The main reason people sell their home privately without a real estate agent, is to save on costs. In a deal where there are no real estate agents involved, you could save a sales commission of up to 5% or 6% of the sale price. For a $300,000 home, that commission can add up to $15,000 or more.
But your buyer will likely use an agent and expect you to pay that agent's fees — usually 2.5%. And don't forget you still have to pay a lawyer to finalize the deal.
4 reasons to sell your home yourself
- You have the time and ability
- Lower sales costs
- More control over the price
- More control over the sales process
There are a variety of websites that can help you sell your home privately. These are often called for sale by owners (FSBO) websites. You can also pay a discount broker a small flat fee to advertise on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) site.
It's easier to sell your own home in a hot real estate market. When home sales drag, finding a buyer yourself may not be so easy.
5 reasons to use an agent
- Their knowledge, skills and resources
- Convenient because they handle all aspects of sale
- No separate sales costs beyond agent's commission
- May get you a higher price
- May sell your home faster
5 questions to ask yourself
- Are you confident you can sell your home for a price close to what an agent would get for you?
- Do you want to be highly involved in the sales process?
- Will you have time to show your own home?
- Are you comfortable showing your home to buyers?
- Are you comfortable negotiating with buyers and their agents?
If you answer no to any of these questions, you may want to use a real estate agent.
Does it pay to sell your own home?
Decide if the cost savings outweigh the time and effort you will have to invest in selling your home. Read Sonya and Sergei’s story to see what one couple decided.