Selling your home on your own is tempting. Especially when you do the math and figure out that you need to give up 5 to 6% of your selling price to real estate agents. But the amount you’re saving is actually relatively small compared to how much it can cost you when trying to sell your home without an agent.
“For sale by owner” (FSBO) sets you up for fewer qualified potential buyers, emotional decision making, poor negotiations, risking mistakes with regulatory and legal requirements, not having enough time to dedicate to the sale of your home, and so much more.
Read on to learn eight reasons why using a real estate agent is always better than FSBO.
Reason #1: Selling a Home is a Full-Time Job
- Can you rush home from work whenever someone wants to view your home?
- Can you answer every phone call from a potential buyer?
- Do you have enough energy and time to market your home properly at the end of your workday?
- Do you even know how to market your home?
Reason #2: Potential Buyer Agents Might Not Show an FSBO
When you list your home FSBO, there isn’t a professional agent handling the sale. And the buyer’s agent knows this. As a result, the agent sees this type of deal as a hassle and a waste of time, especially when there’s no guarantee for commission.
- The commission percentage you’ll pay to the agent upon sale to their client
- The agent is only representing the buyer
- There’s an obligation to disclose any information the seller provides the agent to the buyer. For example; needing to sell the home by a specific date
Unfortunately, most agents won’t take you seriously if you’re selling your home yourself. But you may attract the odd agent who thinks they can take advantage of you not knowing anything about selling a home so that they can get the deal of a lifetime.
Reason #3: Emotions Don’t Get in The Way of a Professional
- Overpricing or underpricing your home
- Conceding too quickly in the negotiation process
- Refusing to negotiate because a low offer offended you
- Having to handle rejection firsthand
- Hearing negative comments about your home from buyers and agents
Having an agent cushions the blows, reduces the sting of rejection, and turns negative feedback into something positive. Selling your home is an emotional process without having an agent on your side. Let a professional handle the sale without emotions getting in the way of obtaining the best possible price for your home.
Reason #4: You’re Blind to Your Home’s Flaws
Experienced agents know what sells and what doesn’t. They see flaws that you don’t—the same ones potential buyers will notice. You see them every day, which either makes you blind to them or don’t consider them flaws. Agents keep up with the latest designs and trends that buyers are looking for and recommend what to improve on or change to attract them.
Reason #5: Negotiating Skills
Even if you’re a great car salesperson or top salesperson at an insurance company, negotiating a home sale is unique. It takes specific knowledge and experience to do it well. You’ll be up against your buyer’s agent, who likely has these skills down pat.
Negotiations in an FSBO situation can lead to poor decisions and irrational responses. A professional agent takes that ego-busting low-ball offer and calmly counters with, “the seller has turned down your initial offer and has suggested the following counter-offer.” This helps you to get the best price possible.
Reason #6: Eliminating Unqualified Buyers
It’s overwhelming putting your life on hold to show your house to potential buyers—especially when those buyers are just “lookers” rather than serious about making a purchase. An agent can weed out those time wasters, saving you the hassle of interrupting your day and making the house look perfect, all for those people who’ve always “just been curious” about what your home looks like inside. Unfortunately, these showings rarely result in a sale because all they’re really doing is wasting your time.
Serious buyers are more comfortable dealing directly with an agent when touring a home rather than the actual homeowner. The homeowner should never be present—when they are, most buyers will rush through the showing because of how awkward they feel with the homeowner there.
Reason #7: Legal Risks
Selling your home comes with a ton of legal paperwork. Paperwork that an expert should complete to ensure everything is filled out correctly to avoid exposure to legal risks down the road. Of this paperwork, the seller’s disclosures are the most important.
In cases where the new homeowner moves in and discovers that full disclosure about nuisances, hazards, or defects wasn’t mentioned, the buyer can sue you and hold you liable for breach of contract, negligence, or fraud. However, a professional realtor is trained in disclosure laws and can avoid having any onus falling back on you if a potential mistake is made.
Reason #8: Agents Have Larger Networks
Unless you have a vast network of relationships with clients, real estate agencies, or other agents, you’re likely dealing with a tiny portion of potential buyers. Even if you list your home yourself on places like Craigslist, Marketplace, Purple Bricks, or the MLS, you won’t reach the same number of buyers as a professional realtor can. And this can lead to having to wait longer to sell your home and decrease its value with every passing day of it not being sold.
Sell Your Home Faster With An Expert Realtor
Experts agree that you get top dollar if you sell your home within the first 30 days of it being on the market. But, as you can see, this can be hard to do when selling privately.
If you’re looking to sell your home in the Toronto or GTA area, let’s chat. With over 14 years of trusted experience selling homes, I can answer any questions you have about selling your home. Let’s get that house sold today.
Hi, I’m Joel, a real estate professional based in Toronto.
My approach is simple—I put you first. I believe in open communication, total transparency, and meaningful results. I’ll guide you through the real estate process, market values, and always keep the focus on you—and your needs.