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Don’t Sell It Yourself

There are pros and cons to doing anything yourself. You weigh factors such as your expertise, the enjoyment of doing a certain task, and the cost savings of doing it yourself (DIY) vs. hiring a professional. But when it comes to selling a home as a non-professional, you’ll have out-of-pocket expenses for advertising, many more demands on your time, and more liabilities. But most of all, you’re facing the likelihood of losing money. 

According to some quick statistics from the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, published by the National Association of REALTORS,(NAR) the share of for-sale-by-owner sellers or FSBOs who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was only 8%. 

Forty-six percent of FSBO sellers did no active marketing, and 22% of ones who did marketed to friends, family, and neighbors. Twenty-five percent stuck a sign in the yard. And 14% relied on social media sites including Twitter and Facebook. And the rest was a hodge-podge of open houses, print ads, classifieds, and more. 

Real estate professionals, on the other hand, have incredible resources to find buyers, including multiple listing services, local to international associates and affiliates, and professional marketing support through their brokers. In addition, they use yard signs, social media, word-of-mouth, and so on.    

It should come as little surprise then that the typical FSBO home sold for $217,900 compared to $295,000 for agent-assisted home sales in 2018, according to NAR. Why so low? Eighty-seven percent of homebuyers used a real estate professional, six percent bought directly from a homebuilder, and the remaining 7% purchased a FSBO property directly from the owner. 

If you’re still undecided, it may be because you don’t want to pay a sales commission. The American Genius says that 41% of FSBO sellers don’t want to pay a commission or fee, while 30% of FSBO sellers plan to sell to a relative, friend, or neighbor. Real estate fees can typically range from five to seven percent of the transaction. But, by not testing their homes in the open market they’re losing more money than the fees. 

Significantly, more buyers are using sales professionals to help them find and buy their homes. In 2001, 69 percent of buyers used the services of a real estate professional. By 2011, that number had risen to nine out of 10 and remains true today. So if you’re planning to sell your home yourself, you may be dealing with a professional agent instead of the buyer across the table. 

That’s when FSBO sellers miss out on the advantages of having their own listing agent. When you sell it yourself, you have to do everything the real estate agent would do – show the home, negotiate, advertise, and keep the transaction moving forward when hitches arise. It all takes time and skill to accomplish. 

Ask your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional for advice.