Lastly, you’ll need to handle closing documents, which transfer the property title to the buyer. Handling these documents requires a sound understanding of real estate law, so it is advisable to consult with a real estate attorney.

The Realtor Route: Benefits and Drawbacks

Now, let’s talk about hiring a realtor. The biggest perk? They’re seasoned pros. They sell homes for a living, so they know the ins and outs of the market like the back of their hand. They’ll also handle all the details, from staging your home to negotiating the best deal.

But (and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming), this expertise comes at a cost. Realtors charge a commission, which is usually a percentage of the sale price. Typically, the commission is a percentage of the home’s sale price, usually around 5-6%. This fee is often split between the buyer’s and the seller’s agents. For instance, if your home sells for $250,000 and the commission is 6%, the total realtor fees would be $15,000. It’s worth noting that commission rates can sometimes be negotiated, depending on the realtor and the local market conditions.

Choosing the realtor path provides a largely hands-off experience for you during the home-selling process. The expertise and knowledge they bring can be invaluable, especially in tricky negotiations or complex market situations. However, this comes at a financial cost in the form of a commission fee.

You can find a trusted local agent in your area with our Realtor Finder.

Choosing Your Path: FSBO or Realtor?

So, which option will you choose: FSBO or realtor? If you’re confident in your sales skills and have the time to commit, FSBO might be your path. But if the thought of handling legal paperwork makes you break out in a cold sweat, a realtor might be worth the investment.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Take your time, weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision that feels right for you. After all, selling your home is not just about closing a deal – it’s about starting a new chapter in your life. And that’s something worth getting right.

At, we’re here to guide you through every step of your real estate journey. Understanding the pros and cons of selling “For Sale By Owner” is just one of the many resources we provide to help you achieve your real estate goals.

Keep exploring our many helpful articles and resources, and stay informed on the latest news. Sign up here for news on what’s important to you. Your real estate dreams await! With as your partner, you have the power to make them yours.

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