For Sale By Owner: What Sellers Can Expect to Gain

7 August

Currently, we are experiencing a seller’s market. With more buyers than available homes for sale, it’s a great time to list and get the most money out of your home. If you decide to sell your home own your own (For Sale By Owner), here’s what you can expect to gain along with the cost of an agent’s commission.

Sellers can expect to gain 100% liability.

A seller without representation will pay for any mistakes made during the selling process. For example, a seller describes the flooring as hardwoods, but the buyer discovers they are actually laminate. Legally, the seller is required to pay to correct their mistake.

An agent would have either caught the mistake or covered it under Errors & Omissions Insurance. Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society. It’s not worth it to sacrifice your legal protection to avoid paying a commission for the expertise of an agent.

Sellers can expect to gain limited to zero marketing resources.

According to a report from the NAR, 42% of FSBOs rely on a yard sign, and 32% rely on family and friends. An agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service, paid social media advertising, syndicated website advertising, a broad network of fellow agents, and much more. In fact, is the most accessed real estate website around the world.

Sellers can expect to gain a problematic inspection process.

The inspection process is a necessary step, and agents have the expertise and connections to make it as simple as possible. Matthew Huffman, realtor with RE/MAX Legacy, said, “If sellers don’t know the ins and outs of the inspection process, they can be duped into making major home improvements instead of necessary repairs.”

Sellers can expect to gain a lower sales price.

Many homeowners don’t understand market reports and market value in order to determine the appropriate price of their home. The NAR reports that sellers of FSBO homes get a lower sales price than those who use an agent. In fact, the average selling price for all FSBO homes is $210,000, and homes sold with the help of an agent sold for $249,000 on average. That’s a difference of almost $40,000!

A buyer who knows the seller of a FSBO home usually expects to get a deal. In fact, the NAR reported in cases when the seller knows the buyer, the average selling price drops to $151,900.

Sellers can expect to gain a problematic appraisal process.

When or if a seller’s home doesn’t appraise for the agreed upon price, the buyer’s bank will not loan on the property. Since buyers typically don’t have the cash to pay the difference, they expect the seller to drop the sales price.

This rarely happens when a house is listed with an agent, but if it does, a knowledgeable listing agent will be able to dispute the appraisal with current MLS comps. If you pay a commission to a buyer’s agent, remember they are not working on your behalf. They are representing the buyer only.

Sellers can expect to gain daunting paperwork.

Even though pre-made contracts can be downloaded online, the NAR found that sellers of FSBO homes reported that understanding and customizing all the paperwork was the most difficult aspect of the process.

Although it may be tempting to go through this process alone and avoid the cost of an agent’s commission, you can save yourself a lot more time and money by letting an agent represent you. Contact one of our experienced agents today at

Source: The 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers by The National Association of Realtors