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Why It’s Smarter to List with a Realtor

According to a 2011 HomeGain survey of over 1,000 homeowners, those homeowners who attempted to sell their home by themselves fared significantly worse than those who enlisted the help of a Realtor. Eighty-three percent of homeowners survey used a Realtor when trying to sell their home, while only 17% attempted to sell their home as FSBO (For Sale By Owner).  Fifty-nine percent of homeowners who listed with a Realtor succeeded in selling their home, versus only 39% of FSBO homeowners. In addition to this, 81% of homeowners who used a Realtor in an attempt to sell their home would use a Realtor again, and 89% of homeowners who sold their home using a Realtor would use a Realtor again. Just 71% of FSBO homeowners who accomplished selling their home by themselves would try to sell their home again. Twenty-four percent of FSBO homeowners eventually used a Realtor in their attempt to sell their homes.

The reason that FSBO homeowners have much more trouble than a Realtor in selling their home is for five primary reasons, according to The first reason is that homeowners cannot list their home in the Multiple Listing Service since they are not licensed Realtors. This limits the market exposure of their property. A second reason is because agents will not show FSBO properties because there is no guarantee that they will be paid a commission because the FSBO homeowner has not entered into any agreement with a broker agency. Thirdly, FSBO homeowners have trouble selling their home because they tend to overprice their own home. Overpricing a property is one of the top reasons that a home doesn’t sell in any situation. A fourth reason is that potential buyers feel uncomfortable with pointing out a home’s flaws in the presence of the homeowner. An agent helps to present offers to the homeowner and create a buffer zone between the potential buyer and seller. A fifth and final reason is that FSBO’s have more potential for legal trouble because of each state’s different legal requirements in the sale of their property. Without proper knowledge and expert advice, a FSBO homeowner can find him or herself involved in a lawsuit if a transaction closes without the proper documentation.

Have you or someone you know tried to sell their own home by themselves? Let us know what their experience was.

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