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FSBO vs. Realtor: How Should You Sell Your Home? 

Should you list your home by yourself or use a real estate agent? For some sellers, this can seem like a pretty tough question. There are MANY factors you need to consider before you decide to venture out on your own or to use an agent. Upnest.com put together a super handy tool to help you determine whether you are best equipped to sell your home on your own. Here are the 10 simple questions to help you determine the best option for you. 

FSBO vs Realtor Decision Checklist

1. What is your Home Value? 

2. Do you know how to stage your home and take HD photos?

3. It is common for homeowners to sell without agents in your area? 

4. Are homes selling above asking price in your area?

5. Would you consider hiring an agent if the listing commission is less than 3%? 

6. Do you know how to get your home listed on the MLS? 

7. Are you in a hurry? 

8. Can you devote 10+ hours a week communicating with buyers and showing your house to strangers?

9. Do you understand real estate contracts and your potential liability as a seller? 

10. Do you know the tactics in negotiating with agents and the different negotiating points besides price?

 

1. What is Your Home Value? 

The value of your home can be a pretty big indicator of whether you'll want to list the home by yourself versus using a Realtor. At the higher end of the home value scale, it makes sense why you'd likely want to use a Realtor. However, regardless of what you may 'think' your property is worth, it's important to actually know how to determine the value. Check out our article on setting the list price for more information determining your homes value. 

2. Do you know how to stage your home and take HD Photos? 

Staging your home can be a very important part of the selling process. Making sure that you can present your house in the best possible light for your listing is critical to the initial appeal of the house and the likelihood to be able to attract serious buyers. If photography is not a strong suit of yours, you'd do well wot work with a Realtor that has experience taking listing photographs. 

3. It is common for homeowners to sell without agents in your area? 

If most of the homes in your area are being sold with agents, you're better off using an agent since most buyers are used to discovering homes through their agents and/or the MLS. 

4. Are homes selling above asking price in your area? 

Using a Realtor will most likely help you get the best price for your home possible. If homes are selling at or above listing price, this is good news for you. You can leverage the Realtor to make sure that all negotiations on pricing are done with your best interest in mind. Read our blog to see what the experts say & learn why it may actually cost you more in the long run.

5. Would you consider hiring an agent if the listing commission is less than 3%? 

One of the major factors of sellers not wanting to work with a Realtor is the perceived cost of working with one. It's important to keep in mind that while it may be tempting to lower the offer on commission percentage in order to lessen the impact the sale would have; you also need to consider the major incentive for Realtors to show your house. Offering 3% to buyer's agents does a lot to attract potential buyers. 

6. Do you know how to get your home listed on the MLS? 

The Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is a database of houses and properties available for sale that are scraped by websites such as Zillow. The tools that the MLS offers can only be accessed by a licensed Real Estate agent. The important thing to note about the MLS is that the vast majority of houses listed for sale in the US are listed through the service. If you aren’t a licensed agent or can’t pay the flat service fee to get your home listed (which can range between $500 – $1,000), then it might be worth considering using a Realtor to give your house the best visibility and, by extension, the best chance of being sold.

 

7. Are you in a hurry? 

If you are in a rush to move your house; a Realtor will definitely be your best bet. They’ve got the tools required to get your house out on the market and get as many faces in front of it as possible. If you aren’t rushing, you may try to list the house yourself, but be prepared for a slower cycle and a few other tradeoffs for the sake of working on your own.

8. Can you devote 10+ hours a week communicating with buyers and showing your house to strangers? 

Many people looking into listing homes on their own may not realize the amount of effort it takes to keep people interested in a listing. If you have a full-time job or otherwise may not be able to schedule viewings with potential buyers; this option may not be for you.

You can try to find the time, but if you are unable to it’s likely that the chances of selling your home would suffer. Typically; the average person should be prepared to spend 10+ hours a week marketing their home and setting appointments with potential buyers. If you feel that you are unable to commit that amount of time, then FSBO is definitely not for you. 

9. Do you understand real estate contracts and your potential liability as a seller? 

Many people that are interested in selling their home on their own don’t realize the potential liability issues that need to be navigated carefully when considering working with a buyer. For example, if something that requires work or fixing does not have responsibility clearly indicated in the contract, you may sell the house only to go on to find that you’re on the hook for the cost to fix the issue. Working with a Realtor will give you a better opportunity to spot irregularities or oversights.

10. Do you know the tactics in negotiating with agents and do you know different negotiating points besides price? 

Ever buy a car before? There are plenty of points to negotiate on before the actual sale takes place, and the same applies to home sales. Repairs to the house, lawn upkeep, and even additions can be negotiated in the contract that may ultimately affect the price, but can be negotiated almost entirely outside of the price discussion. For every negotiating point, there's a tactic to handle it best. If you're not sure how to proceed with a particular point, then working with a Realtor will be your best bet.