Houses for Sale By Owner: Is It a Good or Bad Idea?

Most people can’t fathom why any sane homeowner would sell their house without a Realtor(R).

We’re used to seeing Realtor(R)-sponsored “For Sale” signs posted on the front lawn. We’re comforted by the photographs of real estate agents in newspaper ads.

When we don’t see them, and instead see houses for sale by owner, we get caught off guard and wonder, “How come?”

Is selling without a Realtor(R) a good or bad idea? Let’s explore this off the beaten path venture!

The Good

So, why would anyone want to sell their house by themselves?

Here are some reasons why:

Pocket the Real Estate Commission

A real estate agent will sell a home for as much as possible. After all, the more that they sell the property for, the more they’ll make.

But that 6% commission is often a big chunk of change that homeowners want in their own pockets.

The only way to get the maximum return on your home is to sell it without any help. By doing all the work, you’ll reap all the benefits.

You Know the True Value of Your Home

Homeowners know every tear and drop of sweat that went into making their homes. But too often, real estate agents end up selling for way less than the true value.

To get the most accurate evaluation, independent home sellers can work one-on-one with home appraisers. It’s a cost-effective investment that can lead to bigger returns.

It’s Easier to Market Your House Today

Today, there are websites that help homeowners avoid selling on the market.

With these websites, independent home sellers no longer have to pay to put their house on the market. They can still find prospective buyers at a lower price!

Sell Fast for Cash

Some home sellers need to move as fast possible. They don’t have time to deal with real estate agents, appraisers, and renovations.

Instead, they have to sell and settle for less than the true value of their homes.

There are home flippers and companies that buy houses for cash. This can be a viable option for people who need to move fast or make quick money.

The Bad

In 2015, only 8% of home sales were houses for sale by owner. If you were already on the fence about this real estate venture, then this statistic probably doesn’t sell you on the idea.

There are risks that can outweigh the benefits of selling off the market. Otherwise, that figure wouldn’t be so low.

Here are some reasons why selling independently is a bad idea:

Laws, Rules, & Paperwork

Solo home sellers still have to abide by standard real estate procedures and regulations.

There’s dealing with buyers and their agents and attorneys. Then there are mounds of paperwork on top of that.

Houses have to be up to state and local building codes before selling. Otherwise, the seller could face lawsuits down the line.

There are more challenges that independent home sellers face. They all prove difficult for those who don’t understand real estate.

A Realtor(R) Knows the Market

While real estate agents know how to negotiate and deal with contracts, they also understand the local market.

With that knowledge, they can predict turns in the market and what it could mean for the value of your property. This also helps them better negotiate with buyers who are moving to a specific area.

For example, is a real estate company based in Memphis, Tennessee. They help home sellers in and around Memphis list their houses online. They also sell connect sellers with buyers through their website.

Narrower Horizons & Lower Prices

Selling on the market is like fishing on a vast pond with more potential buyers to choose from.

But when sellers don’t put their houses on the market, they have fewer bites to potentially sell on.

People who aren’t well-versed in real estate may not be able to squeeze out the highest value. They may have trouble negotiating with appraisers and arguing with home inspectors.

The Verdict on Houses for Sale by Owner

So, is it a good or bad idea to sell your house without a Realtor(R)?

If you’re prepared to take on the challenges, then selling as an owner may be a lucrative option for you. But if you want to sell your home as risk-free as possible, then you won’t think twice about hiring a Realtor(R).

Have you ever sold a home or piece of property? Did you use a Realtor(R) or did you sell solo? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

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