FSBO vs Agent

Should you Hire an Agent or Sell Your Flip Yourself?

You bought that great deal at auction using our advanced foreclosure search tools. You want to keep it a great deal. Do you sell it yourself (for sale by owner, aka FSBO) or employ a real estate agent to sell it?

Updated 10-01-2020

Selling your home means making dozens (if not hundreds) of decisions, starting with whether to work with a real estate agent. While the vast majority of homeowners hire a listing agent, others brave the world of FSBO. According to Zillow research, 36% of sellers attempt to sell their homes themselves, but challenges along the way lead many to eventually hire an agent. In the end, only 11% of sellers end up selling their home without a real estate agent.

Consider these additional FSBO statistics: In addition to the 57% of sellers who believe that selling FSBO will save them money, 36% believe it will save them time, and 27% don’t hire an agent because they feel they know their home better than any agent could. Homeowners who attempt FSBO transactions are more likely to be millennials, city dwellers, and non-white homeowners.

Why You Might Want to Try FSBO

You Avoid Paying a Listing Agent Commission

Commissions average from 4–6% of your home’s purchase price and are usually paid by the seller from the proceeds of the sale. In most cases, that means you are only required to pay the buyer’s agent if you are selling to a person or company that is not represented.

If a buyer comes with an agent, in most of Florida you have to pay their commission ONLY if you agree to it before the transaction begins.

You Have Complete Control Over the Listing Price

Without a realtor, you are the master of your own destiny when it comes to your listing price. For $300–$500, you can hire an appraiser to give you a real market value, or you can research your own comps online using the many websites that list rough property values.

You Can Manage Your Showing Schedule

When you list your own property, you can schedule showing times at your leisure. You won’t have to wait for your agent to be available to do a showing for you.

You Are Motivated to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar

Because it’s your property and finances on the line, you’ll invest 100% of your time in advertising your home in the best light on dedicated sites. Don’t forget about pro photos, signage, mailers, and print ads! Post your own social media promotions as well.

You Are Your Own Neighborhood Expert

You can advise potential buyers about not only the home but the community. You know your own neighborhood; this is potentially a great bonus to a buyer.

How a Real Estate Agent Can Save Your Sanity

They Understand Pricing Strategy and Fair Market Value

When you work with an experienced local agent, you benefit from their definitive knowledge and handle on what your home is worth and what kind of pricing will get buyers through the door.

They Are Objective Listing Agents

Good agents have an in-depth understanding of their local market. They have relationships with pro photographers and home stagers, which can highlight and set your home apart from the competition.

They Have Access to Extensive Market Exposure

Real estate agents have access to the local MLS and online listing portals and social media, as well as connections with other local agents and name recognition. That means you’ll get plenty of eyes on your property and plenty of potential buyers!

They Are More Likely to Show Your Listing to Clients

Real estate agents are paid on commission, so some agents may not take the time to show your FSBO listing to their clients.

That will cut out a large chunk of potential buyers for your home.

They Negotiate Professionally for You

An expert agent can spot a serious buyer and guide you toward a great offer for your home. This can eliminate tire kickers!

They know the process of buying and selling a home inside and out. They can also recommend counteroffers for your home. 82% of sellers surveyed by Zillow said they value an agent’s ability to lead contract negotiations.

They Know the Paperwork

There are masses of documentation involved when you sell a home. Without an agent, the burden of ensuring paperwork is complete and accurate will fall on you or your real estate attorney.

Seasoned real estate professionals are experts at the purchase, sale, and legal process. Don’t forget that they had to take state exams and must continue their education constantly to keep their licenses.

A Third Option: Flat Fee MLS Listing Service!

You now have a middle option. Over the last decade, the option of listing the property yourself into the MLS came into existence. You don’t have to be an agent, and you don’t have to pay a commission to a listing agent, yet your property is shown to all the other agents and buyers in the MLS.

It’s a fantastic way to gain fast traction and sell your property quickly, plus save 3% on your listing agent commissions. It costs as little as $150 and is relatively simple to set up. We will create a tutorial article on this in the future, so stay tuned.

Choose Whatever Strategy Makes the Most Sense for Your Property

You must make the final decision on what works best for you and your property. No two investors or property deals are the same. Before choosing, keep in mind the financial implications as well as the mental burden of always being available to show your property, sifting through offers, accepting the offer, preparing the contract, and closing it.

Do you have the time and wherewithal to deal with a flurry of busywork and get a good sale price, or are you willing to invest 6% to have professionals do it for you and free up your time? Choose wisely!

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Gina Stern

Gina Stern

Gina Stern is a property investor who has been flipping homes for the past twenty-five years and has had many years of experience in the Real Estate Arena. She is passionate about passing her knowledge and experience onto other investors whether they be newbies or seasoned. Her other great passion is writing, that is why she is very honored to be part of the Property Onion Educational Team. Her specialty has been in commercial investing, mainly investing in shopping centers and strip malls, but she is now excited to be fixing and flipping in retirement communities.

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