How Hard Is It to Sell Your Home Yourself?

Most people go through a real estate agent when they want to sell a property, but younger generations are increasingly interested in selling their home without professional help.  According to a Zillow report, 36% of Millennials and 26% of Gen Xers are willing to sell their property as the owner. Even 22% of Baby Boomers sell their homes without an agent. But how hard is it to sell your home yourself?

You may look back and be grateful you didn’t spend any money on a commission, or you could wind up with a home that sits on the market for months. Here are some pros and cons to selling your home on your own. It may or may not be for you.

Should You Sell Your Home Yourself? Potential Pros

About half of people who sell their homes on their own say they did it to save money and time. And those are certainly benefits of forgoing an agent. Here are some other reasons it might be a good idea to list a property as for sale by owner (FSBO):

  • You already have a buyer in mind. If you’re selling to a family member or an investor, there isn’t much use for a real estate agent. You’ll save money on their commission and other fees and still have a buyer on the line.
  • You know the local market well. If you’ve been living in your neighborhood for 10+ years, you probably know how much homes are selling for and what people look for in a home there. In other words: you’re the best marketer there is for your property. You can have total control of how your home is marketed and priced when you don’t use an agent.
  • You can get the property listed ASAP. A real estate agent may come in and want to do staging, recommend a bunch of repairs, and need to wait a week to take photos because their preferred photographer is busy right now. When you’re on your own schedule, you can start advertising your property today if you want to.

Potential Difficulties in Selling Your Home Yourself

As alluring as it is to think about saving money and time, there are some potential hardships that come from selling your home on the MLS by yourself. You’ll need to become an expert in all the things a Realtor would typically walk you through. Can you say paperwork? Because there may be a lot of it. Here are some of the reasons people struggle to list and show their home without an agent.

  • Scheduling open houses and other showings is time consuming. Usually, you can go to work and live your life while your agent shows people your home during the day. Sure, occasionally you have to clear out on the weekend for an open house — but that’s not so bad. When you’re doing every showing yourself, your schedule will become far more chaotic.
  • Negotiation needs to be your strong suit. Dealing with repair requests, low ball offers, and other negotiated issues isn’t always simple for people who don’t work in sales. Are you prepared to do market research and figure out how much of a price drop you should offer if a water leak is detected during the inspection?
  • Gathering documents and handling the closing is tough on an amateur. You’ll still have an escrow company and other professionals involved by the time you accept an offer. And your buyer probably has an agent. Still, there is a reason agents charge a commission — they’re taking a lot of red tape out of your hands. Be prepared to deal with everything from contingencies to escrows that fall through and proof you had a permit when you built your deck 7 years ago.

How hard is it to sell your home yourself? That depends on the state of your home, the inventory in the area, and whether it’s a sellers’ market. If you really don’t want to use an agent but you want a quick and easy sale, contact an investor like California Family Homebuyers. We buy houses in all sorts of conditions around Sacramento and we can often close as fast as seven days. Call us today at 916-496-3737!

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