There are many reasons why someone might want to sell their home without using a real estate agent. Here’s what you need to know.
- Not all home sales need an agent. In some cases, home sales are agreed upon in advance. Others take place between family members. The most commonly cited reason for selling your home yourself, often called For Sale By Owner or FSBO, is that you can save money in real estate commissions. This can preserve some of the equity you've built up, which can be very important when the market's down. You can also put that money toward a down payment on another home.
In return for saving this money, you must educate yourself on how to make your home presentable, how to set a price that is fair to you and that attracts buyers, the paperwork involved, laws to abide by, how to prescreen buyers, how to list and market the home, how to negotiate, and how to generate interest, all things that a good agent would do. Some sellers find they thrive when learning and doing all this. Others find it a hassle and give up.
Those interested in FSBO selling need to educate themselves on all parts of the process-- practical, legal, financial, and marketing-- and allocate time and energy to it. The time includes being available nights and weekends for showings. FSBO Sellers can lose their homes on sites like owners.com, FSBO.com, ForSaleByOwner.com, and local newspapers or Craigslist.
Some people hire agents to do limited tasks for them, such as advertising the home in the MLS, handling the paperwork, or doing some marketing tasks, while a small percentage use discount brokers who also perform limited tasks. The commission for these services may be smaller than the standard or it may be an hourly fee. Stay financially fit, friends.