Once you decide to put your home out in the market, one of the first major decisions is between hiring the service of a real estate agent and choosing FSBO (For Sale by Owner). FSBO is when you are selling on your own and are responsible for the process from start to finish, including pricing, staging/styling, listing, negotiating, doing the paperwork and closing.

The most common argument in favour of FSBO is that you save the commission fee paid to the real estate agent. Agents make a percentage on the home sale price, but it covers a lot of time and money that goes into selling a home.

The benefits that a real estate agent can bring to the table can be ascertained based on the appended comparison between selling through realtor vs FSBO selling:

  1. Price: FSBO sellers often set their price based on online assessment tool or discussion with neighbours. In either case, the pricing might be way off from the prevailing market rate. On the other hand, a real estate agent can provide a more accurate value based on a comprehensive market analysis. You generally get a better deal for the property with an agent.
  2. Marketing: An agent has access to the multi-listing service where thousands of buyers can view the listing. They use many channels to get more visibility. FSBO sellers can buy ads in magazines or newspapers or list them online without the know-how of marketing a property.
  3. Time: An agent dedicates their time and energy on staging, hosting open houses and providing walk-throughs and get offers on the home. FSBO sellers usually have to take out time from work to be able to meet potential buyers. Even then, sometimes the seller cannot meet all buyers and they take longer to sell.
  4. Negotiation: An agent or FSBO buyer will have to negotiate with the buyer, buyer’s agent, the buyer’s attorney, the home inspector, the appraiser and the bank. The agent becomes the middleman and takes care of all the negotiation. In the case of FSBO, the sellers have to rely on their own expertise and manage all negotiations.
  5. Legal Help: Selling a home is a legal transaction and involves a lot of paperwork. An expert like McIntyre in Canberra has expertise in the legal aspect of a house sale and knows the process. A FSBO seller has to be more cautious. If not well versed with legal documentation, one could end up overlooking a required form or disclosure and possibly a lawsuit after closing.

Both the methods have their pros and cons and depend on your expertise and how much time and money you can put in to sell the house.