Selling a Home Yourself: Not the Best Do-It-Yourself Project

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners 242866

You pronounce it “FIZZ-bow.”

That’s FSBO: For Sale by Owner, and it’s the Road Less Traveled by area homeowners bent on selling a home in Henry County as economically as possible. It does seem to make common sense, after all. It’s the homeowner who knows the ins and outs of their own home best—so who could be more qualified to show it off to the buyers who’ll be lined up, waiting to take a look?

And even more to the point, why lose any part of the sale proceeds to some Henry County real estate agent? It can’t be rocket science to fill out the paperwork and complete the sale. Isn’t that just common sense?

For those considering selling a home themselves, even cursory research is likely to result in one nagging question. The latest sampling from the NAR shows that the vast majority—88%, in fact—of today’s successful sellers are assisted by a real estate agent. That proportion has been growing, lately, too: it’s up 19 percentage points since 2001. This has to give rise to the nagging question: “If it’s common sense, how come the vast majority eventually wind up going with a real estate agent?”

What actually happens in a sale plays a large part, starting with an examination of the bottom line of actual sales. It reflects the fact that the customary commission percentage that goes to real estate professionals is split in two, with half going to the seller’s and half to the buyer’s agent. So the net “savings” a FSBO seller stands to realize is half of the usual initial assumption when the buyer is professionally introduced by the buyer’s representative.

Unless the buyer just appears on his or her own.

Which brings up a couple of other potential problems. If the buyer shows up on the seller’s doorstep, who has qualified him or her? (Short answer: nobody). It’s awkward and practically impossible for a homeowner to interview every prospective buyer in depth before showing the home, but having strangers in your Henry County house with no outside record of the event is at best an iffy prospect. The fact is, most qualified home buyers see the advantage of teaming with a licensed Henry County real estate agent, whose market knowledge is up to the minute, and who will assist them every step of the way at no cost to themselves. Those qualified buyers stand to be a FSBO’s likeliest prospects, in which case the potential ‘savings’ from a do-it-yourself strategy are halved.

But as a working reality, FSBO sellers run a substantial risk that those hoped-for calls from active agents may be slow to materialize. It is often the case that local agents, noting that the home is a FSBO, place it low on the list of properties their clients have time to tour. Among other indicators, a FSBO listing on the MLS signals to the Henry County real estate community that the owner is not truly serious about selling the home—else why is it not part of a professional office’s marketing package? Too, buyers’ agents work to protect their clients from difficult situations, and many FSBO sellers are not well-versed and experienced in negotiating and selling houses. Problems can erupt. All things being equal, it means that FSBOs get few showing requests.

Plus, any advertising costs will be paid for out of the owner’s own pocket—an expensive strategy.


 It’s pretty clear why almost 9 out of 10 homeowners selling a home go with a qualified real estate agent. I hope you agree—and decide to give me a call!


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lise Howe 07/19/2015 09:00 PM
Home Selling
Georgia Henry County
Keller Williams Realty Referral Group
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Atlanta Homes For Sale
homes for sale in henry county
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homes in henry county stockbridge home search

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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Just had a neighbor tell me he sold his house in 2 days by himself.

He sold it for about 10% less than REAL market value which he had no firm knowledge of.   Now he wants out.

Jun 27, 2015 12:02 PM #1
Cynthia Smitherman
Emage` Fine Properties, LLC - Chandler, AZ

Unfortunately Sellers look at the $$$ they want to save, and not the $$$ they may end up paying in the long run. The old clique is you get what you pay for. If you pay nothing you will get nothing,


Jun 27, 2015 12:49 PM #2
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Very well said Ron Chastain - they need professional to do

Jun 27, 2015 04:28 PM #3
Ed Macias
Real Estate Teammates - Miami, FL
Miami FL-REO Property Management Multifamily

There are very few percentage that can do it themselves. I know them and I have actually encouraged them to get their license. Once they do it they never want to do it again.

Jun 28, 2015 12:53 AM #4
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Ron Chastain Right you are. Funny; we just took a listing owned by two retired real estate agents. Why did they decide to list with an agent versus a FSBO? Because they know we are on top of our 'game' with all the latest tools and technology to get the best price faster.

Jul 19, 2015 09:10 PM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Ron Chastain what a great post.... found it on the reblog from Lise Howe .....this should have been a feature.... 

Jul 19, 2015 09:54 PM #6
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

Absolultely a feature worthy post, Ron!  Most FSBOs have so many holes in their game plan that they can never get the project off the ground.

Jul 19, 2015 09:59 PM #7
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Ron Chastain

What ever it takes
What is your Home's Value