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  • Writer's pictureShelby Dreher

Can You Sell Your Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

From the outside, selling houses doesn’t seem hard. Many sellers think you just take a few pictures, put some information online, show a few buyers around, and wait for the offers to roll in. Naturally, this makes homeowners wonder Can you sell your home without a real estate agent?

Legally, yes, anyone can go “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO). The real question is should you try to sell your home without a real estate agent.    

Market data consistently shows that homes listed by a real estate agent sell for substantially more money than FSBOs. This often comes down to the subtle talents and knowledge of real estate agents, as well as the many behind-the-scenes tasks agents handle. 

But you might still be wondering if you’re an outlier. Other sellers may need a real estate agent, but maybe you could successfully sell your home without a real estate agent. 

Here are five questions to ask yourself before you try to go FSBO.

1. Do you know how to value real estate?

Understanding how to value real estate is critical in setting a strategic listing price and evaluating offers. Many buyers try to low-ball FSBOs because they don’t think sellers know how to appropriately value real estate. And, in many cases, they’re correct.

2. Do you have any marketing experience?

With interest rates being higher than we’re used to, there are fewer buyers in the market today than we saw last year. Even experienced real estate professionals are leveling up their marketing game to find qualified buyers. 

And, when you list on your own, you are typically excluded from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This is the database local agents use to see what’s available on the market. Data from the MLS is also automatically pushed to dozens of home search websites, instantly boosting visibility for listings. If you list yourself, will you be able to market that listing to enough potential buyers to get an offer? And with a limited audience, will you be able to get a strong offer?

You could be leaving money on the table if you don’t make your listing appealing to as many qualified buyers as possible.  

3. Do you have the time to field calls and conduct showings?

If your pricing and marketing strategies are successful, you’ll be getting lots of phone calls and emails from buyers who want more information. Be prepared to spend hours each day responding to inquiries. And then you’ll need to have time to show the property to all the interested buyers. How much of your time can you afford to invest in selling your house?

4. Do you have strong negotiation skills?

You might be able to sell your home yourself, but will you be able to maximize your profits and get the best terms? That’s where a real estate agent makes a world of difference! As experienced and skilled negotiators, real estate agents can get you the best price with the best terms.

5. Do you know which real estate contracts and disclosures you need?

Making a mistake with the contracts and disclosures can cost you money and leave you open to litigation. Real estate agents are contract experts. They know which forms to complete and how to fill them out.  

Bonus question: will you work with buyers’ agents?

Most FSBOs list without an agent because they want to avoid paying the real estate commission (which is usually around 5-6% of the sales price). But if you work with buyers’ agents, you may still need to pay that agent’s fee (typically half of the normal real estate commission). In that case, you’re only saving half the fee, and the buyers have a clear edge in negotiations because they have a real estate expert representing them. Or you could force the buyers to pay their agent, but that dramatically limits your buyer pool. Why would someone pay agent fees out of pocket to buy your house when they could buy another house without paying agent fees?

If you won’t work with buyers’ agents, you’re limiting yourself to buyers who are willing to purchase without an agent. This means you’ll mostly sophisticated investors and real estate experts who will expect a price discount in exchange for buying without representation.

The Bottom Line

It’s entirely possible to sell your home without a real estate agent. It’s also almost impossible to maximize your profits or enjoy a smooth process without a real estate agent. 

If you aren’t already being represented by an agent, contact me today for a free, friendly consultation. I can show you just how profitable and smooth a real estate transaction can be when you have an experienced real estate agent in your corner.

Written by Shelby Dreher at Texas Haven Home Group, Powered by BK Real Estate  

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