Selling by Owner vs Using a Realtor

A good number of home sellers will try selling their home by themselves as a FSBO (for sale by owner) before listing with a realtor. Most of these people would like to save or preserve as much of their equity as possible by not paying a commission. While there are a great number of resources now available to home sellers, there are still clear advantages to involving a realtor in the sale and marketing of a home. To help you as a seller make the right decision and fully understand your options, let’s look at a couple of statistics:

  • The average cost to sell by owner has been estimated nationally to be between 7-10%. Most of this percentage, the owner gives up in negotiations and concessions and there are a few hidden costs as well (e.g. repairs, warranties, closing costs, etc).
  • Typically, on the other hand, an agent's commission for a home sale is approximately 5-7% from start to closing. Real Estate commissions are based on part on the above statistic.
  • Another interesting statistic is that homes sold using a realtor typically sell for twenty thousand more than homes sold by owner. This is a NAR (National Assoc of Realtors) national statistic.
  • Marketing and showing a home can be stressful, time consuming, and expensive. Realtors clearly have an advantage here. They are professionals that sell homes for a living and have a broad selection of marketing tools to utilize.

  • Negotiations and closing: An experienced realtor is usually a great negotiator and expeditor. Good Agent's are typically well versed in the proper execution of contracts and all aspects of closing a home.

Overall, using an experienced and well trained realtor is usually a winning proposition. We at the Carolina Realty Guide are certainly not saying that a home seller cannot be successful at selling by themselves. Many are. But we would like to point out that there are statistical advantages to hiring and involving an experienced realtor.

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