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For Sale By Owner (FSBO), the Pros and Cons of listing Without an Agent: Part 2 of 2

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Welcome back to part 2 of this two part series on the pros and cons of working with an agent versus selling your home on your own as For Sale By Owner (FSBO). In part 1 we discussed the pros and cons of working with an agent. In this second and final installment we’ll consider the pros and cons of the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) approach.

The Pros of Going FSBO

1. You won’t have to pay a commission

One of the biggest advantages of selling your home on your own is that you won’t have to pay a commission. This can save you a significant amount of money. That's money you can keep in your pocket! It's also money you can use to lower the listing price of your home and make it appealing to more buyers, or hold back to pay for needed repairs. This way it's easier to sell your home without losing money out of pocket.

2. You’ll be in control of the process

When you sell your home on your own, you’ll be in charge of the entire process. This means you can set your own price, show your home on your own schedule, and negotiate with buyers on your own terms. Keep in mind though that this can be a blessing and a curse. Just like with being self-employed the benefit is that you get to set your own schedule. However, the cost is that you may need to be on and available to engage potential buyers at all hours of the day/night.

3. You may be able to sell your home faster

Since you’ll be in control of the entire process, you may be able to sell your home faster than if you were working with an agent. Usually this is the case when you already have an interested off-market buyer already (i.e. a friend or family member who's interested in your home). In these situations it's possible to negotiate a private sale without having to pay a realtor and without having to list your home on the market. The main benefits of this approach are the ability to save money, and being able to sell exclusively to someone you care about. However, the con is that in most cases you'll probably make more money if you list your home and entertain all offers in an open competition.

4. You could end up getting more money for your home

If you’re able to sell your home quickly and for a good price, you could end up making more money than if you had hired an agent. This is because you won’t have to pay a commission, and you may be able to sell your home for more than the asking price. Although the commission piece is a given, your ability to sell your home for more money is less certain. Generally speaking, there are two scenarios where you might make more money selling without an agent. The first is a situation where you hire an agent who isn't proactive in marketing your property. Some agents will following the three P's, Put out a sign, Put it on the MLS, and Pray! Obviously that isn't a marketing strategy, and an ordinary proactive person can accomplish more on their own. The other scenario is where you already have a private buyer lined up and they are willing to pay well above the market value of your home. Outside of these two situations, in most cases an experienced and committed agent can typically get you more money for your home than if you go it alone.

The Cons of Going FSBO

1. It can be a lot of work.

Selling your home on your own can be a lot of work, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. You’ll need to take care of all the details, from market analysis, to home prep, to marketing your home to negotiating with buyers. You'll want to be available to answer any inbound calls and inquiries on your property. You may also need to make yourself available to show your home whenever necessary from morning to evening. As mentioned before our team handles 200 different variables to bring together our home selling system. If you're looking to sell your home alone you'll need to learn, plan out, execute each of those steps on your own. Or you'll need to let a lot of those crucial steps slide and risk leaving money on the table.

2. You may not get the full market value for your home.

If you’re not familiar with the process of selling a home, there is a decent risk that you won't get the full market value for your property. This is because you won’t have an experienced agent to help you plan your listing, prep your home, market it to a wide audience, and negotiate with buyers to get the best price possible.

3. You could end up in a bad situation if you don’t know what you’re doing

If you make a mistake during the selling process, it could end up costing you a lot of money. For example, if you're not able to properly assess the value of your home you could accept an offer that’s too low. Alternatively, there is always the risk that without proper guidance you may fail to properly disclosure the features of your property, or fail to properly fulfill the obligations of the contract you agreed to when selling your home. These are risks that could end up losing you money when going to sell your home.

4. You could end up taking longer to sell your home

If you’re not familiar with the process of selling a home, it could take you a lot longer to find a buyer. This is because you won’t have an experienced agent who knows exactly how to position your property in a way that will get you the most money possible. This could happen if you miss certain steps in prepping and staging your home, it could also happen if you fail to price your home properly, and it could happen if you aren't able to get enough exposure from a wide audience of potential buyers. Even once you do start to find potential buyers who want to view your home, any delays in scheduling showings, following up on viewings, or responding to and negotiating promising offers can lead to missed opportunities.

5. You'll have to pay for all your own repairs or improvements

If your home needs repairs or improvements, you'll have to pay for them yourself. This is because most buyers will expect the home to be in good condition and won’t be willing to pay for needed repairs. Depending on the cost, some agents will cover part of your home prep cost out of their commission either upfront or as a rebate. That means that part of the sunk cost of listing with an agent can often be recouped through the money you get back in the home prep costs they pay for out of pocket. However, if you are planning to list on your own, then that means you will have to pay for 100% of the these costs out of pocket.

Now that you know the pros and cons of hiring an agent and going FSBO, you can decide what’s best for you. If you’re not sure you’re ready to take on the challenge of selling your home on your own, it may be worth hiring an experienced agent. However, if you’re up for the challenge and you’re confident you can get a good price for your home, going FSBO may be the best option for you. Everyone's situation is a little different, and what's best for you will ultimately come down to your specific needs and what you can bring to bear in terms of time, money, and effort.


I am a Victoria based local realtor with eXp Realty. My commitment to honesty, integrity, loyalty and hard work have been important pillars for me because they drive a high standard of excellent service for my clients. Helping you realize your dream is my goal!

I service Vancouver Island, but my focus is on: Victoria, Sooke, Saanich, Malahat, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Duncan, and the rest of the Cowichan Valley.



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