Real Estate Agent -vs- For Sale by Owner

Understanding the Differences

When selling your home, there are two conventional paths to getting the property on the market— For Sale by Owner -vs- Listing with a Real Estate Agent. Whether you want to tackle the housing market on your own or get some help from an agent, it is best to know each selling experience’s pros and cons. Take a look at some of the benefits of “For Sale by Owner” and enlisting the help of a real estate agent.

For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

For sale by owner means that you (the homeowner) are listing the property without the assistance of a professional real estate agent. As the owner, you are responsible for the entire process from start to finish.

  • Pulling the comps and setting a competitive price for the market
  • Preparing and staging the home
  • Showing the home to potential buyers
  • Negotiating the price
  • Drawing up all paperwork for the final sale of the home
  • Completing the proper steps for the closing process

Benefits of FSBO

While a For Sale by Owner means you will be taking on the brunt of the workload, there are some benefits to listing your home. The most significant advantage of selling your own home is that you can avoid paying the standard 6% commission for the listing agent’s services. Other benefits include

  • Complete control of the listing price
  • Ability to schedule and manage showings and open houses
  • Speaking to potential buyers knowledgeably about the home and neighborhood
  • Personal motivation to sell the home quickly and effectively

Negatives of FSBO

There are a few negatives to consider before taking on the burden of listing your home. One, the paperwork when selling a home can be a daunting process. Depending on the state, there are different legal forms that need to be included during the sale of your home. For Sale by Owners also have a tendency to stay on the market longer because the homeowner lacks the experience to price the home competitively and market the property for a quick sale. Finally, the personal attachment to the house can cloud a sale and potential negotiations. Objectivity and acceptance of feedback can be challenging when selling your home and may cause tension between buyer and seller.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent works with clients to buy, sell, or rent a home in a certain area. They are a licensed professional who has been trained to navigate the selling and buying process. A real estate agent that is tasked to help with the selling of a home may also be referred to as a seller’s agent or the listing agent.

Benefits of a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the market value of your property and how to price the home to sell quickly (and for a high price). An experienced real estate agent will have a deep understanding of the local market and what kind of price will get buyers through the door. A real estate agent also has access to extensive market exposure through— the local MLS and online listing portals, a professional network/ connections with other agents, name recognition, and a diverse social media presence. A selling agent will also be able to objectively negotiate the price of your home while keeping it professional. From taking the burden of calls to weeding out unmotivated buyers, a real estate agent is your advocate and voice of reason. They know the ins and outs of the selling process and are there to help you navigate every step of the way.

Negatives of a Real Estate Agent

Let’s face it, the number one negative to hiring a real estate agent is that you have to pay a commission for the services rendered no matter how well the individual completes those tasks. Another disadvantage is that you are not going to be the agent’s only client. Oftentimes, real estate agents have a multitude of clients and are tasked with balancing the demand for both their time and knowledge. Depending on how busy your real estate agent is at the time of your home’s sale, you may have some frustrations with not getting information in a timely manner or dealing with their staff. Remember, just because you sign the contract with the head real estate agent, if they have a team working for them, you may never interact with the head honcho again.

The Facts

Now that you have the facts about For Sale by Owner -vs- Real Estate Agents, it’s time to make the best choice for you. Selling your home is a stressful endeavor, the question is, do you have the time to invest in the process or do you need assistance? Either way, the decision is really about what is best for you and your home.

Want to read more about selling your home?

Take a look at the following article that outlines some helpful tips to prepare your home for the market

Looking to buy or sell a home?

Oak City Properties knows the home buying and selling process can be complicated, but we also know that a qualified and experienced agent can provide peace of mind during a stressful time. We provide the knowledge, expertise, and experience needed to answer all of your questions and help walk you through the process. Give us a call today (919) 232-9222 to discuss how we can help you or visit us online at