For Sale By Owner vs Real Estate Agent

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Difference between For Sale By Owner and Real Estate Agent

Selling your house through a real estate agent has become the norm over the past several years, although a number of owners have begun taking on the task themselves. While the advantages of selling your house through an agent have a number of obvious benefits, the advantages of selling it yourself aren't as readily apparent. What are the pros and cons of each approach? Let's see!

For Sale By Owner
Real Estate Agent

The Legwork

In a “for sale by owner” arrangement, it is the owner’s responsibility to sell the house to the buyer, without the benefit of a real estate agent showing prospective buyers the house for them. This will allow owners to show off the house to its best advantage, since they will be in a better position to know the strengths and weaknesses of the house. Of course this will require a lot of hard work, all of which can be avoided by hiring a real estate agent.

Hiring a real estate agent will also allow the seller to benefit from a coordinated selling approach, which may include an open house and various marketing strategies. A

real estate agent will also help you in figuring out the optimum pricing for your home. If you don't want to deal with all the nitty-gritty of selling, hiring a real estate agent may be the better option.


Selling your home via a real estate agent also has another significant benefit in that you will be protected in the event of any impropriety during the sale, since the responsibility for conforming to local housing laws and regulations will fall squarely upon the real estate agent. If you opt to take on the task of selling your house yourself, you will be held responsible if something goes wrong. Furthermore, you will also have to meet with mortgage brokers, inspectors, and appraisers, tasks that a real estate agent will do for you if you do decide to hire one.

The Cost

In the event that you decide to hire a real estate agent, he or she will be tasked with dong the advertising for selling your home, the costs of which will be deducted from the agent's commission. Of course, the agent's commission can cost as much as 7% of the total sale price of the home, so this cost will have to be factored in when you make your decision. If you do decide to sell your home yourself, you will of course not have to worry about paying anyone any commission, which means more money will end up in your account.

Similarities and Differences

For Sale By Owner

  • Owner will have to take care of all the advertising the walk-throughs, and the terms of the sale
  • Owner will be responsible for an erroneous or illegal sale
  • Fewer costs

Real Estate Agent

  • Owner will have to pay a hefty commission to the agent
  • Agent will be responsible for advertising and negotiations
  • Agent will be held accountable for erroneous or illegal sales

Who do home buyers prefer to deal with?
  • For Sale By Owner
  • Real Estate Agent

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