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Why can’t I sell my own home? (FSBO!)

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Many of you think you have what it takes to sell your home yourself. And why not? You’re smart, you are super organized, you are used to reading contracts, and you have been through the home buying/selling process many times at this point. Early spring is the optimal time to buy (and consequently selling) homes, so, now’s the time to get your home on the market. If you’re thinking about listing your home as for sale by owner (FSBO), there is one definite pro, numerous cons and several flat-out MYTHS you need to understand before selling your home yourself. While having to pay around 7% commission to your realtor can make selling the home yourself seem like a no-brainer, it’s really not that cut-and-dried. So, let’s dive in!

The Pro


MYTH –You’re in control. You get to pick the price, the appointment times and when/how you negotiate with the buyer. If a realtor is selling your home she is going to be walking people through at any time throughout the day so you’ll always have to be ready for buyers to traipse through your home.

FACT – You are always in control. Most Realtors set a very clear schedule for Open Houses and Viewings. The best part about this schedule…you don’t have to be home with your game face on! Your home can be shown while you are at work, on vacation, at your child’s hockey game! Only the Realtor has to stick to this schedule. Realtors pre-screen Buyers, so only qualified, motivated buyers with cash in the bank are coming to see your home. Realtors have knowledge of the market and access to SOLD listings.  This makes them the most suited to guide you to the correct listing price.

MYTH – You know your home better than any agent, so you can point out all of its amenities. A realtor is going to try to remember all the features of your home along with all the other houses he/she is currently selling. There are lots of networks and venues for you to list your home. You can put a sign on your lawn with attractive flyers, put up an ad on Craig’s List, list it in local papers and on websites.

FACT – A Realtor knows all of the selling points of your home. It is her job and her livelihood depends on it. She knows what the buyer is looking for and a Realtor won’t fall victim to emotional pressure. She wants what is best for you, her client, and she is bound by law to get you the best result possible.


There’s a high risk of selling your home for a lot less than it’s worth. Statistics have shown that the average FSBO home sells for about 15%-20% less than homes sold through a realtor! (And many never sell because they are overpriced due to false claims from other Sellers.)

Your home will have less visibility. While there are lots of venues for you to promote your home (the fees for these platforms are substantial), only realtors can list homes on the Multiple Listing Service, which is the biggest online tool real estate agents use. Realtors have more experience, and more drive, in promoting your home through ads, signs and other methods.

Realtors have insurance!

Preparing all the legal forms, disclosures etc., is your responsibility, and if you’re unfamiliar with the guidelines and requirements, which most people are, you take the risk of financial and legal liability.

There you have it.  Before you hammer that sign in to the ground, decide if you are up to the task.  Can you be on call for viewings and Open Houses until the home sells? Are you willing to take 15%-20% less for your home to avoid paying commission? Are you sure you can complete the contracts and forms flawlessly (if not do you have insurance that will cover you in case of an error)? Real estate is a huge investment and when downsizing, it is often relied upon for retirement.  It’s just not worth gambling with.  Hire a pro to get the job done.



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